Giolo Fele

Why Is Information System Design Interested in Ethnography? Sketches of an ongoing story

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  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Ethnography; information system design; engineering mentality; social basis of informatics; ethnomethodology and information systems

The paper is an introduction to the special section of ERQ on «Ethnography and Information System Design». It reviews the main stages of the collaboration between ethnographers and information system designers, highlighting the reasons and motives for their mutual relationship. Is it possible to consider the ethnographic approach to information system design a «success story»? How is it that information system design - a field seemingly distant from the concerns, history or tradition of ethnographic research - is today so interested in the approach, the methods, and the «philosophy» of ethnography? What has ethnography to offer information system designers?

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