Interdisciplinary Research Methods in Technology, Innovation & Policy Studies

A SHORT INTENSIVE SUMMER SCHOOL IST, LISBON, JUNE 16-17

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Readings


Background note:

In developing an interview protocol/schedule/set of questions, it is important to have some concepts/ideas/theories in mind that underpin what you are trying to understand.
For instance, in research related to technological innovation and technical change, two sorts of enduring issues have been addressed by social scientists, as follows:

  1. One is that the social perception of innovation/technology, and how those perceptions can vary dramatically between the creators of the technological innovation and the users of the technology. If you’ve ever talked with an auto mechanic complaining about the damn engineers who design engines that are a pain and remarkably inconvenient to work on, you get the idea) This is a HUGE area of research , generally referred to as "user" research. How do "users" respond to and interpret the technology.
    And how does the technological innovation often reflect embedded power dynamics and relations.
    That is the point of the Forsythe reading (see below), in which she examines a technological innovation in medical records and software.

  2. A second consideration is how the introduction of a new technology affects social relations and power dynamics. For example, this may emerge in urban contexts, between the city council and organized groups of citizens under the emerging context of “smart citeis”...
    The Barley reading on CT scanners (see below) is an example of how a new technology affects the interaction and power dynamics between radiologists and radiological technicians. A similar issues maybe raised between “experts in urban planning” and ICT technicians and facilitators involved in participatory processes in urban contexts.
    Also, the two readings of Gary Rhoades book (see below) have to do with instructional technologies and how they affect power dynamics between managers and faculty, and between professors and a range of professionals and technicians who are not professors (e.g., instructional designers). A similar consideration can be made between public consultation and dialogues between a city mayor or city council and citizens in processes of “participatory agenda setting” making use of information and communication technologies in a urban context...

Suggested Readings:

Analysing group dynamics within the focus group

Conflict Over Sociologist's Narrative Puts Spotlight on Ethnography - Research - The Chronicle of Higher Education - By Marc Parry

Dept. of Medical Ethics; GUINEA-PIGGING - Should people take drugs for a living?

Drug Test Cowboys: The Secret World of Pharmaceutical Trial Subjects

Imag(in)ing the University: Visual Sociology and Higher Education

Interviewing by Comment: An Adjunct to the Direct Question

Making the familiar strange: can visual research methods render the familiar setting more perceptible?

Mexican American Women's Activism at Indiana University in the 1990s

New Bottles, Old Wine: Hidden Cultural Assumptions in a Computerized Explanation System for Migraine Sufferers

Rediscovering the economic film by Michael Polany (1940) - Eduardo Beira

Technicians in the Workplace: Ethnographic Evidence for Bringing Work into Organizational Studies

Technology as an Occasion for Structuring: Evidence from Observations of CT Scanners and the Social Order of Radiology Departments

The American Academic Profession - Transformation in Contemporary Higher Education

The Production Politics of Teaching and Technology: Deskilling, Enskilling, and Managerial Extension

"UNEMPLOYMENT AND MONEY" by M. Polany (1940), THE CIRCULAR FLOW DIAGRAM IN FIVE STEPS - Eduardo Beira, IN+, IST, Lisbon

"Unemployment and money" (Polanyi, 1940): audio comments transcript - Eduardo Beira