12,000

We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK

93%

93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > On Speaking About Computing
View graph of relations

« Back

On Speaking About Computing

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date08/1989
JournalSociology
Journal number3
Volume23
Number of pages18
Pages409-426
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper explores the connection between language and our thought and beliefs about computers. In particular it considers how certain features of language - such as verbal habits, or the traces in language due to social interests and power - help to shape particular reports and interpretations of the behaviour of computer programs and thereby sustain or reinforce beliefs about the organisational role of computers and even their status vis-a-vis human beings. It is contended that when computers and computer-related practices are introduced into an organisation users become members of computer cultures where new or reshaped ways of thinking and speaking are acquired in order subsequently to discuss or operate the technology. It is suggested that these cultures and their language be made the focus of sociological scrutiny.