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Iamcr2015 domenget-latzko-toth

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For a temporalist approach of digital communication devices and their uses

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Iamcr2015 domenget-latzko-toth

  1. 1. Pour une approche temporaliste des usages et des dispositifs de communication numériques For a temporalist approach of digital communication devices and their uses Jean-Claude Domenget ELLIADD – Université de Franche-Comté Guillaume Latzko-Toth LabCMO – Université Laval IAMCR 2015 / UQAM / 14-07-2015
  2. 2. 2 Conceptualizing the unstable – Limits of existing theoretical frameworks Domenget & Latzko-Toth – For a temporalist approach of digital communication devices and their uses – IAMCR 2015 Two paradigms in the field of French social studies of ICT uses (sociology of uses; Jauréguiberry et Proulx, 2011; Proulx, 2015) : 1) Unit of analysis = social uses as stable pattern of practices; focus on continuity, reproduction, filiation of uses  missing some aspects of digital ICT uses (changes, instabiliy, fragility) 2) Unit of analysis = activity within which ICT uses take place; 5 levels of analysis including everyday life and the long term  time as a contextual element in the analysis (to situate uses at a specific scale of time or within a historical sequence) A concept of uses as stable construct becomes inadequate when devices themselves are – and stay – unstable!
  3. 3. 3 Instability of digital devices, fragility of their uses Domenget & Latzko-Toth – For a temporalist approach of digital communication devices and their uses – IAMCR 2015 Software-based media... •Keep their plasticity (flexibility) long after they start to be used •Are subject to constant mutations (permanently beta, Neff & Stark, 2003) •Are unstable and incomplete by design (Garud et al, 2008; Latzko-Toth, 2011; Maxigas, 2014) : their plasticity is instrumentalized by designers to enroll users in the design process
  4. 4. 4 Instability of digital devices, fragility of their uses Domenget & Latzko-Toth – For a temporalist approach of digital communication devices and their uses – IAMCR 2015 Digital practices... •Are unstable as they are constantly adjusting to evolving devices •Uses are fragile (Domenget, 2013) : subject to changes in attitudes towards and representation of the device; fluctuations in the degree of engagement; moments of disengagements, and so on •Show various states from non-uses or "limited uses" – Kellner et al., 2010) to routinized (social) uses = 2 ideal-types at both ends of a continuum
  5. 5. 5 Broadening the conceptual framework to include temporal dimensions Domenget & Latzko-Toth – For a temporalist approach of digital communication devices and their uses – IAMCR 2015 • Poorness of existing terminology to refer to time in ICT uses • No unified theory in sociology of time, but a rich vocabulary has been crafted in this scholarship, allowing for a rich and fine-grained analysis of social temporalities in relation to digital practices
  6. 6. 6 Broadening the conceptual framework to include temporal dimensions Domenget & Latzko-Toth – For a temporalist approach of digital communication devices and their uses – IAMCR 2015 Lallement's (2008) grammar of time based on Grossin (1996) articulates 4 time structures/formations : - temporal frames: imposed "architectures" of time specific to a domain of activity (closed and rigid) - temporal milieus: temporal assemblages that structure activities on an open, free, and flexible basis - temporal cultures: shared representations and "ways of doing" associated with a group/society/period/generation - personal temporal equations: combining a personal temporal horizon (individual perspective on the articulation of present, past and future), time management practices, and other elements  useful for analyzing temporal heterogeneities and related conflicts in ICT uses
  7. 7. 7 Broadening the conceptual framework to include temporal dimensions Domenget & Latzko-Toth – For a temporalist approach of digital communication devices and their uses – IAMCR 2015 A typology of temporal dimensions (Dubar et Rolle, 2008): - Moments of time: present, past, future - Time scales: short, medium, long term - Domains of time structuration: work, leisure, family, intimacy - Modes of temporal expression: ways of expressing temporalities in discourse (e.g. temporal narratives regarding the self)  Useful for describing the temporal texture and "depth" of ICT uses
  8. 8. 8 Methodological principles Domenget & Latzko-Toth – For a temporalist approach of digital communication devices and their uses – IAMCR 2015 • Approach devices and practices in a diachronic, historicized way; by following the device's co-construction process, design changes and the formation of uses are captured jointly • Within a definite time period, think digital devices as synchronicly embedded in a boundless web of digital artifacts • A sensitivity to instability and fragility as expressed in the discourses involved in sociotechnical controversies
  9. 9. 9 Inquiry methods Domenget & Latzko-Toth – For a temporalist approach of digital communication devices and their uses – IAMCR 2015 • Long term observation/immersion (several years) develop a reflexive practice and a diachronic view of the device • Qualitative interviews  personal temporal equations in their diachronic and synchronic aspects • Trace analysis (archives of posts, tweets, etc. ; Facebook activity logs...) • Hybrid methods (e.g. trace interviews and co-analysis with users)
  10. 10. 10 Illustrations: temporalizing Twitter uses Domenget & Latzko-Toth – For a temporalist approach of digital communication devices and their uses – IAMCR 2015 • Twitter lists: how listing morphed from a social curation practice to a metrics of authority • Twitter bots and the automation of relation establishment
  11. 11. 11 Conclusions – Revisiting user agency through the lens of temporality Domenget & Latzko-Toth – For a temporalist approach of digital communication devices and their uses – IAMCR 2015 • Unfolding the "hidden dimension" of time in studies of digital communication devices • New possible axes of analysis ­ Historicity of ICT uses (e.g.: how users periodicize their own practices) ­ Time practices in relation to ICT uses (how digital practices shape collective and individual temporalities) ­ ...
  12. 12. 12 Conclusions – Revisiting user agency through the lens of temporality Domenget & Latzko-Toth – For a temporalist approach of digital communication devices and their uses – IAMCR 2015 •Time and technology as a nexus of political struggle (cf. Grossin's temporal ecologies): ­ ICTs may be used to empower users in relation to time by helping them articulate temporal milieus allowing them to deal with temporal heterogeneity and other challenges in a culture of emergency (Auber, 2003) and social acceleration (Rosa, 2012); ­ but they can also harden the constraints of temporal frames and configure users' temporal experiences in a forced fashion
  13. 13. Merci ! Thank you ! Jean-Claude DOMENGET – ELLIADD – Université de Franche-Comté jcdomenget@gmail.com @jcdblog Guillaume LATZKO-TOTH – LabCMO – Université Laval guillaume.latzko-toth@com.ulaval.ca @guillaumelatzko

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