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Subversion, Conversion, DevelopmentCross-Cultural Knowledge Exchange and the Politics of Design$
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James Leach and Lee Wilson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027168

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027168.001.0001

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Structuring the Social

Structuring the Social

Inside Software Design

(p.183) 9 Structuring the Social
Subversion, Conversion, Development

Alan F. Blackwell

The MIT Press

This chapter describes the role of ethnography within a technical design process, as understood from an engineering perspective. It pays particular attention to the distinction between research prototypes and manufactured products, arguing that there is often little resemblance between the academic study of technology users and the pragmatics of design for global markets. Software design depends on structured accounts of social affairs, and constructs these using methods appropriated from the social sciences. However, the designed artefact itself should also be read as a craft achievement that emerges into a socio-economic context.

Keywords:   Software Design, Applied Ethnography, Ethnomethodology, Design Research, ICT4D

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