This site is under construction, in the meantime here is a link to my master’s thesis:
Social Construction of Technology in the Workplace: Lode Mining in the Fairbanks Mining District, Alaska 1902 – 1942
This thesisexamines the socialconstruction of technological practiceof the Fairbanks Mining District(1902–1942) in order to enrich an understanding of therelationships among miners, miningendeavors, and culturesof work. Framing the studyare the two theoretical approaches: sociotechnical systems and chaînes opératoires. A regional analysis was conducted using archaeological data gathered as a part of a hazard mitigation study of abandoned mining lands. These data are combinedwith architectural reconstruction drawings, census data, geological reports, and archivalmaterials to posit connections withinthe district, discernpatterns, and examine how thesechanged over time. This studyrevealed that people’srelationships in the district were diverse and dynamic, going far beyondsimple class hierarchies of labor or capital. A preference for California style milling practices and mill architecture are clear, despite detractors like the inappropriateness for an Alaska climateor the mill’s relativeefficiency, indicating that preference ruled over efficiency.