Bringing technology into social-ecological systems research-Motivations for a socio-technical-ecological systems approach
Reviewartikel, 2019

The purpose of this synthesis paper is to present the motivations and conceptual basis for research on socio-technical-ecological systems (STES), addressing the need for interdisciplinary studies targeting the technological mediation of human-environment relationships. The background is the very limited number of collaborations between scholars of social-ecological systems and sociotechnical systems (SES), despite repeated calls for bridging work. The synthesis builds on an in-depth review of previous literature, interdisciplinary exchanges, and empirical examples. The result is arguments for why a sociotechnical understanding of 'technology' is of central importance for SES studies, related to how technology: (1) mediates human-environment relationships; (2) brings ambivalence to these relationships; (3) enhances and transforms human agency and provides a source of constitutive power; (4) changes scalar relationships, enabling our interaction with and impact on the natural world across time and space. Furthermore, we present an STES analytical approach which starts from symmetrical attention to technology, society, and environment, specifically targeting interfaces and relationships of critical relevance for SES scholars, and address counterarguments that we have encountered. We conclude that a shift to STES research will enhance our knowledge of system interfaces that are often overlooked, opening further avenues for research and real-world interventions.

Social-ecological systems

Review

SETS

Sociotechnical systems

Anthropocene

Synthesis

Technology

STES

Författare

Helene Ahlborg

Göteborgs universitet

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Miljösystemanalys

Ilse Ruiz-Mercado

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Sverker Molander

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Miljösystemanalys

O. Masera

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Sustainability

2071-1050 (ISSN)

Vol. 11 7 2009

Ämneskategorier

Teknikhistoria

Mänsklig interaktion med IKT

Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik med samhällsvetenskaplig inriktning

DOI

10.3390/su11072009

Mer information

Senast uppdaterat

2019-05-06