SoKuTA ”Socially and Culturally oriented Technology Assessment”
In progress from 01-12-2003 to 30-11-2005
Project manager: Project coordinator: Walter Grossenbacher
Up until now in technology assessments, the actual technology has frequently been taken as a “neutral” subject. This generally occurs without consideration for the socio-cultural context. The aim of the project is to illustrate what effects, in terms of content, the systematic inclusion of humanistic and social scientific perspectives would have on the subject under investigation for the technology assessment. In particular, it will also clarify which social technologies would be suitable for an expansion of the field of activity for TA.
Read more on the project homepage
The project methodology incorporated research of the literature and documentary analyses. For participative projects, as well as for studies, the authors recommend that in future there should be greater focussing on the social areas as a starting point, such as the working world (e.g. management), the everyday world (e.g. senior citizens) and innovation (e.g. the economy). This will mean that the socio-cultural context will already have been explicitly taken into account as well in the choice of theme and in inviting tenders.
In order to structure technology assessment on a social-scientific and cultural basis, the authors present those responsible at TA-SWISS with an extensive list showing the points that they will be using as a basis. If these proposals are followed, it can lead to a new perspective on the technology. As well as the consequences of the technology itself, it is now the social and cultural parameters for the creation, acceptance and application of new technologies that are coming under the spotlight. The starting point for this perspective is technological development that can be seen as a social process.