::fibreculture:: [corrected date] Wessels/'Exploring Human Agency & Digital Systems'/USyd/Fri 17 August, 2pm

Gerard Goggin gerard.goggin at sydney.edu.au
Fri Aug 10 09:21:28 CEST 2012

'Media @ Sydney' and Digital Cultures presents

Dr Bridgette Wessels (Sheffield), 'Exploring Human Agency and Digital Systems: Service, Personalisation and Participation'

2-3.30pm, Friday 17 August 2012
Rogers Room, Woolley Building (A20), University of Sydney -- see map: http://db.auth.usyd.edu.au/directories/map/building.stm?location=12E


The paper explores the relationship between human agency and digital services. The capacity of digital services to create knowledge from a range of sources has led some commentators to argue that digital services are a factor in redefining human agency because these services link, combine and compute data to create new knowledge (e.g. Lash, 1999; Lyotard, 1984). This, they argue is resulting in non-human knowledge systems rather that knowledge created by humans within cultural frameworks.   The paper critically engages with these debates to explore the ways in which digital services are made meaningful through the way individuals interpret and use them. It focuses on three contexts in which agency and digital services interact to provide insights into the framework and characteristics of agency in these settings.  The three areas that are addressed are: virtual city modelling (VCM), digital or electronic assisted living technology (EAT), and Second Life (SL). The conclusion points out that human agency is influential in these services in that it is situated in particular spaces and contexts, reflects on the past, assesses the present,  and  looks to the future.  The agency of individuals is also important in generating knowledge in digital services, and is part of a personalised form of participation in consumer culture.

About the presenter:

Bridgette Wessels is Director of the Interdisciplinary network of Socio-digital Research and is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Sheffield. She has conducted funded research that addresses digital technology in public services, everyday life, public sphere, new media, and identity. She was expert on EU Fifth Framework IST programme, OST/DTI and Royal Society cybertrust programmes and is expert for the EU on the Social Web and communication in Europe. Her current projects are: Mainstreaming Telehealth(ESRC and TSB); Participating in Search Design: a study of George Thomason's Newsbooks (AHRC); Augmenting participation in the arts (DCMS & KT); and QCinema (Hefce). Her books include: Inside the Digital Revolution: policing and changing communication with the public (Ashgate, 2007); Information and joining up services: the case of an information guide for parents of disabled children (Policy Press, 2002); Understanding the Internet: a socio-cultural perspective (Palgrave, 2010); The Cultural Dynamics of the Innovation of New Media; the Case of Telematics (VDM Verlag: Saarbrucken), and an edited book Mediating Europe (Berghahn). She has published on digital worlds in journals such as New Media and Society, The Information Society, and the Journal of Computer Supported Communication.
An advance copy of the paper is available — just email Gerard Goggin (gerard.goggin at sydney.edu.au<mailto:gerard.goggin at sydney.edu.au>)

Contact details: Dr Bridgette Wessels, Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield, Elmfield Building, Northumberland Rd,
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S10 2TU Email: b.wessels at sheffield.ac.uk<mailto:b.wessels at sheffield.ac.uk>; http://www.shef.ac.uk/socstudies/staff/staff-profiles/wessels

Media @ Sydney is presented by the Department of Media and Communications (http://sydney.edu.au/arts/media_communications/) and the Digital Cultures Program (http://sydney.edu.au/arts/digital_cultures/), University of Sydney

For further information, contact Gerard Goggin (gerard.goggin at sydney.edu.au<applewebdata://92548607-E383-49F0-A473-59C3349C0CF6/gerard.goggin@sydney.edu.au>).
Gerard Goggin
Professor and Chair
Department of Media and Communications
University of Sydney

Adjunct Professor, Social Policy Research Centre
University of New South Wales

e: gerard.goggin at sydney.edu.au<applewebdata://58CAECF0-6F6E-47A3-9980-953EE0F9094E/gerard.goggin@sydney.edu.au>
p:  +61 2 9114 1218
m: +61 428 66 88 24
w: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/media_communications/staff/ggoggin
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