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  • 1.
    Björkman, Christina
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Trojer, Lena
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    What does it mean to Know Computer Science? Perspectives from Gender Research2006In: tripleC, ISSN 1726-670X, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 316-327Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The epistemological basis for computer science (CS), on which research and education as well as development of applications are founded, are fundamental for its production of knowledge. In this paper we raise the issue of how gender research developed within science and technology can be used within computer science, to approach and discuss foundations of the discipline, and what the implications of this reflection are for CS education. After an introduction, which serves to motivate the questions raised, we discuss issues concerning the foundations of computer science. We then introduce gender research, as we use it, and present some points where this type of research can contribute to the question "What does it mean to know CS?".

  • 2.
    Blomkvist, Pär
    et al.
    KTH, Stockholm.
    Emanuel, Martin
    KTH, Stockholm.
    Från nyttofordon till frihetsmaskin: Teknisk och institutionell samevolution kring mopeden i Sverige 1952–752009Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Blomkvist, Pär & Martin Emanuel, From Utility to Freedom: The Co-evolution of Technology and Institutions in the History of the Swedish Moped 1952–75, Division of Industrial Dynamics, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (Stockholm 2009)

    The first of July 1952, the moped was legislatively excluded from existing restrictions for heavier two-wheeled motorized vehicles. A driver/owner of a “bicycle with auxiliary engine” – this was the original denomination of the vehicle – thus needed no registration, driver’s license or insurance, nor pay any vehicle tax. The legislators did, however, postulate some technical requirements. Besides regulation of the engine, the vehicle should be “bicycle-like” and have pedals. It should thus be driven primarily by means of human, not mechanical, power (i.e., it was not supposed to be a lighter version of a motorcycle). In terms of social and economical goals, the state assumed workers to be the primary users, and a utilitarian use rather than one connected to pleasure and spare time.

    Very quickly, however, the moped lost all resemblance with the ordinary bicycle (except for the pedals). In a new legislation in 1961, the state yielded to the technical development. The moped no longer needed to resemble a bicycle or have pedals. Meanwhile, the moped also became more of a toy for boys – a vehicle for freedom – rather than the useful tool the state had wished for. In fact, we argue that the demands from user groups not foreseen played a crucial role in changing the legal technical requirements of the moped.

    This report treats the co-evolution, technically and institutionally, of the moped during the period 1952–75. Using a method inspired by evolutionary theory, the moped models released in Sweden in these years are grouped in “families” with distinctive technical features and accompanying presumed uses. For understanding how demands of different user groups can alter the “dominant design” of a technology (Abernathy & Utterback, 1978), the concept pair of technical and functional demand specifications are developed. While dominant design may capture conservative features in technological development, our concepts seem to better capture the dynamics in technical and institutional change – the co-evolution of technology and institutions.

     

  • 3.
    Blomkvist, Pär
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Emanuel, Martin
    Regulating a Freedom Machine: Swedish Moped History, 1952–61In: Technology and culture, ISSN 0040-165X, E-ISSN 1097-3729Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Motorization was a superordinate societal goal in post-war Sweden. Through planning and regulation, politicians and technocrats within the state administration made common cause with industry and lobby groups to establish a road traffic system and to build a ‘car society.’ This article investigates a small sub-system, or niche, of this road traffic system, populated by smaller two-wheeled motorized vehicles, i.e. the bicycle with an auxiliary engine, soon popularly called a moped. The purpose of the article is to analyse legislators’ attempts to regulate moped technology and usage, and their ultimate failure to do so. It is difficult to bring about a specific usage of a consumer technology by imposing technical requirements. Users and producers are often able to avoid the intentions of regulators; they find ways to innovate and mould the technology for their own purposes. The article also highlights the importance of historical context. As society change, during the implementation of a regulation, some factors that originally motivated the rules fade away and become less important.

