On Saturday March 17th, 2007, some doctorate students at UOC‘s PhD on the Information and Knowledge Society met to present — expose, I’d dare say — our thesis projects, talk about them and, most of all, learn from each other on concepts, methodology, etc. The idea came to me at the First Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium and tried to replicate it here, in a more closed environment and, evidently, at a minor scope and scale.
Though only three projects were presented, the session was richest and worth repeating it in forthcoming editions. As usual, here come my notes:
Las nuevas tecnologías como agente social de transformación de la masculinidad hegemónica
[New technologies as social agent of transformation of hegemonic masculinity
Paco Abril Morales
After introducing FreeMind software — which I didn’t know — Paco explained that he wanted to know whether ICTs could change or reflect another kind of masculinity besides the hegemonic one — white, occidental, heterosexual… and sports and beer driven, I would add ;)
His speech was full of references and concepts, too many to note them on time and be replicated here. Nevertheless, I catched the two groups — and five subcategories — he spoke about and that he took as main research/methodological framework:
- First thing to study was technology, from several points of view such as constructivism, Latour and his actor-network theory,
Winner and the concept of technological somnambulism, postestructuralism, Pinchand Bijker, social shaping of technology, technology and social classes, etc.
- He then spoke about new technologies: sociotechnological changes, alternative technologies and alternative collectives
- Last (for part one) about technology and gender: sexual division of work, reproductive technology, heterosexuality, technological artifacts, co production among gender and technology, the masculinity-gender equation, gender identities, power relationships and technology
- Part II began talking about the hegemonic masculinity and Connell(1995) concept of breadwinner
- He then gave some explanations (and enormous listing) about non hegemonic masculinities: caring masculinities (work changes gender), gays/queers/by/heteros/trans, race/etnia/social class
The debate was highly interesting and I have to specially note some references to Andrew Feenberg.
Crecimiento inicial de Wikipedia: una aproximación comparativa entre etapas, temas y versiones
[The initial growth of Wikipedia: a comparative approach among stages, subjects and versions]
Enric Senabre Hidalgo
Enric presents his research (hypotheses) according to the following equality:
Vandalism menace + meritocracy/recognition + hacker ethics = initial growth of wikipedia?
To assert this, he needs/wants to know the answer to some other questions:
- What was the role of the hybrid users (admin + contributors)? How many crated brand new entries?
- Have there been any points of inflection in exponential growth?
- Did original users created any sort of style? Examples/models?
- When and how were the five pillars set and when “good faith“?
- When the own jargon?
- What kind of user pages were there initially?
- How the first conflicts were solved?
- How did exposure to media contributed to wikipedia’s growth?
To answer these questions he proposes some different approaches/concepts:
- the concept of complex systems and emergency
- the fact that it is a self organized system
- negentropy (negative entropy)
- stigmergy as performing tasks without a central planification (i.e. ants and pheromone tracks)
And a couple of very interesting links the provided us with:
Pelando las capas de la brecha digital: umbrales y relaciones entre categorías en índices compuestos
[Unpeeling the layers of the digital divide: category thresholds and relationships within composite indices]
I imparted the same presentation I did for the Annual ICT4D Symposium, but somehow updated — the material support being the same one, though in Spanish, but the speech a little bit different one. The new version can be downloaded here.
If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:
Peña-López, I. (2007) “UOC Doctoral Workshop: thesis projects presentations” In ICTlogy,
#42, March 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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