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Ethnomethodological Architectures - The Convergence Between an Information System and the Cultural Landscape


As networked digital systems are rapidly created and deployed, social, cultural, and community-focused issues are often neglected. Acknowledging the cultural practices and belief systems of a set of users may allow systems to be more effectively created and deployed into particular community contexts. Emerging research in community information systems and archives has highlighting possible interactions between system design and ethnographic research. These bridges include understanding how communities can begin to (1) create content for their own information systems, (2) design the database architectures, and (3) adopt information systems into their own infrastructures. In this paper, I first allude to several cultural criticisms that accompany the global proliferation of information technologies. These criticisms, I argue, can be responded to via information studies research that focuses toward developing systems based around ethnographic insights. Specifically, I present the research example of Tribal Peace, a cultural information system, designed for and by community members from the 19 Native American reservations of San Diego County (California, United States). This case has demonstrated the potential for a community to create an information system that satisfies its own priorities. This precedent points to the need for further research toward this convergence.

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