School of Information Management and Systems
UC Berkeley
Spring 2002
Social Informatics: Social Studies of Information Technology
Weds., 2-4 pm, 107 South Hall
Prof. Nancy Van House
last updated 5/1/02

In this seminar, we will look at some key approaches to the interaction between Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and society. Our premise is that, to design and build effective information systems, we need to address both knowledge creation and use, and the relationship between technology and society, including the individual, disciplines, organizations, and groups and communities of various sorts. We will draw on the field of STS - variously interpreted as Science, Technology, and Society, and Science and Technology Studies. STS addresses how science and technology shape society, and how society shapes science and technology. STS includes a diversity of fields, such as sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, political science, economics, psychology, feminist studies, and cultural studies, as well as information studies.

Jan. 30  Bowker, Geoffrey C., and others. "Introduction." In Bowker, Geoffrey C., and others, eds. Social Science, Technical Systems, and Cooperative Work: Beyond the Great Divide. Larence Erlbaum, 1997, p. ix-xxiii.

Hess, David J. Science Studies: an Advanced Introduction. New York University Press, 1997; ch.1, introduction; ch. 2, The philosophy of science: an interdisciplinary perspective, p. 1-51. 

Feb. 6 Hess, ch. 4: Social Studies of Knowledge

Donald A. MacKenzie Judy Wajcman (Eds.); The Social Shaping of Technology, 2nd ed., 1999. 
ch 1: Introductory Essay: the Social Shaping of Technology.

Feb. 13 Hess, ch. 4

MacKenzie and Wajcman:
ch. 7, Kline and Pinch, The Social Construction of Technology
ch. 8, Strum and Latour, Redefining the social link: from baboons to humans

Bijker, Wiebe E., Thomas P. Hughes, and Trevor J. Pinch, eds.   The Social Construction of Technological Systems, MIT Press, 1987.
General Introduction; Introduction; and
Pinch and Bijker, The Social Construction of Facts and Artifacts

Feb. 20 Pinch and Bijker, cont.
Feb. 27 Geoffrey Bowker and Susan Leigh Star (1999), Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences, MIT Press, selections.
March 6 J. Johnson [Bruno Latour] (1995): “Mixing Humans and Nonhumans Together: The Sociology of a Door-Closer” in Susan Leigh Star (ed.): Ecologies of Knowledge. Work and Politics in Science and Technology. pp. 257-277. 
March 13 John Law (1992) 'Notes on the Theory of the Actor Network: Ordering, Strategy and Heterogeneity'
March 20 Steve Woolgar (1991) Configuring the User: the case of usability trials.
in Law, J [ed] A Sociology of Monsters: essays on power technology and domination London: Routledge, pp. 57-99 
April 3 Knorr Cetina, K. (1999). Epistemic Cultures: How the Sciences Make Knowledge. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Selections.
April 10 Knorr Cetina, Cont.
April 17 Knorr Cetina, cont.
April 24 no class
May 1 James Hollan, Edwin Hutchins, and David Kirsh 
Distributed cognition: toward a new foundation for human-computer interaction research 
ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, Volume 7 , Issue 2 (June 2000) (ACM Dig Lib - accessible from UC IP addresses) 

Hutchins, E & Klausen, T. (1996) Distributed cognition in an airline cockpit. In Y. Engeström and
D. Middleton (Eds.) Cognition and communication at work. New York: Cambridge University Press.
pp. 15-34. 

May 8 Last class: recap
May 15 Papers due


Links and Resources
This is an eclectic and continually-growing list of resources that may be of use to students in the class (and possibly others).

4S:Society for the Social Studies of Science

4S conference, fall 2001

Actor Network Resource: Thematic List [re actor network theory]

Cornell STS program course list

Mind, Culture, and Activity (journal)

Science, Technology, and Human Values (journal of 4S)

Social Informatics Homepage, Indiana University

Social Studies of Science (journal)

STS LINKS: Links to STS-Related Information Sources NC State Program on Science, Technology, & Society
North Carolina State

UC Berkeley Program in the Social Studies of Science and Technology and their links