Addressing social representations in socio-technical transitions with the case of shale gas

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


  • Paul Upham
  • Aleksandra Lis
  • Hauke Riesch
  • Piotr Stankiewicz

While sociologists of science and technology have long understood technological diffusion and adoption as processes of social embedding, the psycho-social processes involved have received relatively little attention in the socio-technical transitions literature. Here we consider the value of Moscovici's social representations theory in terms of its potential contribution to a theory of socio-technical change, the multi-level perspective (MLP). Using fracking-derived shale gas as a technology case study and newspaper representations of the technology in Poland, Germany and the UK as data, we address and illustrate connections between the processes of anchoring and objectification that are central to social representations theory and the socio-technical dynamics observed. In so doing, we set out an approach for further work on agency in the MLP and socio-technical change processes generally, informed by a social psychological approach that aligns with structuralist concepts.

ZeitschriftEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Seiten (von - bis)120-141
Anzahl der Seiten22
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.09.2015
Extern publiziertJa