Jenny will discuss her new book How Artifacts Afford: The Power and Politics of Everyday Things (MIT Press, 2020). Affordances are the ways design features enable and constrain user engagement and social action. This book introduces the mechanisms and conditions framework of affordances in which technologies request, demand, encourage, discourage, refuse, and allow in ways that vary across contexts and between different people. The framework shifts the question in affordance analysis from what technologies afford to how technologies afford, for whom, and under what circumstances? This talk will address the politics and power encoded in sociotechnical systems and demonstrate a simple framework for technological analysis and design.
Jenny L. Davis (@Jenny_L_Davis) is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Sociology at the Australian National University. She works at the intersection of social psychology and technology studies. She is Co-Director of the Role-Taking Project, runs Pause-Project through a DECRA Fellowship, and is a Chief Investigator on the Humanising Machine Intelligence team. Jenny runs the sole laboratory for experimental sociology in Australia. Learn more at jennyldavis.com