     

    Keywords: freedom, moped, regulation, road traffic system, Sweden, welfare state

  • 4.
    Blomkvist, Pär
    et al.
    KTH, Stockholm.
    Nilsson, David
    KTH, Stockholm.
    On the Need for System Alignment in Large Water Infrastructure: Understanding Infrastructure Dynamics in Nairobi, Kenya2017In: Water Alternatives, ISSN 1965-0175, E-ISSN 1965-0175, Vol. 10, no 2, p. 283-302Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article we contribute to the discussion of infrastructural change in Africa, and explore how a new theoretical perspective may offer a different, more comprehensive and historically informed understanding of the trend towards large water infrastructure in Africa. We examine the socio-technical dynamics of large water infrastructures in Nairobi, Kenya, in a longer historical perspective using two concepts that we call intra-systemic alignment and inter-level alignment. Our theoretical perspective is inspired by Large Technical Systems (LTS) and Multi-Level Perspective (MLP). While inter-level alignment focuses on the process of aligning the technological system at the three levels of niche, regime and landscape, intra-systemic alignment deals with how components within the regime are harmonised and standardised to fit with each other. We pay special attention to intra-systemic alignment between the supply side and the demand side, or as we put it, upstream and downstream components of a system. In narrating the history of water supply in Nairobi, we look at both the upstream (large-scale supply) and downstream activities (distribution and payment), and compare the Nairobi case with European history of large infrastructures. We emphasise that regime actors in Nairobi have dealt with the issues of alignment mainly to facilitate and expand upstream activities, while concerning downstream activities they have remained incapable of expanding service and thus integrating the large segment of low-income consumers. We conclude that the present surge of large-scale water investment in Nairobi is the result of sector reforms that enabled the return to a long tradition – a 'Nairobi style' – of upstream investment mainly benefitting the high-income earners. Our proposition is that much more attention needs to be directed at inter-level alignment at the downstream end of the system, to allow the creation of niches aligned to the regime.

  • 5.
    Fagerberg, Mats
    Mälardalen University, Department of Social Sciences. historia.
    Det amerikanska systemets införande i den svenska järnmanufakturindustrin: Diskussionen i svenska tekniska tidskrifter under 1800-talet2006In: Historiska perspektiv på tekniköverföring 1800-2000, Chalmers tekniska högskola , 2006Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Lindgren, Irene
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Teknisk undervisning om symaskinen i textilslöjden2008Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 points / 15 hpStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    Under mina praktikperioder, VFU-perioder, ute på olika skolor har jag observerat att de flesta elever inte har tekniskt självförtroende om de redskap de använder i textilslöjden. Med tekniskt självförtroende menas att man har tillräckligt med teknisk kunskap så man kan hantera redskapet. Med detta arbete ville jag få en insikt i hur mycket teknisk undervisning eleverna får i samband med textilundervisningen. Jag tror att skolan inte är könsneutral utan spär på könsrollerna genom att inte ha så mycket teknisk undervisning i textilslöjden. Jag tror att många har ett könsbundet förhållningssätt till teknik som ett ämne för pojkar och textilslöjd som ett ämne för flickor. Det dåliga intresset för teknik, som många flickor har, skulle kanske kunna vändas till ett ökat intresse om det var mer teknisk undervisning i textilslöjden. Tekniken blir då en naturlig del vid hantering av de textila redskapen. Symaskinen är det redskap som valdes som utgångspunkt då det är ett av de redskap som används mycket i textilslöjden samt att det finns en symaskin i många hem.

    Metod för att få svar på mina frågeställningar är enkät med öppna frågor. Enkäten skickades via e-post till textillärare, som ville besvara den efter en förfrågan på två e-postlistor för textillärare. 24 textillärare fick enkäten, men bara 16 svarade på den. Bortfallet kan bero på enkätens utformning med öppna frågor, som kan upplevas att den tar för mycket tid i anspråk.

    I min litteraturstudie fann jag information om symaskinens historik och utveckling samt information om teknisk introduktion/presentation. Med hjälp av litteraturen får man en teknisk kunskap om hur man trär trådarna i symaskinen, samt justering av trådspänningen.

    En sammanställning gjordes av de 16 svar som informanterna skickade mig via e-post. Sammanställningen bekräftar att många elever inte får tillräckligt med teknisk undervisning i textilundervisningen för att få ett tekniskt självförtroende för de textila redskapen. Hur mycket teknisk kunskap elever får skiljer mellan att få väldigt mycket teknisk kunskap om symaskinen, medans vissa elever får lite teknisk kunskap om alla redskap och andra får väldigt lite om symaskinen eller de redskap de använder.

    Textilslöjden väljs, enligt informanterna, av pojkar bl.a. på grund av att det är tystare och lugnare än trä- och metallslöjden och informanterna uppfattar det som att det är vanligast att det är ”pojkflickor” som väljer trä- och metallslöjd.

