Social Informatics

Social Informatics as defined elsewhere (e.g., http://rkcsi.indiana.edu/ and http://www.social-informatics.org/) is broad, encompassing most of the focus areas of the CIS program. In the CIS program, the Social Informatics area is distinguished by a focus on how technology supports interaction and other associations between people, and how people appropriate that technology for social purposes. Interest in this area is driven by interest in new applications, but the area is defined by phenomena and issues we can expect to continue as the applications and technologies change. These more enduring phenomena include: how technology enables the formation of new social entities, and the transformation of existing social entities; how ideas emerge, move around and are transformed in socio-technical networks; and how individuals and social systems interact and transform each other. The interactions or associations studied in Social Informatics can be at different scales including dyads, "groups," "communities," or loosely associated networks of persons. The emphasis is on the interplay between features of the technology and social phenomena.

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