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Volker Wulf, Volkmar Pipek, David Randall, Markus Rohde, Kjeld Schmidt, and Gunnar Stevens

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198733249

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198733249.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 04 July 2022

Making Use

Making Use

Understanding, Studying, and Supporting Appropriation

(p.139) 4 Making Use

Gunnar Stevens

Volkmar Pipek

Oxford University Press

In the context of socio-informatics, the term “appropriation”—derived from the verb “to appropriate,” using the definition “to set apart for or assign to a particular purpose or use”—refers to the establishing of new social practices in the light of new technologies. So, roughly speaking, appropriation is closely related with change, although in everyday life such transformations may be slow, unnoticed, quiet, and evolutionary. The concept of appropriation has a long and varied history and can be traced through its roots in German idealism to Marxism and more recent conceptions such as activity theory. This chapter examines the relevance of this concept to problems around the design space, notably those to do with who does design and at what point. The main focus of the chapter is to understand how various commitments to participation, end-user development, tailorability, and infrastructuring are dependent on the concept of appropriation.

Keywords:   appropriation, activity theory, end-user development, tailorability, participation, infrastructuring

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