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What is Social Informatics ?

Good answer from Indiana University: School of Library and Information Science
Indiana University, Bloomington has opened the Social Inforamtics in School of Library
and Information Science.

Visit the Center for Social Informatics at Indiana University.

Indian University defined Social Inforamatics as :

Social Informatics refers to the body of research and study that examines
social aspects of computerization -- including the roles of information
technology in social and organizational change and the ways that the social
organization of information technologies are influenced by social forces and social
practices. [1] SI includes studies and other analyses that are labelled as social
impacts of computing, social analysis of computing, studies of computer-mediate
communication (CMC), information policy, "computers and society," organizational
informatics, interpretive informatics, and so on.

Indian University degined the conceptions of Social Informatics:

Social Informatics studies and SI courses are organized within diverse fields,
including information systems, anthropology, computer science, communications,
sociology, library and information science, political science and science and
technology studies (STS).
It is often difficult for scholars within these various disciplines to locate
others who share common interests in the social aspects of information technologies.
It is difficult for interested students to locate relevant courses and advanced degree
programs in social informatics.

Social Informatics is a relatively new term that can serve as a banner 
for those who are interested in contributing to these studies.
The name "Social Informatics" can also serve as a pointer,
by which we can help lead others to appropriate theories,
key ideas, studies, findings, books, articles, courses of study, etc.

"SI studies aim to ensure that technical research agendas and system designs
are relevant to people's lives. The key word is relevance, ensuring that technical
work is socially-driven rather than technology-driven.
Relevance has two dimensions: process and substance.
Design and implementation processes need to be relevant to the actual social
dynamics of a given site of social practice, and the substance of design
and implementation (the actual designs, the actual systems) need to be relevant
to the lives of the people they affect. SI sets agendas for all the technical
work in two ways:

more superfically, by drawing attention to functionalities that people value,
thus setting priorities for design and implementation; and more fundamentally,
by articulating those analytical categories that have been found useful in
describing social reality, and that which therefore should also define technical
work in/for that reality as well.

Visit the Center for Social Informatics at Indiana University.

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Last Updated: 01/31/01 inserted by FC2 system