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Materiality and OrganizingSocial Interaction in a Technological World$
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Paul M. Leonardi, Bonnie A. Nardi, and Jannis Kallinikos

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199664054

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199664054.001.0001

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Inverse Instrumentality: How Technologies Objectify Patients and Players

Inverse Instrumentality: How Technologies Objectify Patients and Players

(p.157) 8 Inverse Instrumentality: How Technologies Objectify Patients and Players
Materiality and Organizing

Hamid Ekbia Bonnie A. Nardi

Oxford University Press

A growing trend in the development of large-scale technological systems seeks to strategically insert human beings into these systems in order to allow them to function in intended ways. These “technologies of objectification” enable situations where individuals are turned into either fragmented or totalized subjects. The chapter identifies certain types of health technologies and multiplayer online games as systems that objectify patients and players, turning them into docile or actively engaged subjects, respectively. Through the analysis of specific examples of each technology, the chapter demonstrates how software systems regulate human behavior in an expectant manner, drawing them in or pushing them away from certain kinds of activities. The chapter discusses the implications of this analysis for the question of materiality, and argue for a view that understands (de)materialization as a process rather than a settled dichotomy.

Keywords:   objectification, materialization, mediation, games, health

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