Small, Fast and Beautiful: on Rhetoric of Technology and by Magnus Johansson

By Magnus Johansson

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29 Latour’s concept of translation sets out from the controversies that emerge when facts are transformed into artefacts, the outcome of which is decided by the interpretation or the respective interests of the actors and the people they enrol. 31 According to the translation model, there are no distinctions between science and technology on the one hand and society on the other; there are only heterogeneous chains of associations that from time to time create obligatory points of passage. In technoscience, society is a part of what goes on, not an exogenous entity.

This has been described by Pinch & Bijker in a well-known case study on the social construction of bicycles in the late 19th century appearing in the SCOT book. 20 In his most recent book, Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs (1995), Bijker has highlighted the distribution of power as a factor in the shaping of technology and society. 22 Scholars who study the social factors that shape technology have paid a great deal of attention to the innovation process. But the social, political and economic aspects are not neglected.

Latour describes the translation as a process in which claims become well-established facts and prototypes are turned into routinely used pieces of equipment. 26 The translation takes place in a so-called actor-network in which actors in order to win their cause enrol different allies. 27 Latour is phy of technology” Science, Technology and Human Values No. 18, 1993, pp 362-378. g. : MIT Press, 1977). ) Mapping the Dynamics of Science and Technology. Sociology of Science in the Real World (London: Macmillan, 1986).

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