Governing Social Practice: Technology and Institutional Change

Jannis Kallinikos, Hans Hasselbladh, Attila Marton

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    In this article, we extend the concept of technology beyond the conventional understanding of systems and artifacts as embodiments of particular functionalities that are variously enacted in local settings. Technological artifacts or systems epitomize operational couplings that extend beyond the human-technology interface. Such couplings entail multiple, unobtrusive, back-staged links that evade human interpretation yet are critically involved in the reproduction and control of social relations. Cast in this light, technologies emerge as complex rationalized embodiments for structuring social relationships and, in this quality, complement and occasionally compete with institutional modes of governance. We explore these ideas in the empirical context of cultural memory organizations (e.g., libraries, archives, museums). As the outcome of the technological developments that have marked the field over the last two decades, the operations of memory institutions increasingly mingle with those of information aggregators and search engines. These developments reframe longstanding professional practices of memory organizations and, in this process, challenge their institutional mandate.
    In this article, we extend the concept of technology beyond the conventional understanding of systems and artifacts as embodiments of particular functionalities that are variously enacted in local settings. Technological artifacts or systems epitomize operational couplings that extend beyond the human-technology interface. Such couplings entail multiple, unobtrusive, back-staged links that evade human interpretation yet are critically involved in the reproduction and control of social relations. Cast in this light, technologies emerge as complex rationalized embodiments for structuring social relationships and, in this quality, complement and occasionally compete with institutional modes of governance. We explore these ideas in the empirical context of cultural memory organizations (e.g., libraries, archives, museums). As the outcome of the technological developments that have marked the field over the last two decades, the operations of memory institutions increasingly mingle with those of information aggregators and search engines. These developments reframe longstanding professional practices of memory organizations and, in this process, challenge their institutional mandate.
    LanguageEnglish
    JournalTheory and Society
    Volume42
    Issue number4
    Pages395-421
    ISSN0304-2421
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 2013

    Keywords

      Cite this

      Kallinikos, Jannis ; Hasselbladh, Hans ; Marton, Attila. / Governing Social Practice : Technology and Institutional Change. In: Theory and Society. 2013 ; Vol. 42, No. 4. pp. 395-421
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      Governing Social Practice : Technology and Institutional Change. / Kallinikos, Jannis ; Hasselbladh, Hans ; Marton, Attila.

      In: Theory and Society, Vol. 42, No. 4, 07.2013, p. 395-421 .

      Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

      TY - JOUR

      T1 - Governing Social Practice

      T2 - Theory and Society

      AU - Kallinikos,Jannis

      AU - Hasselbladh,Hans

      AU - Marton,Attila

      PY - 2013/7

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      N2 - In this article, we extend the concept of technology beyond the conventional understanding of systems and artifacts as embodiments of particular functionalities that are variously enacted in local settings. Technological artifacts or systems epitomize operational couplings that extend beyond the human-technology interface. Such couplings entail multiple, unobtrusive, back-staged links that evade human interpretation yet are critically involved in the reproduction and control of social relations. Cast in this light, technologies emerge as complex rationalized embodiments for structuring social relationships and, in this quality, complement and occasionally compete with institutional modes of governance. We explore these ideas in the empirical context of cultural memory organizations (e.g., libraries, archives, museums). As the outcome of the technological developments that have marked the field over the last two decades, the operations of memory institutions increasingly mingle with those of information aggregators and search engines. These developments reframe longstanding professional practices of memory organizations and, in this process, challenge their institutional mandate.

      AB - In this article, we extend the concept of technology beyond the conventional understanding of systems and artifacts as embodiments of particular functionalities that are variously enacted in local settings. Technological artifacts or systems epitomize operational couplings that extend beyond the human-technology interface. Such couplings entail multiple, unobtrusive, back-staged links that evade human interpretation yet are critically involved in the reproduction and control of social relations. Cast in this light, technologies emerge as complex rationalized embodiments for structuring social relationships and, in this quality, complement and occasionally compete with institutional modes of governance. We explore these ideas in the empirical context of cultural memory organizations (e.g., libraries, archives, museums). As the outcome of the technological developments that have marked the field over the last two decades, the operations of memory institutions increasingly mingle with those of information aggregators and search engines. These developments reframe longstanding professional practices of memory organizations and, in this process, challenge their institutional mandate.

      KW - Institutions

      KW - Status functions

      KW - Technological functions

      KW - Regulative regimes

      KW - Cultural memory

      KW - Information

      KW - Search engines

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      DO - 10.1007/s11186-013-9195-y

      M3 - Journal article

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      Kallinikos J, Hasselbladh H, Marton A. Governing Social Practice: Technology and Institutional Change. Theory and Society. 2013 Jul;42(4):395-421 . Available from, DOI: 10.1007/s11186-013-9195-y