Context, Boundedness, and Structure: The Apprehension of Place in the Development of Information Environments

Context, Boundedness, and Structure: The Apprehension of Place in the Development of Information Environments

Elin K. Jacob (Indiana University-Bloomington, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-020-2.ch007
OnDemand PDF Download:
$37.50

Abstract

In distinguishing between space and place, one approach is to contrast the physicality of space with the sociality of place: space directs attention to the material configuration of the physical environment while place indicates an individual’s understanding of the social behaviors that are appropriate within that environment. However, such a distinction juxtaposing the physical configuration of space to the social orientation of place is, on consideration, too limiting in its applicability. A more effective and generalizable distinction between space and place must also consider perceptions of context, implications of boundedness, and the influence of organizational structure. This broader approach to analysis of space and place can lead to the identification of meaningful differences that influence the functional activities of an information system and contribute to a greater understanding of what it is that constitutes an information environment.
Chapter Preview
Top

The Physicality Of Space And The Sociality Of Place

Dourish (Dourish, 2001; Harrison & Dourish, 1996) attempts to capture both the distinction between space and place and the potential applicability of this distinction when he differentiates between behaviors that are shaped by the space in which they are performed, and those which reflect the individual’s understanding of what is acceptable or expected within that place. Accordingly, he contrasts the physicality of space with the sociality of place: space directs attention to the material configuration of a physical setting while place focuses attention on the individual’s understanding of the social behaviors that are appropriate within that environment. Because the individual’s apprehension of place is governed by practices and conventions relative to a community of interest (CoI), it reflects the social knowledge that is shared across the members of that community. Thus, a sense of place focuses the individual’s attention on those behaviors that are facilitated by an understanding of what is possible within a socially construed environment rather than on those activities that may be afforded by the physical arrangement of three-dimensional space. Dourish (2001, p. 89) illustrates this argument by pointing to differences in use that separate meeting rooms from dining rooms: although the material contents and the physical configuration of space is similar for meeting rooms and dining rooms, the behaviors that occur within each place are shaped by conventions and expectations associated with the encompassing social environment of business or home, respectively. It is unfortunate, however, that Dourish’s attempt to illustrate the socially construed understanding of place relies not on the individual’s understanding of what behaviors are acceptable within a specific place, but on very general categories (or kinds) of spaces.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset
Table of Contents
Acknowledgment
Chapter 1
Alan Dix
Map, mazes, myths, magic, and mathematics, computation, cognition, community, and the constructed environment, all reveal something of our internal... Sample PDF
Paths and Patches: Patterns of Geognosy and Gnosis
$37.50
Chapter 2
Jon Kerridge
This chapter concerns the question of how people navigate through a space in which other people are also present. Issues addressed include how the... Sample PDF
Let's Meander Through a Measured Space
$37.50
Chapter 3
Matthew Leach
The Speckled Computing project is a large multisite research project based in Scotland, UK. The aim of the project is to investigate, prototype, and... Sample PDF
Navigating a Speckled World: Interacting with Wireless Sensor Networks
$37.50
Chapter 4
John Willy Bakke
Workplaces are key loci for expressing and studying organizational identity, even in distributed work. In organization studies, there is a growing... Sample PDF
Contested Terrain: Place, Work, and Organizational Identities
$37.50
Chapter 5
Anne Sofie Laegran
The chapter is based on a study of Internet cafés in Norway, and interrogates the way space and place is produced in interconnections between people... Sample PDF
Technosocial Space: Connecting People and Places
$37.50
Chapter 6
Lynne Hall
This chapter discusses artists’ use of virtual space to collaboratively create a digital stained-glass rose window. It explores the use of virtual... Sample PDF
Reconfiguring the Rose: An Exploration of the Use of Virtual Space by Artists Collaboratively Creating Digital Stained Glass
$37.50
Chapter 7
Elin K. Jacob
In distinguishing between space and place, one approach is to contrast the physicality of space with the sociality of place: space directs attention... Sample PDF
Context, Boundedness, and Structure: The Apprehension of Place in the Development of Information Environments
$37.50
Chapter 8
Richard Coyne
The widespread use of mobile telephony prompts a reevaluation of the role of the aural sense in spatial understanding. There are clear correlations... Sample PDF
Voice and Space: Agency of the Acousmêtre in Spatial Design
$37.50
Chapter 9
Susan Turner
This chapter considers the role of sound, and more specifically, listening, in creating a sense of presence (of “being there”) in “places” recreated... Sample PDF
Listening, Corporeality, Place and Presence
$37.50
Chapter 10
Stephen Boyd Davis
The chapter is concerned with the relationship between the planar space of graphic representations and the world space that they represent. To... Sample PDF
Representing Space: The Pictorial Imperative
$37.50
Chapter 11
Fiona Carroll
The art of the visual-narrative is not a new phenomenon. Artists and designers have been using images to tell stories for thousands of years. From... Sample PDF
The Spatial Development of the Visual-Narrative from Prehistoric Cave Paintings to Computer Games
$37.50
Chapter 12
Shaleph O’Neill
The Situationists defined the increasingly spectacularized society (The Society of the Spectacle ) as the alienation of the individual by an... Sample PDF
The Interactive Spectacle and the Digital Situationist
$37.50
Chapter 13
Shaun Lawson
People use spatial language in everyday face-to-face conversation, and we also now use such language during everyday computer-mediated interactions.... Sample PDF
Spatial Language in Computer Mediated Communication
$37.50
Chapter 14
Phil Turner
Recent years have witnessed a number of initiatives to develop technology (“memory prosthetics”) to enhance and extend human memory. Typical of... Sample PDF
Space, Place, and Memory Prosthetics
$37.50
Chapter 15
Julian Warner
This chapter is concerned with exposing the material basis for the concepts of the syntagm and paradigm from linguistics, and the message and... Sample PDF
Materializing Communication Concepts: Linearity and Surface in Linguistics and Information Theory
$37.50
Chapter 16
Sándor Darányi, Péter Wittek
Current methods of automatic indexing, automatic classification, and information retrieval treat index and query terms, that is, vocabulary units in... Sample PDF
On Information, Meaning, Space and Geometry
$37.50
About the Contributors