The context of this paper is the rapid provision of cable/on-line services in UK. The paper briefly critiques several theoretical paradigms, which attempt to explain the relationship between society and technology, before discussing the usefulness of Actor-Network Theoryas an analytical tool, with specific reference to the UK cable/on-line industry. By advocating a seamless web composed of actors, the actor-networkapproach dissolves the dichotomous relationship between humans and machines and society and technology into a non-anthropocentric framework. Hence the term 'sociotechnical ensemble' which attempts to indicate that the dualism inherent in the phrase 'society and technology' is being contested. This paper argues that the existence of this alternative theoretical model forces researchers to at least re-address some of the most basic premises informing research into information and communication technologies.
Somerville, Ian, "Actor-Network Theory: A useful paradigm for theanalysis of the UK cable/on-line sociotechnical ensemble?" (1997). AMCIS 1997 Proceedings. 37.