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Performativity in software design - A socio-political approach to everyday work practices

Date: 1 June 2011 Time: 12pm

Venue: FASS MR2

> Doris Allhutter (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna)

I will present an initial elaboration of a socio-political approach to software design based in deconstructivism and 'new materialism'. The approach focuses on the reproduction of power by tracing the performativity of hegemonic societal discourses and their co-materialization with (normative) technological phenomena. Within the past view years, the concept of discursive performativity has inspired me to investigate software design processes as entangled practices informed by technological concepts and societal discourses as much as by professional self-conceptions of developers and related workplace politics. Karen Barad's materialistic move adds to such a perspective in that it conceptually takes into account the agency of material phenomena. Against this background, software design can be described as a material-discursive construction process in a sense that considers the co-materialization of software artefacts and societal hegemonies as well as the identity-informing character of reiterated everyday work practices. Still open remains the question of how to make use of a material-discursive account of performativity in applied design research.

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Organising departments and research centres: Centre for Science Studies, Sociology

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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