EUSSET Colloquium on CSCW Theories and Concepts

A new year has begun, and we are looking forward to new interesting and relevant discussions on aspects of practice-centred computing. To start strong, the next EUSSET Colloquium will focus on CSCW theories and concepts.

The colloquium will be held on the 12th of January, from 16:30 to 18:00 CET. In the first part, Michael Koch, Institute for Software Technology, Munich University of Technology, will lead a discussion on theories of CSCW. The second part of the colloquium will feature a discussion on gender as a CSCW concept, led by Ina Wagner, Institute of Information Systems and New Media, University of Siegen. Below you find further information on what to expect from each discussion.

Make sure to register by the 10th of January 2022 to be able to participate. You just need to send an e-mail to communitybuilding[at]eusset.eu communicating your interest!

Looking forward to seeing many of you there

The EUSSET Colloquium is a forum where community members can engage in deep intellectual exchanges.

Theories of CSCW

Michael Koch, 16:30 – 17:15 CET

Especially in times of high demand for tools to support spatially distributed collaboration during the COVID pandemic, the question arose again and again what insights CSCW can contribute here. What insights, after all, has CSCW accumulated over the last few decades? Or from the perspective of the philosophy of science: What theories and models have been developed in the field of CSCW?

I once had the opportunity to ask this question (about theories of CSCW) to Jonathan Grudin in 2015. He compared the current situation in CSCW to the early decades of natural sciences where scientists mainly needed good descriptive data. Regarding theories that already have been developed from the data Grudin mentioned insights into privacy issues as in Robert Ellickson‘s 1994 book ‘‘Order without Law’’. See Koch and Schwabe (2015) for the complete interview.

Together with colleagues I thought further myself and created in 2021 a first collection of theories and models in connection with CSCW: Starting with the people / artifact framework from dix, to the context-oriented communication model by Misch, to the coordination theory by Malone and Crowston and models of appropriation and malleability. See Bullinger-Hoffmann et al (2021) for more details.

In this colloquium I would like to present this list as a starting point for a discussion, where the knowledge gain of CSCW lies – and either discard or extend the list.

Suggested reading:

Koch, M. and Schwabe, G. 2015. Interview with Jonathan Grudin on “Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing.” Business & Information Systems Engineering. 57, 3 (2015), 213–215. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s12599-015-0377-1.

Bullinger-Hoffmann, A. et al. 2021. Computer-Supported Cooperative Work – Revisited. i-com Journal of Interactive Media. 20, 3 (2021), 215–228. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/icom-2021-0028.

Gender as a CSCW Concept

Ina Wagner, 17:15 – 18:00 CET

The gendering of science and technology as a research topic originates in the 1980s with the seminal work of Sandra Harding, Donna Haraway, Lynda Birke, Evelyn Fox Keller, and Cynthia Cockburn giving the emergent field a strong profile. Since those days, an impressive corpus of literature has evolved. Feminist scholars have explored a great variety of technologies, from classic machines to robots and AI-based technologies, practicing what Judy Wajcman has termed technofeminism. This debate has been marginal to CSCW research, although there is a rich body of studies of women’s work. Their strength lies in the attention they pay to the larger context of work – policy making, organization, gender relations, relations of paid work and work done in the home. Moreover, studies of women’s work have produced rich accounts of the – often invisible and undervalued – skills in women’s work. The question is how to make this tradition fruitful in contemporary CSCW research. This seems particularly relevant as studies show that work continues to be organized in largely gendered ways, characterized by a division of labour by sex and gender, and influenced by ideas about what constitutes skilled work as opposed to unskilled work.

Suggested reading:

Balka, Ellen, and Ina Wagner (2021). A historical view of studies of women’s work. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 251-305.

Wajcman, Judy (2006). Feminist theories of technology. Cambridge journal of economics vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 143-152.

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Fabiano Pinatti is a Research Associate at the Institute of Information Systems and New Media and Deputy Director of the Chair of Computer Supported Cooperative Work, both at the University of Siegen. He currently serves as EUSSET Community Building Chair and Competence Network Co-Chair. His interests span Human-Computer Interaction, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Practice-centred Computing, Software Accessibility, Cyber-Physical Systems, Mobile and Nomadic Work Practices, and Informatics in Education. He has published several articles on related topics in prestigious international conferences and journals and has been teaching related subjects since early in 2004.

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