Designing for e-Social Action An Application Taxonomy

DEARDEN, Andy and LIGHT, Ann (2009). Designing for e-Social Action An Application Taxonomy. In: Undisciplined! Design Research Society Conference 2008, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK, 16-19 July 2008.


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In this paper, we present a taxonomy for understanding designs and designing of Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) in the field of ‘Social Action’. We use the term ‘Social Action’ to refer to activities of individuals and organisations in civil society, which are oriented towards social (rather than primarily economic) goals. We then apply the term e-Social Action to refer to the application of ICT in these activities. This definition incorporates a wide range of initiatives, varying from: trade-unions logging safety inspections on ships, Age Concern York organising volunteers to place on-line supermarket orders on behalf of housebound elderly people; the International Red Cross using logistics software to deliver emergency aid; and providing technology to enable victims of human-rights abuse to report their experience whilst protecting their anonymity and thus avoiding reprisals.

To study designing in this broad space, it is necessary to understand key dimensions of the settings where designing takes place. The aim of this paper is to examine how information and communication technologies in social action can be understood, classified and distinguished, to allow for more refined explorations of designing in this space.

e-SocialAction, Taxonomy, design and society

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (-)
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts > Department of Computing
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2009
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 14:31

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