Tag Archives: technical innovation

The deification of Steve Jobs is a truly remarkable sociological phenomenon. There has been good sociological commentary on this already, including a post by Kieran Healy applying a Weberian analysis of charismatic authority to Jobs and a post by Teppo Felin on the social construction of Steve Jobs (also see a post by Shamus Khan on the Foxconn sweatshops that make Apple products).

What I want to add here is an argument that not only is the exaltation of Jobs explicable as a reaffirmation of the American mythology of individualism and free markets, but, more provocatively, the Jobs-as-Great-Man narrative is wrong in assigning so much responsibly for Appleā€™s ostensibly-trailblazing products to a single individual. Against both the American mythology and mainstream economics, technological innovation is better conceived as a collective endeavor.

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