Infrastructures, intersections and societal transformations

Cass, Noel Flay and Schwanen, Tim and Shove, Elizabeth Anne (2018) Infrastructures, intersections and societal transformations. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 137. pp. 160-167. ISSN 0040-1625

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Abstract

There is renewed and increasing interest in understanding the part that infrastructures play in societal transformations, especially in response to the various challenges of climate change. Studies that focus on these issues tend to examine infrastructures in isolation from each other, and tend to work with evolutionary accounts of incremental change punctuated by short periods of radical innovation. This paper questions both these abstractions. Using four empirical cases, it directs attention to intersections between infrastructures at specific times and places, highlighting the dynamic qualities of infrastructures-in-use, and conceptualising societal transformations as outcomes of these intersections. Four forms of intersection are elaborated – co-constitution, adaptation and threading through, historical layering, and coexisting configurations. Instances of each are used to illustrate some of complex and often ambiguous processes through which infrastructures interact. The paper ends by outlining implications for future research and for interventions by policy-makers and others seeking to influence the ways in which infrastructures intersect.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Technological Forecasting and Social Change
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1400/1405
Subjects:
ID Code:
126939
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
16 Aug 2018 09:00
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
08 Jul 2020 07:37