A Critical Interpretive Approach to Sociotechnical Systems

My colleague, Martin Wolske and I recently completed our paper for the 2014 Prato Community Informatics Research Network conference proceedings. A preprint of the paper is now available via the ShareOK open-access research repository at the University of Oklahoma.  In the paper, we introduce a Critical Interpretive Sociotechnical (CIS) framework, which describes our underlying approach to community informatics teaching, research, and practice with individuals and groups in local communities.

Here is the abstract:

This paper extends the theoretical framework underlying the Community Informatics (CI) Studio. The CI Studio has been described as the use of studio-based learning (SBL) techniques to support enculturation into the field of CI. The SBL approach, closely related to John Dewey’s inquiry-based learning, is rooted in the apprenticeship model of learning in which students study with master designers or artists to develop their craft. In this paper, we introduce our critical interpretive sociotechnical (CIS) framework as the conceptual framework underlying the CI Studio course and pedagogy. In doing so, we explain how the CI Studio can be understood a pathway for advancing community-defined social justice goals through critical pedagogy and participatory design techniques. We describe our embrace of both critical and interpretive perspectives as the foundation upon which the CI Studio supports the following ideas: Instructors, students, and community partners can collaborate as co-learners and co-creators of knowledge exploring current topics in community informatics; theory and praxis can be brought together in dialog to ground transformative, liberative action and reflection in community spaces; and multiple perspectives can be embraced to promote a culture of epistemological pluralism. We conclude by providing a set of principles that summarize our CIS approach, particularly for those who wish to use and further develop the CI Studio pedagogy in their own research, teaching, and practice.

Download the full PDF via the ShareOK website here.

Consent of the Networked: China and the Global Struggle for Information Freedom

Rebecca MacKinnon, project lead for Ranking Digital Rights, co-founder of Global Voices and senior research fellow for New American Foundation, is speaking this Wednesday, November 12th at 7:30pm in the David L. Boren Auditorum, here at the University of Oklahoma.  I have the great honor of introducing Rebecca and moderating the Q & A during the event on Wednesday.  The event is free and open to the public. For more details, see flyer below.

rmack flyer