Framework of Categories of Technology Concepts


STI concepts are hazy; and in order to have meaningful and productive discussions and policies in the African region, it may be necessary to broaden, deepen and clarify our conceptual weapons and terminologies. In this regard, the following theoretical framework could be useful for structuring and building STI system capacities. It could be of some use to STI managers, policymakers, politicians, journalists, practitioners and stakeholders.


The framework attempts to categorize various views of technology into seven non-exclusive innovative groupings defined arbitrarily in relation to the ideas of control and power, humanity and nature, culture and development, realism and utopianism, and of attitudes, values and meanings. The outline of the framework is the following:


 (1) - The Instrumentalist / Utilitarian / Functionalist Concepts

(2) - The Determinist / Autonomist / Fatalist Concepts

(3) - The Essentialist / Substantivist / Fundamentalist Concepts

(4) - The Neo-Luddist / Rejectionist / ‘Technophobic’ Concepts

(5) - The Environmentalist / Naturalist / Romantic Concepts

(6) - The Pre-Modernist / Traditionalist / Preservationist Concepts

(7) - The Constructivist / Voluntarist / Idealistic Concepts


This framework conveys a variety of views and models of technology for building complex and culturally-embedded STI systems.