Social Shaping in Danish Technology Assessment

Anne Grethe Hansen, Christian Clausen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The term ‘social shaping of technology’ has been used broadly as a response to techno-economic deterministic understandings of the relations between technology and society. Social shaping has brought together analysts from different backgrounds who share a common interest in the role of social and political action for technology change. The authors of this article suggest that the social shaping perspective draws on lessons from technology assessments of earlier decades, lessons about the role of technology debate, participation and democratic control. We suggest that these are important for technology policy initiatives at the beginning of the new millennium, as prerequisites for socially feasible and desirable technology development and innovation. On the basis of the Danish technology assessments of the 1980s, it is argued that technology assessments and the social shaping perspectives in these projects contributed to new insights into the processes of technological change and thus to policy formulation. The social shaping perspective and technology assessment experiences are suggested as important guides to future technology strategies.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTechnology in Society
    Pages (from-to)431-451
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


    • technology
    • social shaping
    • technology assessment

    Cite this

    Hansen, A. G., & Clausen, C. (2003). Social Shaping in Danish Technology Assessment. Technology in Society, 25, 431-451.