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Everyday Engineering: An Ethnography of Design and Innovation (Inside Technology)

Everyday Engineering: An Ethnography of Design and Innovation (Inside Technology)

Current price: $25.00
Publication Date: January 23rd, 2009
The MIT Press
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A guide to the everyday working world of engineers, written by researchers trained in both engineering and sociology.

Everyday Engineering was written to help future engineers understand what they are going to be doing in their everyday working lives, so that they can do their work more effectively and with a broader social vision. It will also give sociologists deeper insights into the sociotechnical world of engineering. The book consists of ethnographic studies in which the authors, all trained in both engineering and sociology, go into the field as participant-observers. The sites and types of engineering explored include mechanical design in manufacturing industries, instrument design, software debugging, environmental management within companies, and the implementation of a system for separating household waste.

The book is organized in three parts. The first part introduces the complexity of technical practices. The second part enters the social and cultural worlds of designers to grasp their practices and motivations. The third part examines the role of writing practices and graphical representation. The epilogue uses the case studies to raise a series of questions about how objects can be taken into account in sociological analyses of human organizations.

About the Author

Dominique Vinck is Professor at Pierre Mendès-France University and at the Polytechnic National Institute of Grenoble. He is also a member of CRISTO, a research center associated with CNRS that focuses on sociotechnical innovation and industrial organizations.

Praise for Everyday Engineering: An Ethnography of Design and Innovation (Inside Technology)

This collection presents multiple worlds of work in an accessible way that nonetheless emphasizes their complexity—a rarity in any academic writing, and especially difficult to achieve in ethnographic studies.—Scott Taylor, Prometheus