Reframing sociotechnical imaginaries: The case of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Paulo Nuno Vicente, Sara Dias-Trindade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, a Fourth Industrial Revolution emerged in public discourse as a narrative of exceptional societal disruption. At the core of this conceptual construct, led by the World Economic Forum, rests a sociotechnical imaginary of future essentialism, based on the revolutionary potential of digital, biological and physical innovations. This article addresses the lack of studies assessing the dynamics between the institutionalisation and the public performance of the Fourth Industrial Revolution concept through news media. We present the results of a quantitative content analysis of how the topic has been covered (frames, sources, tone) by the Portuguese national circulation press (2013–2020). This exploratory case study informs a proposal for an epistemic and methodological articulation between the theoretical frameworks of sociotechnical imaginaries and of media framing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)708-723
Number of pages16
JournalPublic Understanding of Science
Issue number6
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • Media frames
  • Small countries
  • Sociotechnical imaginaries


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