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Draw the Lightning DownBenjamin Franklin and Electrical Technology in the Age of Enlightenment$
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Michael Brian Schiffer

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520238022

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520238022.001.0001

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. Technology Transfer: A Behavioral Framework

. Technology Transfer: A Behavioral Framework

(p.257) 12. Technology Transfer: A Behavioral Framework
Draw the Lightning Down

Michael Brian Schiffer

University of California Press

This chapter describes the technology-transfer framework that helped in investigating the differentiation of electrical technology in the Enlightenment. It draws upon the material on behavioral theory from archaeology. The technology-transfer framework should be general enough to accommodate any groups that acquire and modify the technology of interest. Regardless of the nature of the communities (or technologies) involved, technology transfer can be modeled as a six-phase process. These phases, namely information transfer, experimentation, redesign, replication, acquisition, and use, are discussed in detail. It is suggested that the most important use of the framework is to establish the behavioral parameters on which to fashion contextualized narratives of technological differentiation. It is concluded that electrical technology was differentiated by literate and clever individuals of diverse socioeconomic, religious, and national backgrounds who took part in varied activities—scientific, political, recreational, or medical.

Keywords:   technology-transfer framework, behavioral theory, archaeology, electrical technology, Enlightenment, information transfer, experimentation, redesign, replication, acquisition

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