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Accommodating differences: Power, belonging, and representation online
Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för data- och systemvetenskap.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-5962-1536
2014 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

How can political participatory processes online be understood in the dynamic, conflicted and highly mediated situations of contemporary society? What does democracy mean in a scenario where inequality and difference are the norms, and where people tend to abandon situations in which they and their interests are not recognized? How can we accommodate differences rather than consensus in a scenario where multiple networks of people are the starting point rather than a single community?

In this thesis, these questions are explored through an iterative process in two studies that have used or resulted in three prototypes and one art exhibition. The first study is of communication practices in a global interest community, which resulted in two prototypes: Actory, a groupware that takes differences rather than equality as the starting point for a collaborative tool, and The Affect Machine, a social network where differences are used as a relational capital. The second study is of communication practices in a local commonality where the art exhibition Performing the Common created a public space and involved participants. This resulted in Njaru, a collaborative tool with integrated decision support and visualization of representativeness.

In summary, these works depart from the notion of the importance of belonging for e-participation, where the individual can be seen as a participant in several performative states, more or less interconnected trans-local publics. Here the individuals’ participation in the local public sphere compete with their participation in other communities, and affect the conditions for local democracy. This thesis contributes to a deeper understanding of these processes, and discusses how differences in democratic participation can be managed with the help of ICT.

Abstract [sv]

Hur kan politiskt deltagande på Internet förstås, i de dynamiska, konfliktfyllda och medierade situationerna i dagens samhälle? Vad innebär demokrati i ett scenario där ojämlikhet och skillnad är normen och där människor tenderar att överge situationer där de själva och deras intressen inte erkänns? Hur kan vi hantera skillnader snarare än konsensus i ett scenario där flera nätverk av människor är utgångspunkten i stället för en enda gemenskap?

I denna avhandling har dessa frågor utforskas genom en iterativ process i två studier som har använt eller resulterat i tre prototyper och en konstutställning. Den första studien gäller kommunikationen i en global intressegemenskap vilket resulterade i två prototyper: Actory, som tar olikheter snarare än jämlikhet som utgångspunkt för ett samarbetsverktyg, och The Affect Machine, ett socialt nätverk där olikheter används som ett relationskapital. Den andra studien gäller kommunikationen i en lokal gemenskap där konstutställningen Föreställningar om det gemensamma skapat ett offentligt rum och engagerade deltagare. Resultatet resulterade bland annat i Njaru, ett samarbetsverktyg med integrerat beslutsstöd och visualisering av graden av representativitet i processen.

Sammanfattningsvis utgår dessa arbeten från en idé om vikten av tillhörighet för e-deltagande, där individen kan ses som en deltagare i flera performativa stater, mer eller mindre sammankopplade translokala målgrupper. Här konkurrerar individernas deltagande i den lokala offentligheten med deras deltagande i andra samhällen, och påverkar förutsättningarna för lokal demokrati. Denna avhandling bidrar till en djupare förståelse av dessa processer, och diskuterar hur skillnaderna i demokratiskt deltagande kan hanteras med hjälp av IKT.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University , 2014. , 133 s.
Serie
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 15-004
Nyckelord [en]
e-participation, e-democracy, online identity, artistic research, visual method, participatory method, belonging, singularity, performative states
Nationell ämneskategori
Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik med samhällsvetenskaplig inriktning
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108836ISBN: 978-91-7649-084-6 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-108836DiVA: diva2:780142
Disputation
2015-03-20, Lilla hörsalen, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista, 13:00 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Forskningsfinansiär
Forskningsrådet Formas, 2011-3313-20412-31ICT - The Next Generation
Anmärkning

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Submitted. Paper 8: Submitted.

Tillgänglig från: 2015-02-26 Skapad: 2014-11-04 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-09-18Bibliografiskt granskad
Delarbeten
1. Controlling Singularity: The role of online communication for young visual artists’ identity management
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Controlling Singularity: The role of online communication for young visual artists’ identity management
2015 (Engelska)Ingår i: First Monday, ISSN 1396-0466, E-ISSN 1396-0466Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

This article contributes to the literature on art, new media and identity by investigating the role online communication plays for young visual artists’ identity management. Drawing from comprehensive sources on the Internet such as blogs, web pages, networking sites and digital magazines, as well as interview data from art students at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, the article describes how artists deal with convergent contexts online, while addressing an exclusive public of cultural producers and simultaneously reaching for a broad cultural significance.

