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Web ScienceELVIRA.pdf


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The Social Construction of
Scientific and Technical
Realities
The core of this chapter is the explanation of the Social Construction in many sectors
of interest, such as Science and technology.
Science and Technology are both social and active, social because they are related to
human society, and active because they are
characterized by energetic work, participation and action, because they always
change. These changes are affected by many different factors.
There are many different “social constructions” in Scientific and Technical Studies,
the ones that are treated in this chapter are the following:
ï‚· The social construction of social reality
ï‚· The construction of things and phenomena
ï‚· The scientific and technological construction of material
and social environments
ï‚· The construction of theories
ï‚· Heterogeneous construction
ï‚· The construction of kinds
ï‚· The construction of nature
Constructivism is the study of how scientists and technologists build socially situated
knowledges and things. Such studies can even show how scientists build good
representations of the material world, in a perfectly ordinary sense. Science gains
power from its ability to manipulate nature and measure nature’s reactions, and its
ability to translate those measurements across time and space to other laboratories
and other contexts. So laboratory and other technologies contribute to objectivity and
objective knowledge.
Moreover, the products of science and technology are not themselves natural, they
do not take nature as it comes.
In the construction of reality, the most interesting subject is the fact that structures
and institutions come to exist because of people’s actions and attitudes.