Marina Riga
To be published in: Workplace Studies: Recovering Work Practice and Informing System Design, Luff, Hindmarsh and Heath (eds.), Cambridge University Press.
Recovering Work Practice and Informing System Design,
Paul Luff, Jon Hindmarsh and Christian Heat
Workplace Studies are now a secure part of HCI and the design of interactive systems. The insights derived
from these studies are widely and justly celebrated. Until recently, the primary concerns of the community of
researchers engaged in this work were, first, how to define and implement the research agenda which had
been defined, and, second, how to communicate the findings of this research to engineers and designers.
This paper argues that it is now time to take a more radical step. It proposes the formation of a sub-genre of
social science called "Practical Sociology" which is to be constructed as an engineering discipline. Using the
Carnegie Mellon Model of Software Processes as a stalking horse, it outlines what objectives Practical
Sociology could have and how it might achieve them.
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