The History of the Radio and Television Receiver Industry in

The History of the Radio and Television Receiver Industry in

In the article “Introductory essay: the social shaping of technology” (1999), MacKenzie and Wajcman claimed that technological determinism is not a satisfactory explanation for the development of new technologies. Their point of view in “Technological Determinism as a Theory of Technology” stated that “technology just changes, either following science or of its own accord” (MacKenzie and Wajcman, 1999, p 5). In “A Network of Tinkerers: The Advent of the Radio and Television Receiver Industry in Japan”, the author Yuzo Takahashi provided a historical advent and analysis of the development of radio and television receivers in Japan. Yuzo Takahashi’s article provides a case study of the technological developments that supports the arguments put by MacKenzie and Wajcman against technological determinism. More importantly, the historical development of these electronics in Japan illustrates the following claims put by MacKenzie and Wajcman in their essay: firstly “The Economic Shaping of Technology: The dominant way of thinking about the connection between economics and technology is the “neoclassical’ approach, which is based upon the assumption that firms will choose the technique of the production that offers the maximum possible rate of profit.” (1999, p 13); secondly, “Does Science Shape Technology?: Where science and technology are connected, as they increasingly have been since the second half of the nineteenth century. Technology has arguably contributed as much to science as vice versa.” (1999, p 7); and lastly “The Path Dependence of Technical Change: The history of technology is a path dependent history, one in which past events exercise continuing influences. Which of two or more technologies eventually succeed is not determined by their intrinsic characteristics alone, but also by their histories of adoption.” In the article “A Network of Tinkerers: The Advent of the Radio and Televisio…


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