    Jag tror att det är viktigt att ge eleverna en teknisk undervisning så de får ett teknisk självförtroende, då inte alla enligt min undersökning får det. För sin egen självkänsla är det viktigt att ha teknisk kunskap om allt omkring oss i vår vardag. Om vi själva inte har teknisk kunskap utan låter några få ha den, så överlämnar vi makt åt dem och vi blir beroende av dem som har kunskaperna. Som lärare ska man, enligt kursplanen för slöjd, utveckla elevens kunskaper som ska ge handlingsberedskap för att klara av uppgifter i det dagliga livet samt att stärka elevens tilltro till den egna förmågan.

  • 7.
    Nilsson, David
    et al.
    KTH, Filosofi och historia.
    Blomkvist, Pär
    KTH, Sweden.
    Understanding system alignment: Combining LTS and MLP to investigate urban water transitions in Kenya and Uganda2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we want to contribute to a theoretical framework suited for analysing and understanding infrastructural change in Africa, and to explore how such a framework may offer a different, more comprehensive and historically informed perspective, which will be necessary for a transformative shift towards global sustainability. We examine the socio-technical dynamics of large water infrastructure in a developing country, Kenya. In particular, we look at the provision of water to the capital Nairobi and its historical trajectory over the past one hundred years. We also discuss tentative results from an ongoing case study on pre-paid metering in the water system in Kampala, Uganda.

    In our theoretical approach we combine ideas from the fields of history with innovation- and system studies. We revisit some of the thinking once assembled in the global North around how large infrastructure systems grow and change (the Large Technical Systems, LTS) and try to make parallels and divergences to the trajectories of water infrastructure in Nairobi, while we also bring on board key concepts from the multi-level perspective (MLP). Essentially, we try to locate to which level in the system innovation activity has been concentrated, and what has been the main direction of this activity over a longer period of time. For a broad-brush picture such as this one, we draw our empirical material mainly from our earlier historical research, much of which has already been published, as well as other authors. The novelty of this paper is our re-interpretation of the broad transformation patterns which we enable by using a long time perspective and by the recombination of theory and historical observations.

    Our conclusion is that key actors have focussed the continued supply of capital for expansion of the large-scale infrastructure of the system, particularly in its upstream sections. At the same time, the piped part of the water system has become increasingly misaligned with the plurality of sub-systems delivering water outside the borders of the system, which forms the downstream environment of the system. Notably, poor people living in so called “informal settlements” or “slums” have remained disenfranchised to the regime, as they have been defined by regime actors as illegal and thus as externalities of the system. A re-alignment process has taken place in the past two decades through sector reform which has re-enabled capital supply and thus large-scale infrastructure growth. On the other hand, this growth is of a kind that is of marginal benefit to the growing group of low-income urban consumers on the periphery of the large-scale piped system. We suggest that the system exhibits a dual structure of a conservative core serving the middle and high-income population, and with peripheral parts of the system containing a plethora of local innovations. 

    Our proposition is the development of an analytical and policy-oriented framework which focuses on alignment processes between what we argue is the most critical level of system interface; between the established water system (regime) and the peripheral sub-systems (local innovation). If we are serious about universal service provision and the human right to water, we must understand this interface, its actors, subsystems and processes; and how alignment between system levels can be achieved.

  • 8.
    Rüdén, Ulf
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Teknikundervisning utan könsroller2008Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 points / 15 hpStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    Det här arbetet handlar till stor del om huruvida teknikundervisningen som genomförs i grundskolans senare del har påverkat flickors val av gymnasieutbildning. De flickor som går på typiska manliga utbildningar har varit utgångspunkt för den här studien. Antalet flickor som söker sig till dessa utbildningar är få, vilket framkommer i statistiken över förstahandsval till gymnasieutbildningarna som presenteras i undersökningen. Dessa elever har genom intervjuer fått möjlighet att berätta om varför de valt att gå de här utbildningarna. Val av gymnasieutbildning kommer i stor utsträckning att påverka dessa elevers framtida yrkesroller. Med detta i åtanke kommer även genusperspektivet i skola och yrkesliv att belysas. Läsaren får också en inblick i hur teknikundervisningen i grundskolan är uppbyggd och hur den genomförs i både teorin och praktiken.

    Genom att intervjuat 6 kvinnliga elever, som går på typiskt manliga gymnasieutbildningar, visar den här studien att teknikundervisningen i grundskolans senare del inte påverkat dessa elevers val av gymnasieutbildning.

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