NPT & SSM
If you’re interested in NPT as a way in to the sociological understanding of technology and practice, two excellent recent papers in Social Science and Medicine offer really interesting analyses. In Survival of the Project: a case study of ICT innovation in health care Hege Andreassen, Lars Kjekshus and Aksel Tjora discuss the problem of routine embedding of new technologies in practice, using telemedicine systems as an exemplar. They show how not embedding a system in routine work eases both the practices of routine work and the process of innovation by holding the new socio-technical system at a distance. It thus hardly perturbs the already embedded and integrated practices at work. In Moving beyond local practice: Reconfiguring the adoption of a breast cancer diagnostic technology Greg Maniatopoulos, Rob Proctor and colleagues explore how technological innovations are adopted, through practices that operate at multiple levels of analysis. Once again, this is a case study, but it pushes beyond the particular and hints at the central role of politics in shaping the forms that sociotechnical change take.
Both papers are behind the Elsevier paywall. Andreassen et al's paper is here, and Maniatopoulos et al's paper is here.