The study shows how the artists’ discursive practices online foremost preserve a traditional artist’s persona. The common denominator for the few students who used the web differently to communicate and collaborate was that they appeared in a variety of creative fields and also that they came from affluent families. However, to reach a high degree of consecration on the Swedish art field one should not communicate with a broad public online but with the right people that one first gets to know face-to-face at intimate social gatherings. Online communication is foremost used as a way of displaying belonging to the field, and to show that one recognizes a certain value – the singular artist. 

Nationell ämneskategori
Tvärvetenskapliga studier Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-112562 (URN)10.5210/fm.v20i5.5626 (DOI)
Forskningsfinansiär
Forskningsrådet Formas, 2011-3313-20412-31
Tillgänglig från: 2015-01-12 Skapad: 2015-01-12 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-12-05Bibliografiskt granskad
2. Reflexive technology for collaborative environments
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Reflexive technology for collaborative environments
2012 (Engelska)Ingår i: International Journal of Public Information Systems, ISSN 1653-4360, Vol. 1, 11-28 s.Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

In the field of e-democracy, what is mostly emphasized is the ability to create a neutral place for deliberative discussions and voting, where the view is that technology can enable a stronger democracy. Most important, focus is on the nation state, not on democracy on a global level. In a democracy initiative on a global scale one cannot only deal with the questions of what should be discussed and in what way. First of all the question about representation has to be answered: who the participants are that are part of democracy. In order to create technologies that support democracy initiatives at a global level, it is not enough to create methods to set the agenda and framework for discussion, but it is also important to have a well thought out idea about how those who participate will be selected and on what grounds. In a micro-global perspective, in the collaborative network, this is about creating incentives that support a democratic culture, an awareness of how to go about involving everyone in the conversation. With this in mind we have developed a discussion platform that uses a radical democracy as a benchmark. Based on democratic meeting techniques and social media and grounded in a participatory design process, basic principles for a groupware are formulated containing typical democratic features such as voting and discussion, but taking user activities and reactions into account and clarifying the individual’s activities in relation to the group. The result of the design process is a Wiki-like prototype where the participants’ reputations are measured and transformed through a dynamic voting process. This can clarify the representativeness of the discussion at stake, showing whose positions and interests are put forward, providing a method for measuring the quality of online discussion.

Nyckelord
E-Participation, Meeting techniques, Diversity, Collaboration online
Nationell ämneskategori
Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-86108 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2013-01-11 Skapad: 2013-01-11 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-12-06Bibliografiskt granskad
3. Reputation, inequality and meeting techniques: visualising user hierarchy to support collaboration
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Reputation, inequality and meeting techniques: visualising user hierarchy to support collaboration
2014 (Engelska)Ingår i: Computational and mathematical organization theory, ISSN 1381-298X, E-ISSN 1572-9346, Vol. 20, nr 2, 155-175 s.Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Equality within groups is ordinarily taken for granted when technology for e-democracy is conceived and developed. However, inequality in online communication is just as common as in other social contexts. Therefore, we have developed a groupware with the express purpose of illuminating imbalance of power. Inequalities are measured and made visible to users of the system, and they change dynamically as actions are taken by users. The system is based on democratic meeting techniques and is reminiscent of a strategy game based on social media. Each participant’s score within the game is dynamically calculated and reflects that user’s activity, others’ reactions to that activity and reactions to others’ activities. The calculations and weighing mechanisms are open to inspection and change by the users, and hierarchical roles reflecting game levels may be attached to system rights belonging to individual users and user groups. The prototype we present stems from the question of how to conceive of groupware based on diversity and is the result of combining social theory with algorithms for modelling and visualising user hierarchy and status. Empirical user tests suggest improvements to the prototype’s interface, which will be implemented and further evaluated by embedding the algorithms in a system for e-participation.

