What is the role of software programming in the social sciences? My colleague Phillip Brooker (University of Bath) and I have recently been working together to set up a new initiative to advance both critical reflection and what Philip Agre describes as “critical technical practice” around programming in the context of the social sciences. If you’re interested in joining the network, you can sign up here. Further details are copied below.
This is an interdisciplinary network for researchers interested in software programming both as a research device and an object of study, particularly around the methodological innovations happening through social science usages of digital data. It aims to support the cultivation of “critical technical practice” (Agre, 1997) around the research, development and use of code – informed by developments in digital methods, digital sociology and emerging teaching formats. PaSS draws on research in Science and Technology Studies, New Media Studies, Software Studies, Ethnomethodology, Human-Computer Interaction and associated fields to look at how programming practices can not just be studied, but also critically leveraged for teaching and research. The PaSS mailing list is a low traffic list for news, announcements and discussion around programming in the context of social research.