The Culture of Paper, Information and Power: An Irish Example

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Title: The Culture of Paper, Information and Power: An Irish Example
Authors: Komito, Lee
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/10194
Date: Mar-2009
Online since: 2019-04-29T11:01:23Z
Abstract: The analysis of electronic versus paper documents, especially in the context of computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), has often focused on affordances, issues of design and implementation and work practices. Issues of culture are often understated in such studies. Yet, like any object of material culture, the use of paper files, as well as an aversion to electronic information sharing, is conditioned by the cultural and political background of a society. This article will suggest that the persistence of paper files in a section of the Irish civil service during the 1990s had much to do with issues of accountability and a cult of expertise, in which papers files, as material objects, were deployed on behalf of claims of expertise and power. This intertwining of power, politics and information is a feature of Irish society, and the discourse of expertise and power is a theme that permeates many aspects of Irish culture.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Berghahn Books
Journal: Anthropology in Action
Volume: 16
Issue: 1
Start page: 41
End page: 55
Copyright (published version): 2009 Berghahn Books and the Association for Anthropology in Action
Keywords: Computer-supported cooperative workInformation systems designIrelandPaperless officePolitical clientelismPublic administrationWorkplace ethnography
DOI: 10.3167/aia.2009.160105
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Information and Communication Studies Research Collection

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