Nyckelord
E-Participation, Reputation, Inequality, Collaboration
Nationell ämneskategori
Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95624 (URN)10.1007/s10588-013-9165-y (DOI)000336336100003 ()
Tillgänglig från: 2013-10-31 Skapad: 2013-10-31 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-12-06Bibliografiskt granskad
4. The desires of the crowd: scenario for a future social system
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>The desires of the crowd: scenario for a future social system
2014 (Engelska)Ingår i: Leonardo Electronic Almanac, ISSN 1071-4391, E-ISSN 1071-4391, Vol. 20, nr 1, 182-191 s.Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

The micro-financing of artists offers new possibilities for people other than the economic and cultural elite to become patrons of the arts. One might term it a more democratic base for the artistic activity and its varied discursive practices. However, it is not just the economy of art that focuses on people with particular abilities. Promoting a personal brand in the form of taste, education and social relations is also central to every career in an insecure and flexible labor market, not only in the creative sector. Accordingly, crowd funding of humanity, rather than of production of commodities, is a possible and reasonable scenario for a future social system, where people are deeply interconnected in collaborative networks. In order to examine what such a system might look like in practice, I have in the project the Affect Machine formulated a market place for social relations. Here I show how the principles for a capitalist institution like a limited company can be combined with those of a digital social network, and thus point to a form of merger between the private and public sector. In this scenario for a future social system, we may approach something resembling Marx’s vision of a communist society.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
MIT Press, 2014
Nationell ämneskategori
Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108655 (URN)
Anmärkning

The title of the volume is Red Art: New Utopias in Data Capitalism, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, ISBN 978-1-906897-28-4.

Volume Editors: Lanfranco Aceti, Susanne Jaschko and Julian Stallabrass.

Tillgänglig från: 2014-10-31 Skapad: 2014-10-31 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-12-05Bibliografiskt granskad
5. Konst som deltagande metodologi
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Konst som deltagande metodologi
2013 (Svenska)Ingår i: Tidskrift för Genusvetenskap, ISSN 1654-5443, E-ISSN 2001-1377, nr 1, 25-47 s.Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

While Art is often defined in opposition to Science, artistic research is often legitimaced by a positivistic classical scientific paradigm. For example the artist as scientist was highlighted in 2012 year’s Documenta – one of the most important exhibitions of contemporary art. In contrast to this position, I intend to show the fruitfulness in positioning art in a feminist, qualitative-oriented research tradition. An important point here is the definition of an artistic methodology, where art is a reflective process and where artistic work is both means and goal. This includes the use of artistic practices to break the own pre-understanding of a phenomenon. It is the personal motive that determines what is relevant, while this perspective is exposed to critical scrutiny. Based on this, I discuss how art can be described as a participatory methodology, and use a research project in urban planning and information and communication technology as an example. Here, the art project functioned as a creative and critical room that created a greater understanding of the significance of discursive practices and the importance of reviewing the information that is the foundation of how we formulate the research problems. The most significant conclusion is that artistic research in this sense may well be, and probably should, be an important part of a scientific research and is a prerequisite for scientific development.

Nyckelord
Artistic research, practice based research, participatory methodology, urban planning, Husby
Nationell ämneskategori
Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik Genusstudier Konst
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95578 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2013-10-31 Skapad: 2013-10-31 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-12-06Bibliografiskt granskad
6. The importance of recognition for equal representation in participatory processes: Lessons from Husby
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>The importance of recognition for equal representation in participatory processes: Lessons from Husby
2013 (Engelska)Ingår i: Footprint, ISSN 1875-1504, E-ISSN 1875-1490, nr 13, 81-98 s.Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite the ambition to involve people on more equal terms, participation often still means that the audience is involved in clearly demarcated parts of the process and attempts to develop more deliberative democratic processes in urban planning often fail due to unequal representation in the participatory process. While sharing the general idea of the value of participatory processes, we here investigate some problematic features involved and suggest how some of these can be remedied. We employ the concept of recognition to analyse the conditions for public participation in a recent case of urban planning in the Stockholm suburb of Husby. This case is particularly interesting as it clearly demonstrates the impact of globalisation on local participatory processes. The results show the importance of broad recognition for equal representation in participatory processes, and the need for a plurality of public spheres to support long-term participation in the development of the common urban space.

