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The "X-Engineer": Engineering Reflexivity and Identity Formation [Opinion]

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1 Author(s)
Nicholas Sakellariou ; Dept. of Environ. Sci., Policy, & Manage., Univ. of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA

The author states that in conditions of perceived technology crisis, engineers contextualize themselves and the contents of their work. This is similar to, but not quite the same as Thomas Kuhn's assertion that “in periods of acknowledged crisis, scientists have turned to philosophical analysis as a device for unlocking the riddles of their fields”. Kuhn was referring to internal crises; specifically, those involving elite communities of a handful of practitioners confronting the deadlock of a certain scientific “paradigm.” In contrast, technology crises and engineering reflexivity are mostly due to “external” (i.e., non-engineering) influences. Engineering education is a key locus for engineers to re-contextualize themselves and the type of work they perform.

Published in:

IEEE Technology and Society Magazine  (Volume:32 ,  Issue: 1 )