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Sociotechnical Settlement and Mediation in a System of Technical Societies: A Relational History of the IEEE Computer Society and ACM, circa 1967-1977

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1 Author(s)
Jesiek, B.K. ; Sch. of Eng. Educ., Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN, USA

The IEEE Computer Society has long occupied a unique position between its parent organization (the IEEE, formerly IRE and AIEE) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). In this paper I examine how this position was maintained from about 1967 to 1977. More specifically, I show how various structures and processes of sociotechnical settlement and mediation created stability in this system of technical societies, even in the midst of rapid technological and institutional change. I develop this case by presenting evidence from three technical areas, namely microprogramming, computer architecture, and software engineering. My analysis is based on extensive archival research, and draws theory and method from the history of technology and science and technology studies.

Published in:

History of Technical Societies, 2009 IEEE Conference on the

Date of Conference:

5-7 Aug. 2009