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The Social Study of Computer Science

The Social Study of Computer Science
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Author(s): Matti Tedre (Tumaini University, Tanzania)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 16
Source title: Handbook of Research on Socio-Technical Design and Social Networking Systems
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Brian Whitworth (Massey University (Albany), Auckland, New Zealand) and Aldo de Moor (CommunitySense, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-264-0.ch002


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This chapter introduces the reader to some social research characteristics that are central to the social study of computer science. It introduces research studies that focus on the sociocultural aspects of computing and computer science, explains some of the central characteristics of those studies, and discusses their implications for the computer science discipline. Furthermore, this chapter is aimed at giving the reader a basic understanding of why social studies are important for the discipline of computing, as well as some broad guidelines and pointers towards carrying out such studies in computer science. Our objective … is to state precisely and clearly where and why sociological analysis is necessary in the understanding of scientific knowledge. Our main method is to present historical case studies. We then show how sociological analysis applies in these cases, and how it is an essential complement to even the most insightful interpretations derived from other perspectives.

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