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“The World at Your Fingertips if You Know the Computer”: Agency, Information and Communication Technologies and Disability
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Human Work Science.
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
"Världen vid dina fingertoppar om du känner datorn": Aktörsskap, Informations- och Kommunikationsteknologier och Funktionshinder (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

This thesis focuses on the relationships between agency, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and people with disability (in various ages). The aim has been to create an understanding by describing and analysing, and as such, to develop knowledge of how people with disabilities experience agency, ICT, and disability in their everyday lives. The frame of reference is inspired by disability studies, feminist studies and science and technologies studies (STS). The empirical material was collected in, Norrbotten (Sweden’s northernmost region) and Muscat (the capital area of the Sultanate of Oman) by an autobiographical account, audio-visual material, drawings, interviews, observations, and reading of textual documents. The thesis consists of six papers. The main findings outline that agency, ICT, disability, and gender are part of intra-actions between material entities (such as bodies, technologies, etc.) and practices. The thesis also explores that disability in Sweden and Oman are understood in a variety of ways. Additionally, it presents that the combination of the notions of interference with situated knowledges can contribute with alternative methodological insights about the interference of disability, gender, ICT, the participants’ and researchers’ experiences and understandings to make accountable knowledge claims. Moreover, the thesis presents that material entities (bodies and technologies) and practices are part of different modes of ordering disability which bear effects on the lives of people with disabilities. It additionally disentangles that materialities such as the Internet intra-act with other material entities (for instance, bodies) and practices which enact various forms of agency which bear effects on the everyday lives of people with disability and their ways to participate. Finally, the thesis outlines some implications that an intra-acting understanding of the use of Internet can contribute with in research which focuses on disability, participation, and agency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2017.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keyword [en]
Agency; Disability; Information and Communication Technologies; Intra-action; Material-discursive; Material Semiotics; Modes of ordering; Situated knowledges
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Human Work Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-60909ISBN: 978-91-7583-783-3 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7583-784-0 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-60909DiVA: diva2:1053199
Public defence
2017-03-01, A 109, Luleå, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-12-09 Created: 2016-12-05 Last updated: 2017-02-13Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. I know, I can, I will try: youths and adults with intellectual disabilities in Sweden using information and communication technology in their everyday life
Open this publication in new window or tab >>I know, I can, I will try: youths and adults with intellectual disabilities in Sweden using information and communication technology in their everyday life
2013 (English)In: Disability & Society, ISSN 0968-7599, E-ISSN 1360-0508, Vol. 28, no 1, 28-40 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study introduces how technology and humans are part of relationships that influence agency among people with disabilities. It aims to focus attention on the use of, and access to, information and communication technology (ICT), and agency among youths and adults with intellectual disabilities. The study draws on empirical research conducted with youths and adults with intellectual disabilities, as well as staff at a day centre. It shows that by drawing upon interests, previous experiences, and cooperating in ICT activities the participants’ agency changed. Also, it shows how disability is relational and how it can be influenced by ICT. An interdisciplinary approach is adopted to interpret the findings and to explore: How do people of different ages with intellectual disabilities experience the use of ICT in their everyday lives? Are people with intellectual disabilities able to influence their level of activity by using ICT? And if so, in what ways?

National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-12598 (URN)10.1080/09687599.2012.695528 (DOI)bc23ae8e-c789-448a-86db-ff0b38a95b2f (Local ID)bc23ae8e-c789-448a-86db-ff0b38a95b2f (Archive number)bc23ae8e-c789-448a-86db-ff0b38a95b2f (OAI)
Note

Validerad; 2013; 20121127 (andbra)

Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2017-02-08Bibliographically approved
2. Modes of ordering disability: students living with visual disabilities in the Sultanate of Oman
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modes of ordering disability: students living with visual disabilities in the Sultanate of Oman
2017 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, ISSN 1501-7419, E-ISSN 1745-3011, Vol. 19, no 2, 79-90 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines how a group of students with visual disabilities speak about becoming disabled and living with disability in relation to: material entities, practices, and their own expectations regarding the future in the Sultanate of Oman. It draws upon individual interviews among six adults with visual disabilities. The article outlines, from a material semiotics approach, how various forms of modes of ordering enact disability. An interdisciplinary approach, informed by disability studies and science and technology studies, is implemented to interpret: How do students with visual disabilities express the relationships between material entities (such as bodies and technologies) and practices? In what ways are these relationships enacting different modes of ordering disability? What kind of modes of ordering disability are the participants experiencing in their lives? How have they responded to the modes of ordering that they have encountered?

