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Saturday, November 14, 2009

2nd iConference Workshop on Sociotechnical Systems

CSST logoWorkshop: “Keywords of the Sociotechnical”
Steven Jackson, University of Michigan;
David Ribes, Georgetown University;
Sean Goggins, Drexel University

We invite participation in the 2nd iConference Workshop on Sociotechnical systems, to be held prior to the iConference on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana-Champaign on February 3, 2010. To see “who we are”, check out the facebook group – “Researchers of the Sociotechnical” or our website at http://www.sociotech.net .

You may register here: https://www.ischools.org/conftool/

In 1975 British cultural historian Raymond Williams published his influential pocket dictionary Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. The text tackled the most difficult, contested and often under explored terms in his field: culture, agency, technology, etc. Today studies of sociotechnical systems finds itself at a place not unlike where British Cultural Studies was in the early 70s: a meeting place for scholars of multiple disciplinary backgrounds deploying concepts and tools whose commonality (and separateness) of meaning has yet to be fully established.

What are the words that transcend the sectional interests of, say, organizational science and HCI, CSCW and science and technology studies? When an HCI researcher and a social informatics scholar say ‘system’ or ‘design,’ are they really talking about the same thing? Relatedly, how do we go about attaching these keywords to concrete socio-technical research
problems in our diverse disciplinary traditions? How do we go about transforming a cross-field coincidence of research objects (Wikipedia, eScience, social practices in pervasive computing spaces, and countless others) into a mutually informed set of research problems?

This workshop will provide a venue to gather and discuss our intellectual traditions, research objects, and vocabularies in order to elaborate and clarify the keywords of the sociotechnical.

*Studying Sociotechnical Systems*

The workshop builds on and extends efforts that have included the 2008 & 2009 Summer Research Institute of the Consortium for the Science of Sociotechnical Systems (CSST). These Research Institutes, supported by the National Science Foundation and held at the University of Michigan (2008) and Syracuse University (2009), brought together a diverse set of researchers from fields as diverse as science and technology studies, human-computer interaction, management and organizational studies, library and information science, sociology, social informatics, and computer science, to begin exploring and framing a future research agenda centered on socio-technical research.

David Ribes, Ph.D.
Communication, Culture & Technology (CCT)
Georgetown University

Additional links:

5th iConference 2010

The Consortium for the Science of Sociotechnical Systems (CSST) [and above image source]

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