Nationell ämneskategori
Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95953 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2013-11-07 Skapad: 2013-11-07 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-12-06Bibliografiskt granskad
7. Open Government and Democracy: A Research Review
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Open Government and Democracy: A Research Review
2015 (Engelska)Ingår i: Social science computer review, ISSN 0894-4393, E-ISSN 1552-8286, Vol. 33, nr 5, 540-555 s.Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

The concept of open government, having been promoted widely in the past 5 years, has promised a broader notion than e-government, as supposed to fundamentally transform governments to become more open and participative and collaborative. Unfortunately, this has not significantly enhanced a set of fundamental problems regarding e-government. One of the problems is that the underlying democratic ideology is rarely clearly expressed. In this paper, we have therefore constructed a framework for the analysis of open government from a democratic perspective, to explore the research foundation of open government and the types of research missing. We have looked closely at the notion of democracy in peer-reviewed journals on open government from 2009 to 2013, focusing on discussions of some fundamental issues regarding democracy and the type of solutions suggested. We have found that despite seemingly good intentions and an extensive rhetoric, there is still an apparent lack of adequate tools in which public deliberation and representation are addressed in any meaningful sense. There are two main important observations herein: (i) the rhetoric in the dominant discourse supports the concept of open government formulated by the Obama administration as transparency, participation, and collaboration, but in practice, the focus is predominantly on transparency and information exchange, while ignoring fundamental democratic issues regarding participation and collaboration, and (ii) the concept of the public is inadequately considered as a homogenous entity rather than a diversified group with different interests, preferences, and abilities.

Nyckelord
decision support, online representation, digital inclusion, public deliberation, collaborative government, open government, e-government
Nationell ämneskategori
Tvärvetenskapliga studier Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-112564 (URN)10.1177/0894439314560847 (DOI)000360817500002 ()
Forskningsfinansiär
Forskningsrådet Formas, 2011-3313-20412-31
Tillgänglig från: 2015-01-12 Skapad: 2015-01-12 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-12-05Bibliografiskt granskad
8. Managing deliberation: tools for structuring discussions and analyzing representation
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Managing deliberation: tools for structuring discussions and analyzing representation
2016 (Engelska)Ingår i: Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, ISSN 1750-6166, E-ISSN 1750-6174, Vol. 10, nr 2, 256-272 s.Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – In this article we address the lack of adequate tools for deliberation and analyzing representativeness in a more collaborative e-government. Available discussion tools generally lack the necessary structure for supporting more complex reasoning, or they are too complicated to use. The groups of participants in such contexts often lack representativeness regarding the issues at hand.

Design/methodology/approach – This design research is based on two case studies of urban planning projects in Swedish municipalities. A set of semi structured interviews with municipality officials and residents exposed a need for supporting the direct communication with citizens and NGOs as well as groups internal democratic processes.

Findings  – We show how a general participatory methodology on different levels of governance can be better supported using a standard type of interface and analytical tools for structured discussions and representation. We furthermore address the traditional dichotomy between the government and the citizens in e-government research by developing a tool that takes the individual actor as the starting point rather than an abstract collective.

Research limitations/implications – The tool is at present foremost useful for communicating participatory methodologies. The actor perspective means that the actors are highlighted as owners of specific questions rather than organisations. It also means that a government initiated survey can have competition from other actors using the same instrument.

Practical implications – Except for being an analytical tool for analysing participatory attributes and for better understanding how decisions are formed, the platform also includes tools for more elaborated decision support as well as support for voting and pro/con argumentation integrated with discussion forum for providing reasonable conditions for a broader more well structured participation.

Originality/value – This platform provides integrated analytical tools and elaborated decision support for the individual user to support democracy from a micro perspective rather than a government perspective and goes significantly beyond the capacities of similar tools and methods presently available.

Nyckelord
Decision support, Digital inclusion, E-government, Open government, Public deliberation, Representation online
Nationell ämneskategori
Tvärvetenskapliga studier Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik
Forskningsämne
data- och systemvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-112569 (URN)10.1108/TG-03-2015-0011 (DOI)
Forskningsfinansiär
Forskningsrådet Formas, 2011-3313-20412-31ICT - The Next Generation
Tillgänglig från: 2015-01-12 Skapad: 2015-01-12 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-12-05Bibliografiskt granskad

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Hansson, Karin
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