National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Human Work Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-61694 (URN)10.1080/15017419.2017.1281843 (DOI)2-s2.0-85010674896 (ScopusID)
Note

Validerad; 2017; Nivå 2; 2017-02-28 (andbra)

Available from: 2017-01-30 Created: 2017-01-30 Last updated: 2017-02-28Bibliographically approved
3. Bringing actors together: ICT, disabillity and pupils in special school
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bringing actors together: ICT, disabillity and pupils in special school
2009 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is part of everyday life in various ways. This thesis focuses on the connection between disability and ICT among pupils with intellectual disabilities and on ways for researcher to study human and technology. The aim has been to study how ICT, agency and disability become constructed in a collective made up by actors such as humans (pupils with intellectual disabilities) and non-humans (computers, mobile phones, policy-documents).Two studies at two schools (totally the studies included nine classes) in the Norrbotten area in Sweden were conducted as a way to disentangle the aim and research questions. The studies which underlie this thesis are based on observations and interviews among six pupils in three classes in their everyday schooldays. Additionally an analysis of Bill 2004/05:175 was conducted.The thesis presents reviews of theoretical and methodological resources from disability studies, feminist studies and science and technology studies, Actor-Network Theory in particular, as well as an analysis of selected empirical material from the classes and Bill 2004/05:175. The analysis was conducted through themes, namely the following: introducing the classes, the schooldays and the school setting, the pupils' everyday life in school, the policy and understanding about intellectual disability among pupils, using ICT during the schooldays, ICT in everyday life, the youths' views of the computer, the ICT policies in Sweden and a sustainable ICT society for all.The main findings present how pupils with intellectual disability live disability, how the pupils regard disability and technology (express disability and technology to be). The thesis additionally explores how the pupils talk about themselves as users and how this in turn also relates to policy practices (more specifically, on the expressions in various statements in the bill and its focus on use, user and access). Another concern is how disability becomes intertwined with technology. Moreover, the thesis explores how actors in a form of collective bear effects on the body and its intertwining with disability and technology. Additionally, it examines the ways the pupils see themselves and how they act. The study shows that forms of unity as well as differences regarding access and users of ICT are found in the practice of policy-making as well as in the pupils' practices. The thesis additionally disentangles how one as a researcher can give voice to human and technology interaction when researching disabled pupils' agency and subjectivity. Thus, the thesis explores ways for researchers to study human and technology without relying on boundaries between them while at the same time being responsible in her/his claims. Here the work draws upon work from feminist studies; an inspirational source is Donna Haraway and more specifically her concept of situated knowledge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2009. 118 p.
Series
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757
Keyword
Social sciences - Pedgogical work, Socialvetenskap - Pedagogiskt arbete
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Man Machine Relation Focusing Gender
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-26565 (URN)ee7e7e70-12ed-11de-9768-000ea68e967b (Local ID)978-91-86233-33-4 (ISBN)ee7e7e70-12ed-11de-9768-000ea68e967b (Archive number)ee7e7e70-12ed-11de-9768-000ea68e967b (OAI)
Note

Godkänd; 2009; 20090317 (rena); LICENTIATSEMINARIUM Ämnesområde: Människa-maskin med inriktning mot genusforskning Examinator: Docent Marja Vehviläinen Tid: Fredag den 15 maj 2009 kl 13.00 Plats: Bell F 719j, Luleå tekniska universitet

Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2017-02-08Bibliographically approved

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