article response 24

Philip Brey (article) introduces the main theoretical debates concerning the nature of technology. In particular, he contrasts a “realist” approach to technology with “social constructivism.”

In this response, please address the following questions:

  • What is “contextual realism,” according to Brey. How does the example of Long Island bridges illustrate this concept?
  • What is “social constructivism”? How does the example of the Victorian hallway bench illustrate the social construction of an object’s meaning?
  • Can you apply these concepts to your smartphone? Which features and/or uses of your phone are determined by your phone’s physical design (realist)? Which features and/uses of your phone are determined (social constructed) by users like you?
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