1st Edition

Understanding Creative Users of ICTs Users as Social Actors

    120 Pages
    by Routledge

    116 Pages
    by Routledge

    The disjuncture between the design intent of the developers of ICTs and the needs of the users has often led to surprising use of new technologies, as users have refused to become mere agents of the designers. Individual users have adopted their own uses of ICTs based on the complex webs of relations and meanings in which they function as social actors. Instead of adjusting these webs to new ICTs, they have fit the ICTs into their pre-existing social webs, often resulting in imaginative and creative uses of new technologies, not envisaged by the original designers.

    The contributions in this volume provide studies of such integrations of ICTs into the lives of human users, and demonstrate that such uses should not be regarded as 'faulty' or 'mistaken', merely because they 'fail' to meet the expectations of the original designers of the ICTs. Instead, human users should be given precedence over ICTs, and the creative uses of 'universal' technologies by individual users should be emphasised and studied, so as to move towards a better understanding and appreciation of the integration of ICTs into human lives.

    This book was originally published as special issue of The Information Society.

    1. Imperfect Use? ICT Provisions and Human Decisions: An Introduction, David Kurt Herold, Department of Applied Social Sciences, HK Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.

    2. The Future of the Press: Insights from the Sociotechnical Approach
    Leopoldina Fortunati, Department of Economics, Society, and Territory, University of Udine, Italy Mauro Sarrica, Department of Applied Psychology, University of Padova, Italy.

    3. "General Aesthesia": Mutations of Value and Cognition in New Media Practices,
    Helen Grace, Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

    4. Digital Cameras, Personal Photography and the Reconfiguration of Spatial Experiences, Dong-Hoo Lee, Department of Mass Communication, University of Incheon, Republic of Korea.

    5. Cultivating Interaction Ubiquity at Work, Carsten Sørensen, Department of Management, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.

    6. The "Crisis of the Summons": A Transformation in the Pragmatics of "Notifications," from Phone Rings to Instant Messaging, Christian Licoppe, Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Telecom ParisTech, France.

    7. The Reality beyond the Hype: Mobile Internet is Primarily an Extension of PC-Based Internet, Petter Nielsen, Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway
    Annita Fjuk, Telenor Corporate Development, Fornebu, Norway

    8. Living in the Mediatope: A Multimethod Study on the Evolution of Media Technologies in the Domestic Environment, Thorsten Quandt, Institut für Sozialwissenschaften, Universität Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany

    9. Can the Web Be Made Accessible for People with Intellectual Disabilities?,
    Helen Kennedy, Institute of Communication Studies, University of Leeds, UK
    Simon Evans, Cognable, Skelmersdale, UK Siobhan Thomas, Department of Arts and Media, London Southbank University, UK

    10. Mobilising Poverty?: Mobile Phone Use and Everyday Spatial Mobility Among Low-Income Families in Santiago, Chile, Sebastian Ureta, Instituto de Sociologia, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


    David Kurt Herold taught and researched in China for over nine years, before joining the Hong Kong Polytechnic University as Lecturer for Sociology. His research focuses on the use of ICTs by humans, online and offline China, encounters between Chinese and non-Chinese online, and online education.

    Harmeet Sawhney studied engineering, business, mass communication, and telecommunications policy and worked in marketing and advertising before joining the faculty of the Department of Telecommunications, Indiana University, Bloomington. His research interests focus on how telecommunications networks are envisioned and created.

    Leopoldina Fortunati studied letters and philosophy before embracing sociology. She taught at several Italian universities before joining the Faculty of Education and the Department of Human Sciences, University of Udine, Italy. Her research interests focus on cultural processes and social phenomena, and in particular on the practices of use of communication and information technologies.