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Revisiting the three Rs of social machines: reflexivity, recognition and responsivity

Revisiting the three Rs of social machines: reflexivity, recognition and responsivity
Revisiting the three Rs of social machines: reflexivity, recognition and responsivity
This paper sets out an approach to Social Machines (SMs), their description and analysis, based on a development of social constructionist theoretical principles adapted for Web Science. We argue that currently the search for the primitives of SMs, or appropriate units of analysis to describe them, tends to favour either the technology or sociality. We suggest an approach that favours distributed agency whether it is machinic or human or both. We argue that current thinking (e.g. Actor Network Theory) is unsuited to SMs. Instead we describe an alternative which prioritizes a view of socio-technical activity as forming 'reflexive project structures'. We show that reflexivity in social systems can be further usefully divided into more fundamental elements (Recognition and Responsivity). This process enables us to capture more of the variation in SMs and to distinguish them from non-Web based socio-technical systems. We illustrate the approach by looking at different kinds of SMs showing how they relate to contemporary social theory.
social machines, socio-technical systems, agency, reflexivity, social theory
978-1-4503-3473-0/15/05
Vass, Jeff
dc15b906-c479-4738-a58d-d163a892c0aa
Munson, Jo
50a80207-c6c7-4e7d-82d4-d199792bcfc1
Vass, Jeff
dc15b906-c479-4738-a58d-d163a892c0aa
Munson, Jo
50a80207-c6c7-4e7d-82d4-d199792bcfc1

Vass, Jeff and Munson, Jo (2015) Revisiting the three Rs of social machines: reflexivity, recognition and responsivity. WWW 15 Companion, Florence, Italy. 18 - 22 May 2015. 7 pp . (doi:10.1145/2740908.2743974).

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

This paper sets out an approach to Social Machines (SMs), their description and analysis, based on a development of social constructionist theoretical principles adapted for Web Science. We argue that currently the search for the primitives of SMs, or appropriate units of analysis to describe them, tends to favour either the technology or sociality. We suggest an approach that favours distributed agency whether it is machinic or human or both. We argue that current thinking (e.g. Actor Network Theory) is unsuited to SMs. Instead we describe an alternative which prioritizes a view of socio-technical activity as forming 'reflexive project structures'. We show that reflexivity in social systems can be further usefully divided into more fundamental elements (Recognition and Responsivity). This process enables us to capture more of the variation in SMs and to distinguish them from non-Web based socio-technical systems. We illustrate the approach by looking at different kinds of SMs showing how they relate to contemporary social theory.

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More information

Published date: May 2015
Venue - Dates: WWW 15 Companion, Florence, Italy, 2015-05-18 - 2015-05-22
Keywords: social machines, socio-technical systems, agency, reflexivity, social theory
Organisations: Electronics & Computer Science, Social Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 375468
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/375468
ISBN: 978-1-4503-3473-0/15/05
PURE UUID: ec50bb71-4efd-463a-bfd6-415d9bd86e71

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 Mar 2015 12:24
Last modified: 10 Apr 2019 16:36

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