B04 - Digital Publics and Social Transformation in the Maghreb
The research project focuses on media practices in Morocco and analyzes the emergence of new publics and forms of cooperation within the ongoing social transformation processes of North Africa. The project analyses the conditions for civil society cooperation in situations of change and aims to contribute both theoretically and practically to the differentiation of the concept of publicness as well as to the reflection of media-historical concepts of modernization.
The interdisciplinary connection of socio-informatics and social anthropology zooms in on the potential of digital media practices to create new possibilities for action, to generate consensus and dissent, and to mobilize new forms of publicness in this process. On the basis of the investigation of these processes in situ, the project aims to design, implement and evaluate socio-technical (infra-) structures.
In order to engage with these research questions, the project draws on a participatory approach and collaborative design and action research in addition to extensive (media) ethnographic field work: Together with local Moroccan actors, the NGO "Amezray SMNID", a socio-informatic intervention in the field of education and development policy was successfully launched in the High Atlas. This intervention achieves the situated training of media competencies in accordance with the ComputerClub concept, both locally and in transnational cooperation.
In an extended research perspective, the production of new media and data practices under different conditions in an intra-Moroccan and intercontinental comparison is now additionally brought into focus. Cooperative forms of fragmented (digital) publics are also taken into account transnationally within migration networks of the Moroccan diaspora to Germany. For this purpose, the connection to and the cooperative linking with another ComputerClub offer in Dortmund is an important component of the future research project.
The comparative research and design of appropriation practices and cooperative media takes into account the increasing differentiation of publicness in Euro-Mediterranean societies
The book is an exploration of the theoretical, conceptual and methodological foundations of human-centred design. Specifically, it critically examines the notion of 'practice' and argues for an understanding of the concept which emanates from engagement with design problems rather than simply from social scientific theory. The contributors to the book in their various ways all subscribe to a systematic account of how practice-oriented studies can inform design.
Wulf, V., Pipek, V., Randall, D., Rhode, M., Schmidt, K., & Stevens, G. (Eds.). (2018). Socio-Informatics: A Practice-based Perspective on the Design and Use of IT Artifacts. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.