Social Informatics: Past, Present and Future

Social Informatics: Past, Present and Future is a collection of twelve papers that provides a state-of-the-art review of 21st century social informatics. Two papers review the history of social informatics, and show that its intellectual roots can be found in the late 1970s and early ’80s and that it emerged in several different locations around the world before it coalesced in the US in the mid-1990s. The evolution of social informatics is described under four periods: foundational work, development and expansion, a robust period of coherence, and a period of diversification that continues today. Five papers provide a view of the breadth and depth of contemporary social informatics, demonstrating the diversity of theoretical and methodological approaches that can be used. A further five papers explore the future of social informatics and offer provocative and disparate visions of its trajectory, ranging from arguments for a new philosophical grounding for social informatics, to calls for a social informatics based on practice thinking and materiality.

This book presents a view of SI that emphasizes the core relationship among people, ICT and organizational and social life from a perspective that integrates aspects of social theory and demonstrates clearly that social informatics has never been a more necessary research endeavor than it is now.


Pnina Fichman is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Rob Kling Center of Social Informatics in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, Bloomington. Her work focuses on social informatics, and she is the author of the books, Global Wikipedia and Multiculturalism and ICT.

Howard Rosenbaum is an Associate Dean in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University. He has been involved in social informatics since 1997, writing a book (with Kling and Sawyer) and numerous articles about SI and working with collaborators to raise the profile of SI in the information sciences.

“This volume is a valuable entry point for students and other "new to SI" researchers as they engage the key issues, phenomena, and intellectual puzzles that have long been the concern of Social Informatics. At the same time, the chapters challenge scholars familiar with and working in Social Informatics to think bigger, broader, and deeper about the interplay of technology, people, and society. By facilitating the development of new thinkers and challenging the assumptions of established thought, the authors chart a strong, achievable direction for the future of Social Informatics.”
—Dr Brian Butler, Associate Professor, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland

“The editors have orchestrated a purposive sample of authorial voices whose points of view collectively demonstrate the vigor and range of scholarship in social informatics. In this volume, students and scholars alike will find both harmonies and creative cacophony in this emerging field.”
—Dr Gary Marchionini, Dean and Cary C. Boshamer Professor, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

“The term ‘social informatics’ has partially fallen out of favor, especially since the untimely death in 2003 of its chief advocate, Rob Kling. However, with the increased capabilities of information and computing technologies and their continued rapid diffusion, it is more important than ever to study information and information technologies in their social context. This interesting collection of essays takes a critical examination of the roots of social information, describes in a way that nobody else has done how social informatics has had numerous intellectual offshoots over the past ten years, and presents various competing visions of the future of social informatics. This book has important things to say to STS scholars, sociologists, historians, and technologists, as well as to those who regard themselves as social informaticists.”
—Dr William Aspray, Bill and Lewis Suit Professor of Information Technologies, School of Information, University of Texas at Austin

“This is an important and interesting text that will appeal to both novice and established researchers whose work is concerned with exploring the relationships between people and technologies in communities, ICT design, and ICT use. The editors have brought together an impressive selection of papers that enhances our understanding of the impact of computerization in our work and ‘social’ lives, and informs the social informatics research community of future possible research directions. With its analyses of the deep roots of social informatics by domain experts and accounts of more recent research by doctoral students, this text is bound to become essential reading within the social informatics community, and beyond.”
—Dr Hazel Hall, Professor of Social Informatics and Director of the Centre for Social Informatics, Edinburgh Napier University

Jonathan Allen

Gary Burnett

Kathleen Burnett

Andrew Cox

Krishin Eschenfelder

Kenneth Fleischmann

Mark Hartswood

Charles Hinnant

Michelle Kazmer

Brian Knop

Lysanne Lessard

Paul Marty

Eric Meyer

Howard Rosenbaum

Steve Sawyer

Grant Simpon

Besiki Stvilia

Adam Worrall

Shuheng Wu

Buy This Book

ISBN: 1-4438-5576-6

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-5576-1

Release Date: 11th March 2014

Pages: 225

Price: £44.99

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