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SOCIAL INFORMATICS 資訊社會學 (2007-fall) NTU

Keyword: social informatics, STS

Course website:

Instractor: 林奇秀 cslin[at]

Description This course is to introduce you to the major theoretical and research approaches in the current social informatics research. Social Informatics is an interdisciplinary field that examines the design, uses, and consequences of information & communication technologies (ICTs) – broadly defined, and that takes into account ICTs' interaction with institutional and cultural contexts (Kling, 2001).
This semester two sections are offered (LIS students especially graduate students will be given priority.) Section Two is reserved for professional masters' students. Two sections, however, will use the same course site so that you can collaborate and share resources for learning.


Week 1

(2006/9/19): Course Introduction

  • [Recommended]
    • Berger, P.L. (1963). Invitation to Sociology: A Humanistic Perspective. N.Y.: Doubleday. NTU Library has a pretty nice Chinese translation: 黃樹仁,劉雅靈合譯 (1982). 社會學導引:人文取向的透視. 台北市:巨流.
    • Theories Used in IS Research. Available at:

Week 2

(2006/9/26): What is Social Informatics?

  • [Required]
  • [Recommended]
    • Rob Kling Center for Social Informatics:
    • Kling, R. (1999). “What is social informatics and why does it matter?” D-Lib Magazine, 5:1. Available at:
    • Kling, R. (2000) “Learning about information technologies and social change: the contribution of social informatics.” Information Society, 16:3, p.217-233.
  • [Further reading]
    • Kling, Rob, Rosenbaum, Howard, & Sawyer, Steve (Eds) (1987). Understanding and Communicating Social Informatics. Medford, NJ: Information Today.

Week 3

(2006/10/03): Debates, Metaphors, & Epistemologies in ICTs/SI Research

  • [Required]
    • Kling, R. (1996). Hopes and horrors: technological utopianism and anti-utopianism in narratives of computerization.” In Kling, R. (Ed). Computerization and Controversy: Value Conflicts and Social Choices, 2nd ed. (San Diego: Academic Press), p.40-58.
    • Nardi, B. & O'Day, V. (2000). Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Ch.3: “A Matter of Metaphor: Technology as Tool, Text, System, Ecology,” p.25-48.
  • [Recommended]
    • Brown, J.S., & Duguid, P. (2000). The Social Life of Information. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Week 4

(2006/10/10): National holiday (no class meeting)

Week 5: Actor Network Theory (ANT)

(2006/10/17): Actor Network Theory (ANT)

Week 6: ANT

(2006/10/24): ANT (Continued)

Week 7: ST

(2006/10/31): Structuration Theory (ST)

Week 8: Adaptive ST

(2006/11/07): ST, Adaptive ST, & Institution Theory

Week 9

(2006/11/14): Culture, Value, & Social/Cultural Capital

  • [Required]
    • Kumar, K., Van Dissel, H., & Bielli., P. (1998) “The merchant of Prato-revisited: toward a third rationality of information systems.” MIS Quarterly, 22:2, p.199-225.
    • Schiff, L., Van House, N., & Butler, M. (1997). “Understanding complex information environments: a social analysis of watershed planning.” Proceedings of the 2nd ACM International Conference on Digital Libraries, N.Y.: ACM Press, p.161-168.
    • Paling, S., & Nilan, M. (2006). “Technology, values, and genre change: the case of small literary magazines.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 57:7, p.862-872.
  • [Recommended]
    • Kvasny, L., & Truex, D. (2001). “Defining away the digital divide: a content analysis of institutional influences on popular representations of technology.” In Russo, N.L., Fitzgerald, B., & DeGross, J.I. (Eds), Realigning Research and Practice in Information Systems Development: the Social and Organizational Perspective, Boston: Kluwer Academic, p. 399-414.
    • Nakhaie, M.R., & Pike, R.M. (1998) “Social origins, social statuses and home computer access and use.” Canadian Journal of Sociology, 23:4, p.427-450.

Week 10: SST

(2006/11/21): Social Shaping of Technology

  • [Required]
  • [Recommended]
    • Kline, R., & Pinch, T. (1996). “Users as agents of technological change: the social construction of the automobile in the rural United States.” Technology and Culture, 37:4, p.763-795.
    • Orlikowski, W., & Gash, D.C. (1994) “Technological frames: making sense of information technology in organizations.” ACM Transactions on Information Systems, 12:2, p.174-207.
    • Van House, N.A. (2004). “Science and Technology Studies and Information Studies.” In Cronin. B. (Ed), Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, 38, p.3-86.

Week 11: Socio-Technical Approaches

Socio-Technical = 社會-技術性 取向

(2006/11/28): Socio-Technical Approaches (starring the STIN model)

Week 12

(2006/12/05): Theories of Social Networks

  • [Required]
    • Pettigrew, K. E. (2000). Lay Information Provision in Community Settings: How Community Health Nurses Disseminate Human Services Information to the Elderly. Library Quarterly, 70(1), 47-85.
    • Constant, D., Sproull, L., & Kiesler, S. (1996). “The kindness of strangers: the usefulness of electronic weak ties for technical advice.” Organization Science, 7:2, p.119-135.
    • Haythornthwaite, C. (1996). “Social network analysis: an approach and technique for the study of information exchange.” Library and Information Science Research, 18:4, p.323-342.
  • [Recommended]
    • Granovetter, M.S. (1982). “The strength of weak ties: a network theory revisited.” In Marsden, P.V., & Lin, N. (Eds). Social Structure and Network Analysis, Beverly Hill, CA: Sage, p.105-130.

Week 13: Information use

(2006/12/12): Social Aspects of Information Use

Week 14

(2006/12/19): SI-Oriented Library Studies

Week 15

(2006/12/26): Paper, Documents & Genres in a Digital World