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ISSN 1995-459X print
E-ISSN 2312-9972 online
ISSN 2500-2597 online English

Leonid Gokhberg


Mariya Dobryakova1, Zoya Kotel'nikova1,2
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
  • 2 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 30 Sormovskoye Highway, Nizhny Novgorod, 603014, Russian Federation

Social Embeddedness of Technology: Prospective Research Areas

2015. Vol. 9. No. 1. P. 6–19 [issue contents]

Strategic documents that reflect future S&T priorities are often formulated without sufficiently taking into account the social context of S&T developments. The paper discusses the capabilities of social sciences for a deeper contextual analysis when setting priorities and, consequently, for helping to make the diffusion of advanced technologies more efficient. The methodological basis of the analysis is the concept of the social construction of technology (SCOT). The list of critical technologies of the Russian Federation serves as an illustrative example of a strategic document defining S&T priorities. The authors point out developments with the highest potential for social embeddedness, which could be fully used only if coupled with an understanding of related social matters. These developments are divided into four groups (clusters): biomedicine and health, energy, environment, and transport. We identify for each cluster the social groups that would be affected by the relevant technologies, the potential for conflicts of interest and for formats of interaction. The paper proposes prospective areas of sociological research, allowing a deeper understanding of the real context in which new technologies might be developed and implemented, and thus may help optimize efforts for the diffusion of these technologies.

We conclude that many prospective technologies, which by nature belong to the 'physical' world, would be more efficient if their implementation, and possibly also development, were accompanied (and in some cases preceded) by the outputs of relevant social science and humanities studies. In this sense, we propose the use of the 'social embeddedness of technology' concept. We argue that this is an important factor affecting the success of technology implementation, and sometimes, technology configuration.

Dobryakova M., Kotelnikova Z. (2015) Social Embeddedness of Technology: Prospective Research Areas. Foresight-Russia, vol. 9, no 1, pp. 6–19. DOI: 10.17323/1995-459X.2015.1.6.19

DOI: 10.17323/1995-459X.2015.1.6.19

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