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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Social Impact of Informational Production: Software Development as an Informational Practice

  • Author(s): Eischen, Kyle
  • et al.

Software is a unique process that draws on socially structured domain-knowledge as its central resource. This clarifies the importance of information and design in an informational environment, as well as signals the impact of digital architectures in structuring new patterns of social interaction. These informational patterns are embedded in software both technically and through the development process, resulting in a strong cohesion between production, product and industry structures. Software increasingly is a central, but hidden factor within the global environment structuring production practices, embedded in products and shaping social interactions. Many of the central conflicts, assumptions and patterns in information societies are directly linked to software’s informational practice or highlighted first through software focused debates. Ignoring such patterns directly limits our understanding and analysis of the broader social transformations in the global environment. Failing to recognize these processes limits the space for social debate, policy and action around the establishment and evolution of these new digital architectures at the locus of their development.

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