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11.11.2017

Bottom-up Infrastructures: Aligning Politics and Technology in building a Wireless Community Network

verfasst von: Stefano Crabu, Paolo Magaudda

Erschienen in: Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) | Ausgabe 2/2018

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Abstract

Contemporary innovation in infrastructures is increasingly characterized by a close relationship between experts and lay people. This phenomenon has attracted the attention from a wide range of disciplines, including computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), science and technology studies (S&TS), organization studies and participatory design (PD). Connecting to this broad area of research, the article presents a qualitative case study concerning the building and maintenance of a grassroots, bottom-up information infrastructure in Italy, defined as wireless community network (WCN). Methodologically, the research is based on qualitative interviews with participants to the WCN, ethnographic observations and document analysis. The aim of the article is to understand the alignment between the technical work implied in building this bottom-up infrastructure and the political and cultural frameworks that move people to participate to this project. Relying on the field of science & technology studies, and in particular on the notions of ‘inverse infrastructure’ and ‘research in the wild’, we disclose the WCN’s peculiar innovation trajectory, localized outside conventional spaces of research and development. Overall, the presentation of the qualitative and ethnographic data allows to point out a more general reflection on bottom-up infrastructures and to enrich the academic debate concerning bottom-up infrastructuring work and other similar typologies of collaborative design projects in the domain of infrastructures.

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Metadaten
Titel
Bottom-up Infrastructures: Aligning Politics and Technology in building a Wireless Community Network
verfasst von
Stefano Crabu
Paolo Magaudda
Publikationsdatum
11.11.2017
Verlag
Springer Netherlands
Erschienen in
Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) / Ausgabe 2/2018
Print ISSN: 0925-9724
Elektronische ISSN: 1573-7551
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10606-017-9301-1

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