How Users Matter: The Co-Construction of Users and Technology / Edition 1

How Users Matter: The Co-Construction of Users and Technology / Edition 1

by Nelly Oudshoorn
     
 

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,

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Overview

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 Matter show 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.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262651097
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
09/01/2005
Series:
Inside Technology
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
360
Sales rank:
1,493,581
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.65(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: How Users and Non-Users Matter1
1From the Shadows: Users as Designers, Producers, Marketers, Distributors, and Technical Support29
2Resisting Consumer Technology in Rural America: The Telephone and Electrification51
3Non-Users Also Matter: The Construction of Users and Non-Users of the Internet67
4Escape Vehicles? The Internet and the Automobile in a Local-Global Intersection81
5Citizens as Users of Technology: An Exploratory Study of Vaccines and Vaccination103
6Knowledge Is Power: Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer and Patient Activism in the United States and Britain133
7Who Represents the Users? Critical Encounters between Women's Health Advocates and Scientists in Contraceptive R&D151
8Inclusion, Diversity, and Biomedical Knowledge Making: The Multiple Politics of Representation173
9Materialized Gender: How Shavers Configure the Users' Femininity and Masculinity193
10Clinical Trials as a Cultural Niche in Which to Configure the Gender Identities of Users: The Case of Male Contraceptive Development209
11The Mediated Design of Products, Consumption, and Consumers in the Twentieth Century229
12Giving Birth to New Users: How the Minimoog Was Sold to Rock and Roll247
Notes271
References295
List of Contributors335
Index339

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