Categorization by Association: Nuclear Technology and Emission Free Electricity
Research in the Sociology of Work, Forthcoming
48 Pages Posted: 26 May 2010 Last revised: 7 Apr 2014
Date Written: May 24, 2010
At different points in time, energy harnessed from nuclear technology for commercial purposes has been qualified as atoms for peace, too cheap to meter, unsafe, sustainable, and emission free. We explore how these associations – between nuclear technology (a category used in a descriptive way) and qualities such as emission free (categories used in an evaluative way) – are materially anchored, institutionally performed, socially relevant and entrepreneurially negotiated. By considering all these factors, our analysis shows that it is possible to understand how and why categories and their meanings continue to change over time. We flesh out the implications of these observations and suggest avenues for future research.
Keywords: Categories, Technology Entrepreneurship, Sociomateriality, Nuclear Power, Sustainability
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