Technology is everywhere, yet a theory of technology and its social dimension remainsto be fully developed. Building on the influential book The Social Construction of TechnologicalSystems, this volume carries forward the project of creating a theory of technological developmentand implementation that is strongly grounded in both sociology and history. The 12 essays addressthe central question of how technologies become stabilized, how they attain a final form and usethat is generally accepted. The essays are tied together by a general introduction, partintroductions, and a theoretical conclusion.The first part of the book examines and criticizes theidea that technologies have common life cycles; three case studies cover the history of a successfulbut never produced British jet fighter, the manipulation of patents by a French R&D company togain a market foothold, and the managed development of high-intensity fluorescent lighting to servethe interests of electricity suppliers as well as the producing company.The second part looks atbroader interactions shaping technology and its social context: the question of who was to define"steel," the determination of what constitutes radioactive waste and its proper disposal, and thesocial construction of motion pictures as exemplified by Thomas Edison's successful development ofthe medium and its commercial failure.The last part offers theoretical studies suggestingalternative approaches to sociotechnologies; two studies argue for a strong sociotechnology in whichartifact and social context are viewed as a single seamless web, while the third looks at the waysin which a social program is a technology.Wiebe E. Bijker is Associate Professor at the Universityof Limburg, The Netherlands. John Law is Professor in Sociology at the University of Keele,Staffordshire, England.