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Mead Has Never Been Modern: Using Meadian Theory to Extend the Constructionist Study of Technology

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Abstract:

This article makes use of the theoretical framework of George Herbert Mead to extend the parameters of the constructionist study of technology, which is shown to suffer from two major weaknesses. First, the perspective is based upon a dualist ontology, which tends toward a solipsistic position. Second, the constructionist approach is sociologically deterministic, and fails to fully capture innovation and creativity in the technological process. Mead's ontology can serve to remedy these issues, as his theory of meaning rests on a non‐dualist foundation. Further, his theory of emergence provides a way to conceptualize spontaneity and innovation in ways that are not possible using traditional constructionist approach.

Keywords: George Herbert Mead; innovation; social constructionism; technology

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02691720500145571

Publication date: October 1, 2005

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