Gunilla Bradley’s ‘Good Society’ and Structuration Theory: an Exploratory Excursus

Larry Stillman, PhD,  Tom Denison, PhD, Centre for Community Networking Research, Monash University, Australia

This is a draft paper to submitted for a Festscrift for Gunilla Bradley to be published in Information and Communication Technologies, Society and Human Beings: Theory and Framework (Festschrift in honor of Gunilla Bradley), by IGI Global in 2011.

In an earlier, short review of Gunilla Bradley’s ‘Social and community informatics: humans on the net’ (Bradley 2006; Stillman 2008), it was suggested that this was a wonderful book, written from the perspective of a Scandinavian woman with a life-time’s experience of working with, and thinking about social technical issues in work and everyday life.   This joint contribution is intended as another acknowledgement to her work and support of others, particularly through the Community Informatics conferences held in Prato, Italy.  What struck us in reading her book that it would be worth attempting a study of the relationship between her people-centred theory, and the theory of structuration as developed by originated by the British sociologist Anthony Giddens, and then interpreted for ICT research (Bryant and Jary 1991; Jones and Karsten 2003).  This task appears particularly worth doing because Gunilla’s personal perspective, based on years of field research and presenting a synthesis of many publications (as well has her roots in the Swedish social-democratic tradition, rings a strong chord with Giddens’ social-democratic orientation.

This Festschrift contribution represents opportunity to suggest some modifications for further consideration in the model, as well as reflections on its relationship to broader concerns in social theory as a teaching, research, and a practice tool for Community Informatics.

Bradley Festschrift Draft

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