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How Users Matter: The Co-Construction of Users and Technology (Inside Technology) [Paperback]

Nellie Oudshoorn , Trevor Pinch
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

16 Sep 2005 Inside Technology
Users have become an integral part of technology studies. The essays in this volume look at the creative capacity of users to shape technology in all phases, from design to implementation. Using a variety of theoretical approaches, including a feminist focus on users and use (in place of the traditional emphasis on men and machines), concepts from semiotics, and the cultural studies view of consumption as a cultural activity, these essays examine what users do with technology and, in turn, what technology does to users. The contributors consider how users consume, modify, domesticate, design, reconfigure, and resist technological development--and how users are defined and transformed by technology.The essays in part I show that resistance to and non-use of a technology can be a crucial factor in the eventual modification and improvement of that technology; examples considered include the introduction of the telephone into rural America and the influence of non-users of the Internet. The essays in part II look at advocacy groups and the many kinds of users they represent, particularly in the context of health care and clinical testing. The essays in part III examine the role of users in different phases of the design, testing, and selling of technology. Included here is an enlightening account of one company's design process for men's and women's shavers, which resulted in a "Ladyshave" for users assumed to be technophobes.Taken together, the essays in How Users Mattershow that any understanding of users must take into consideration the multiplicity of roles they play--and that the conventional distinction between users and producers is largely artificial.

Frequently Bought Together

How Users Matter: The Co-Construction of Users and Technology (Inside Technology) + The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology + Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change (Inside Technology)
Price For All Three: 54.95

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Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: MIT Press; New Ed edition (16 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262651092
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262651097
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 534,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"...An important book that thoughtfully and rigorously draws attention to user-oriented studies of technology." Ben Schneiderman American Scientist

About the Author

Nelly Oudshoorn is Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Trevor Pinch is Professor of Science and Technology Studies and Professor of Sociology at Cornell University. He is the coeditor of How Users Matter: The Co-Construction of Users and Technology (MIT Press, 2003) and the coauthor of Analog Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer and other books.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Current and Challenging 26 April 2004
Format:Hardcover
Possibly the best choice for researchers, academics and any reader ingeneral interested in exploring the current debates about the imbricatednature of user and technologies in the XXI century. The book covers themost recent trends in the study of how users and technologies areco-constructed in creative ways placing into question and exploring issuesof technological determinism.
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