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Do categories have politics? : the language/action perspective reconsidered.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date09/1994
JournalComputer Supported Cooperative Work
Journal number3
Volume2
Number of pages14
Pages177-190
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Drawing on writings within the CSCW community and on recent social theory, this paper proposes that the adoption of speech act theory as a foundation for system design carries with it an agenda of discipline and control over organization members' actions. I begin with a brief review of the language/action perspective introduced by Winograd, Flores and their colleagues, focusing in particular on the categorization of speakers' intent. I then turn to some observations on the politics of categorization and, with that framework as back-ground, consider the attempt, throughthe coordinator, to implement a technological system for intention-accounting within organizations. Finally, I suggest the implications of the analysis presented in the paper for the politics of CSCW systems design.

Bibliographic note

published with commentaries