Beyond interpretivism but where?

What comes after interpretivism, dichotomisation of the social and technological, is sociomaterialism, ANT, activity theory, or something else the answer to the theoretical headache of trying to figure out what happens out there with different types of things, independent of them being something or non-something, or attempting to hold back the lure of making dichotomies, merely something. These questions were some of themes that were discussed at the working conference of IFIP WG 8.2. organised at the UCD Business School in Dublin this weekend. The conference had gathered a highly interesting group of younger and more established scholars of  social aspects of technology from the keynotes Karin Knorr Cetina and Tim Ingold to organisers Lucas Introna (Lancaster), Donncha Kavanagh (UCD), Séamas Kelly (UCD), Wanda Orlikowski (MIT) and Susan Scott (LSE) and a sizeable group of people from information systems science to science and technology studies, social studies of technology, management, organisation studies, sociology, and as in my case, information studies.

It is obviously difficult to say something general of any conference but probably Tim Ingold's notion of "walking with" and how Lucas Introna elaborated the idea to stress the importance of walking with theories, methods, technologies does crystallise something essential of the conference and the discussions. Without any doubt, there is much interesting on-going work on sociomateriality, social and materiality, affordances, performativity and the philosophy of becoming among a number of other things. I did myself present some preliminary ideas on the impact of digitality on archaeologists' information work, "walking with" the work of Isabelle Stengers, and got a lot more to think about not only on that particular exercise but on many other issues as well.

 

Archaeology and Archaeological Information in the Digital Society shows how the digitization of archaeological information, tools and workflows, and their interplay with both old and new non-digital practices throughout the archaeological information process, affect the outcomes of archaeological work, and in the end, our general understanding of the human past.

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Taking Health Information Behaviour into Account: implications of a neglected element for success- ful implementation of consumer health technologies on older adults (HIBA) is an Academy of Finland funded research project at Åbo Akademi University.

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Sheds new light on the potential of extra-academic knowledge-making as a contribution in formations of knowledge throughout society, explores extra-academic knowledge as a useful resource in academy, policy development, evidence based practices, and innovation, and focuses on the informational dimensions, stemming from and grounded in an informationscience perspective, which provides the means to address practical information-related issues throughout knowledge-making processes.

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