IS204 part 2, Fall, 2003

Instructor: Nancy Van House
Office: 307A South Hall. Office hours: Tu, Th 3-4 & by appointment.

This page revised 12/2/03 5 pm. Slides added. 12/4: broken link fixed, today's slides added.

Required readings are in reader; recommended are not. ‡indicates readings available from campus ISP addresses, usually sources to which the campus library has electronic subscription.

Dates and topics subject to change.

Policies from Part 1 remain in effect. Grading policies.
The syllabus for Part 1 of the course, taught by Larry Downes, has been moved.

Resources on writing.

Week Date Topic Readings Notes Assignments


Oct 21

Intro; politics and values in information/ technology


Short selections on critical technical practice from Philip Agre, Computation and Human Experience, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997. In reader.

Friedman, Batya, ed. Human Values and the Design of Computer Technology. Cambridge Univ Press, 1997.
• Friedman, Introduction, pp. 1-18
• Friedman & Nissenbaum, "Bias in computer systems," pp. 24-28 required; the rest of the chapter recommended.

NOT AVAILABLE IN OFFICE - pls download on your own: Winner, Langdon. "Do artifacts have politics?" In: Donald MacKenzie and Judy Wacjman, eds. The Social Shaping of Technology, 2nd ed., Open University Press, 1995; pp. 28-40. Online at


Read Friedman & Nissenbaum for the framework in Table 1.



Oct 23

Theories of technology

Grint, K. & Woolgar, S. (1997). Theories of technology. In The machine at work: technology, work, and organization (pp. 6-38). Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.




Oct 28

SCOT revisited; soc constr of knowledge

Moved from last week. Re-read: Bijker, W. E. (1995). King of the road: the social construction of the safety bicycle. In Of bicycles, bakelites, and bulbs: Toward a theory of sociotechnical change (pp. 19-100). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Handed out earlier. Not in reader.

Moved from last week. Pinch, T. (1996). The social construction of technology: a review. In R.Fox (Ed.), Technological change (pp. 17-35). Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers.

Bowker & Star, Bowker, G. C. & Star, S. L. (1999). Sorting things out: Classification and its consequences. Cambridge: MIT Press.
"Introduction: to Classify Is Human"; ch 1, "Tricks of the Trade."

Recommended: ‡Rosen, P. (1993). The social construction of mountain bikes: technology and postmodernity in the cycle industry. Social Studies of Science, 23, 479-513.
Recommended (and in reader): Bowker & Star, ch. 10, "Why classification matters."


Assignment 1 posted


2 b

Oct 30

Social construction of knowledge: seeing and representing

Goodwin, C. (1994). Professional vision. American Anthropologist, 96, 606-634.

Latour, B. (1987). Science in action : How to follow scientists and engineers through society. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.pp. 219-232

Highly recommended, and in the reader: Latour, B. (1986). Visualization and cognition: Thinking with eyes and hands. Knowledge and Society 6, 1-40.

Latour's "immutable, combinable mobiles" are famous.



Nov 4

Describing, configuring users


Agre, Philip (1995) Conceptions of the user in computer system design. In P. Thomas (ed.) Social and Interactional Dimensions of Human-Computer Interfaces. Cambridge, CUP, pp. 67-106.

Grint, K. & Woolgar, S. (1997a). Configuring the user: inventing new technologies. In Grint & Woolgar, The machine at work: technology, work, and organization (pp. 65-94). Cambridge, UK: Polity Press

‡Green, N., Harper, R. H. R., Murtagh, G., & Cooper, G. (2001). Configuring the Mobile User: Sociological and Industry Views. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 5, 146-156.

Forsythe, D. (2001). Blaming the user in medical informatics: The cultural nature of scientific practice. In Studying those who study us: An anthropologist in the world of artificial intelligence (pp. 1-15). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.


Assignment 1 due







Nov 6


catch-up - configuring users


Assignment 2



Nov 11


No class - Veterans' day holiday



Nov 13

Impression management; mobile phones

Selections from Goffman, E. (1955). The presentation of self in everyday life. Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday. (Not in reader) Preface, Intro, pp. 17-31, 51-3, 58-9, 67, 77-93, 106-109, 112-115, 128-9, 136-9, 208-9, 248-51.

Ling, R. (2003). The social juxtaposition of mobile telephone conversations and public spaces.

‡Palen, L., Salzman, M., & Youngs, E. (2001). Discovery and Integration of Mobile Communications in Everyday Life. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 5, 109-122.

‡Perry, M., O'Hara, K., Sellen, A., Brown, B., & Harper, R. (2001). Dealing with mobility: Understanding access anytime, anywhere. ACM Transactions of Computer-Human Interaction, 8, 323-347.


Assn 2 due.



5a & 5b

Nov 18 & 20

Methods of collecting data about use and users I: surveys


Review last week's readings on mobile phones for the methods by which the collected their data.

Instead of survey on mobile phone use in the reader, pls review the following.

Pew Internet and American Life Project. Spam: How it is hurting email and degrading life on the Internet. October 22, 2003.
Read: Summary of findings, Part 1: Introduction; Part 2, What is spam?; part 3, The volume and burdens of spam; Part 6, Notable responses; Part 8, Implications; Methodology. ALSO review the questionnaire with findings, which is the last part of this report, and is also a separate document at

Read about survey research in any introductory social science research methods text. On research in computer lab: Singleton et. al. Approaches to Social Research. Read through chs 6, 9 & 10.
Not as thorough but available online: the ASA's series What is a survey?

Pay special attention to data collection methods and how they present and use the data.



Nov 25

II: qualitative methods & ethnography

‡Taylor, A. S. & Harper, R. (2003). The gift of the gab? A design oriented sociology of young people's use of mobiles. Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 12, 267-296.

Cooper, G., Hine, C., Rachel, J., & Woolgar, S. (1995). Ethnography and human-computer interaction. In P.J.Thomas (Ed.), The social and interactional dimensions of human-computer interfaces (pp. 11-36). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Not in reader. Millen, David.(2000) Rapid ethnography: time deepening strategies for HCI field research . Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Designing interactive systems. Pages: 280 - 286. Available from campus ISP addresses at

new: Forsythe, D. (1999). ""It's Just a Matter of Common Sense": Ethnography As Invisible Work", CSCW, 8(1-2): 127-145. Available from UC addresses:

Pay special attention to data collection methods and how they present and use the data.

Final assignment posted






Nov 27th






Dec 2


Recap and review



Dec 4

Professional Ethics

not in reader
Josephson Institute of Ethics, Making Ethical Decisions.
ACM Code of Ethics

Added resources:
Berkeley's ethics site: "Your Online Home for Academic Inquiry into Ethics"
ALA Code of Ethics
SAA Code of Ethics
IEEE Code of Ethics
Journal of Information Ethics oriented more to professionals
Ethics and Information Technology oriented more toward researchers
International Center for Information Ethics
The Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society



on your own

social navigation & social network

‡Dieberger, A., Dourish, P., Höök, K., Resnick, P., & Wexelblat, A. (2000). Social navigation: techniques for building more usable systems. interactions, 7, 36-45.

Wellman and Gulia, "Virtual Communities: net surfers don't ride alone." In Kollock and Smith, Communities in Cyberspace, 1999, p. 167-194.



Dec 10, 5 pm

Final assignment due.