Could the SNA Complete the SCOT Model? \\Computer development in the USA between 1931-1950: a case study approach

  • Éva Borbély

Abstract

Analyzing the literature of computing history we can establish that computing stories of different epochs are concerned with an array of problem areas, thus the authors of the accounts posed various questions - from the misunderstood inventions and forgotten genius to the community revaluation role of the Internet in the post-modern society. J. V. Atanasoff, J. Mauchly, J. P. Eckert, H. Aiken, G. Stibitz and J. Neumann all played their parts in the history of computing between 1930 and 1950 in the USA. Bowing before their notability the authors of institute-specific accounts recognised all of them as founders of electrical-digital computing technology. In this study I will argue that any discussion about claims to priority is an outworn conception because the first electrical- digital computer in the USA came into being in a network of ``socio-technical ensembles´´. The argument is based on a social construction approach (SCOT) of the history of technology combined with social network analysis as during our investigation the SCOT model proved inadequate for studying the history of computers. Following the improvement of key concepts and methods applied by SCOT-ists in different case studies I endeavour to choose the best suitable framework which can be applied to a description of a technological artefact more complex than the bicycle.
Keywords: history of computing, SCOT, SNA
How to Cite
Borbély, Éva (no date) “Could the SNA Complete the SCOT Model? \\Computer development in the USA between 1931-1950: a case study approach”, Periodica Polytechnica Social and Management Sciences, 19(1), pp. 25-36. doi: https://doi.org/10.3311/pp.so.2011-1.04.
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Articles