Director, Social Informatics Program
Professor of Informatics
dhakken [at] indiana.edu
Informatics West, Room 318
Office hours: Monday, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.; Wednesday, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Other Titles and Honors
- Adjunct Professor of Anthropology
- Visiting Scholar and Profefessore a contratto, University of Trento, Italy
- Ph.D. in Anthropology at The American University, Washington, DC, 1978
- M.A. in Anthropology at The University of Chicago, 1972
- A.B. in History at Stanford University, 1968
- I202 Social Informatics (Homepage)
- I303 Organizational Informatics (Homepage)
- I501 Introduction to Informatics (Homepage)
- I590 Globalization (Homepage)
- I605 Social Foundations of Informatics (Homepage)
- I651 Ethnography of Information (Homepage)
As a cultural anthropologist, I now do my field work (ethnography) in cyberspace as well as in real life. In addition to four grants from the US National Science Foundation, one from the Social Science Research Council, and two from the Fulbright Program, I did research for the New York State Technology Foundation, the Resource Center for Independent Living, other not-for-profit organizations and public social services. While teaching Anthropology and Information Studies at the State University of New York Institute of Technology, I ran the Institute’s Policy Center. I am a past president of the Society for the Anthropology of Work of the American Anthropological Association, the first recipient of the AAA’s Textor Prize in Anticipatory Anthropology, and the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. Besides several scholarly and popular articles, I have written four books on computing and co-edited another. My most recent book, the second with Routledge Press, The Knowledge Landscapes of Cyberspace, was published in October, 2003.
My ultimate research goal is to understand both how automated information and communication technologies are shaped by cultures as well as how AICTs shape cultures. I also promote AICTs that expand, not undermine, human capabilities.
Since studying cultural anthropology in the 1960s and ‘70s, the abiding concern of my research has been the complex ways in which social change, culture, and technology, especially computing, co-construct each other. This has led me to study worker education, public policy, and workplace use of information technology in Britain and the United States; software development in Britain, the Nordic countries, the US, and Malaysia; social service and technology (e.g., assistive technology) in the US; and techno-science in Chinese and Malaysian scholarship and higher education.
I am currently involved in several research projects:
- Effective incorporation of strong social and cross-cultural perspectives into the design and implementation of computing systems, as well as education in computing (“The Socially Robust and Enduring Computing” Program);
- The implications of Free/Libre and Open Source Projects for the future dynamics of organization (“FLOSS and ‘Virtual’ Organizing”);
- The role of and implications for computing in the recent massive but partial up-scaling of social formation reproduction (“The Cultural Construction of Demi-globalism”); and
- What computing contributed to the current crisis and how a different approach to computing could help us get out if it (“Computing and Crisis”).