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Susan Halford

Bio: Susan Halford is an academic researcher. The author has contributed to research in topics: Social construction of technology. The author has an hindex of 1, co-authored 1 publications receiving 87 citations.

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30 Oct 2011

96 citations


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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examines key issues raised by consideration of diversity in the study of environmental innovation and societal transitions, focusing on: contending social normativities concerning alternative directions for innovation; divergent disciplinary understandings of societal transitions; and disparate conceptualisations of sociotechnical diversity itself.
Abstract: This paper examines key issues raised by consideration of diversity in the study of environmental innovation and societal transitions. In different ways and degrees, these implicate many contrasting perspectives, including innovation studies, evolutionary economics and transitions research. The paper therefore attends equally to the implications of plurality among disciplines as observing subjects and varieties of sociotechnical configurations as observed objects. Inspired by recent literatures in these fields, the argument focuses in turn on: contending social normativities concerning alternative directions for innovation; divergent disciplinary understandings of societal transitions; and disparate conceptualisations of sociotechnical diversity itself. In each area, the paper identifies some persistent forms of ‘misplaced concreteness’. Recommendations are made as to how the implications of diversity might be addressed in more rigorous and reflective ways. In conclusion, it is shown how rigour and reflexivity themselves depend on plural analytical communities paying greater regard to diversity and striking their own balance between pluralism and concreteness. This highlights a series of specific, but hitherto unresolved, research questions.

201 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The findings indicate that older people are implicated but not present in the development of robots and that their matters of concern are not identified in the design process, and that more research on older people as social robotic users is needed.
Abstract: This article maps the range of currently held scientific positions on matters of concern involving social robots and older people. 345 publications from peer-reviewed journals and conferences were narrowed down to 31 key publications that were studied in detail and categorised into seven matters of concern: (1) role of robots in older people’s lives, (2) factors affecting older people’s acceptance of robots, (3) lack of mutual inspiration in the development of robots for older people, (4) robot aesthetics, (5) ethical implications of using robots in caring for older people, (6) robotic research methodology, and (7) technical determinism versus social construction of social robots. The findings indicate that older people are implicated but not present in the development of robots and that their matters of concern are not identified in the design process. Instead, they are ascribed general needs of social robots due to societal changes such as ageing demographics and demands from the healthcare industry. The conceptualisation of older people seems to be plagued with stereotypical views such as that they are lonely, frail and in need of robotic assistance. Our conclusions are that the perceptions of older people need to be re-examined and perhaps redefined in order to fairly represent who they are, and that more research on older people as social robotic users is needed.

142 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article calls for a use of both literatures to focus on the renewable nature of media in history, reflecting on a complementary attitude toward history meant to help usher in a sounder future of the study of the past.
Abstract: Must the concept of the study of new media seem so thoroughly ordinary? What does it mean to study new media other than to study media that exist now? Prompted by the 10th anniversary of New Media & Society, this article aims to help rethink and elongate the history of new media studies by merging new media studies and media history literatures.The recursive definition and use of the term `new media' are reviewed. New media need to be understood not as emerging digital communication technologies, so much as media with uncertain terms and uses. Moreover, by recognizing that new media studies quickly become history and that most media history is already new media history, this article calls for a use of both literatures to focus on the renewable nature of media in history. It reflects on a complementary attitude toward history meant to help usher in a sounder future of the study of the past.

119 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A major thrust of Richard De George’s book, The Ethics of Information Technology and Business, was to draw attention to the ethical challenges for business as business practices were being reconfigured as a result of the introduction of computing and information technology.
Abstract: A major thrust of Richard De George’s book, The Ethics of Information Technology and Business (2003), was to draw attention to the ethical challenges for business as business practices were being reconfigured as a result of the introduction of computing and information technology. The topics on which he focused and his analysis are still relevant a decade later. Today privacy issues are pervasive. Intellectual and other kinds of property rights in electronic data and devices continue to challenge courts of law and legislative bodies. E-business is now the norm as most businesses are online in some form or another. The nature of work continues to change as new technologies are introduced; the new technologies change what workers do, when, where, and how they do it, and the extent to which they are monitored. As De George himself wrote, he was addressing a rapidly moving target, and the target—changes in the way business is done due to changes in computing and information technology—continues to move. The starting place for De George’s analysis in The Ethics of Information Technology and Business is a critique of what he refers to as the myth of amoral computing and information technology (MACIT). This myth, he claims, blinds us to the powerful changes taking place as a result of computing and information technology. Despite increased awareness today of many of the issues identified by De George, the business community and the public still seem to hold some version of the MACIT. That is, the belief that technological choices are amoral is fairly common even in the face of blatant evidence to the contrary, evidence indicating that technological choices have moral consequences. De George agrees with at least part of the MACIT; he acknowledges that it ‘‘like all myths, partially reveals and partially hides reality.’’ He writes:

115 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that the digital and its attendant technologies are constituted by on-going materialist struggles for equality and justice in the Global South and North which are erased in the dominant literature and debates in digital education.
Abstract: In this article, we attempt to define and explore a concept of ‘radical digital citizenship’ and its implications for digital education. We argue that the ‘digital’ and its attendant technologies are constituted by on-going materialist struggles for equality and justice in the Global South and North which are erased in the dominant literature and debates in digital education. We assert the need for politically informed understandings of the digital, technology and citizenship and for a ‘radical digital citizenship’ in which critical social relations with technology are made visible and emancipatory technological practices for social justice are developed.

113 citations