Contemporary history of Europe

Computers and Computing in Society

This review essay aims to highlight some of these recent trends within the history of computing and information technology through the consideration of three recently published books : 1/ Frank Bösch (Ed.) 2018. Wege in die Gesellschaft. Computernutzung in der Bundesrepublik (1955–1990). Geschichte der Gegenwart, Bd. 20. Göttingen: Wallstein, geb.; 2/ Marie Hicks 2017. Programmed Inequality. How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; 3/ Joy Lisi Rankin 2018. A People’s History of Computing in the United States. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
They are increasingly opening up to approaches that are oriented towards society and actors, whether the latter are producers, regulators, users, or even maintainers. This is achieved with historical rigour by the authors, who highlight the history of a field that is not only scientific, technical, industrial and economic, but also profoundly social, and which is marked by multiple debates, negotiations and power relationships.

Show this publication on our institutional repository (