What Use is Domestication Theory to Information Systems Research?

What Use is Domestication Theory to Information Systems Research?

Deirdre Hynes (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK) and Helen Richardson (University of Salford, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-659-4.ch027
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This chapter introduces and discusses domestication theory—essentially about giving technology a place in everyday life—and its relevance and importance to information systems (IS) research. The authors discuss domestication within the context of the social shaping of technology and critique use and adoption theories more widely found in IS studies. The authors illustrate how domestication theory underpins studies of how Irish households find ways of using computers (or not) in their everyday life and research into the use of ICTs in UK gendered households. In conclusion they outline how developments in domestication theory can contribute to future IS research.
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Domestication Theory In Context

In this section we focus on theories that underpin domestication of ICTs and that help to understand technologies in everyday life. These theories are discussed under the umbrella term – the social shaping of technology.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Feminist Research: Field of research examining women’s political, cultural, social and economic experiences

Domestication Theory: A theory developed by Silverstone et al (1994) to interpret how technologies become part of everyday life.

Gender: Social construction of identity and roles based on normative values

Social Shaping of Technology: This approach argues that the emergence and development of technology is a social process and people and their social arrangements are the crucial factors in promoting change. This approach argues against intrinsic characteristics inherent in technologies determining their effect and use.

Technological Determinism: This approach places technology as the pivotal factor in bringing about social change. Technologies are seen as autonomous inventions that have direct effects on social life.

TAM: The Technology Acceptance Model seeks to explain the determinants of computer acceptance and user behaviour across a broad range of end-user computing technologies. The model contains two key sets of constructs: (1) perceived usefulness (PU) and perceived ease of use (PEOU) and (2) user attitude. The basic hypothesis is that acceptance of a technology is determined by his or her voluntary intentions towards using the technology.

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