Engineering studies

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Engineering studies is an interdisciplinary branch of social sciences and humanities devoted to the study of engineers and their activities. Studying engineers refers among other to the history and the sociology of their profession, its institutionalization and organization, the social composition and structure of the population of engineers, their training, their trajectory, etc. A subfield is for instance Women in engineering. Studying engineering refers to the study of their activities and practices, their knowledge and ontologies, their role into the society, their engagement. Engineering studies investigate how social, political, economical, cultural and historical dynamics affect technological research, design, engineering and innovation, and how these, in turn, affect society, economics, politics and culture.
Sometimes Engineering studies refers to Engineering education.

Subfields and related fields



Engineering studies



  • Bijker, Wiebe, Thomas Hughes & Trevor Pinch (eds) (1987). The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology Cambridge MA/London: MIT Press.
  • Bijker, Wiebe & John Law (eds) (1994). Shaping Technology / Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (Inside Technology Series).
  • Downey, Gary Lee(1998) The Machine in Me: An Anthropologist Sits Among Computer Engineers. Routledge.
  • Downey, Gary Lee & Kacey Beddoes (eds) (2011) What is Global Engineering Education For? The Making of International Educators. Morgan and Claypool Publishers.
  • Hughes, Thomas (1983) Networks of Power: Electrification in Western Society, 1880-1930, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Jasanoff, Sheila, Gerald Markle, James Petersen & Trevor Pinch (eds) (1994). Handbook of Science and Technology Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Latour, Bruno (1987). Science in action: How to follow scientists and engineers through society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • MacKenzie, Donald & Judy Wajcman (eds.) (1999). The Social Shaping of Technology: How the Refrigerator Got Its Hum, Milton Keynes, Open University Press.
  • MacKenzie, Donald (1996). Knowing Machines: Essays on Technical Change. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (Inside Technology Series).
  • Restivo, Sal (ed.) (2005), Science, Technology, and Society: An Encyclopedia. New York: Oxford.
  • Rip, Arie, Thomas J. Misa & Johan Schot (eds) (1995). Managing Technology in Society: The approach of Constructive Technology Assessment London/NY: Pinter.
  • Rosenberg, Nathan (1994) Exploring the Black Box: Technology, Economics and History, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Vinck, Dominique (2003). Everyday engineering. Ethnography of design and innovation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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