Reading Group November 16 2011
from 12:30 PM to 01:30 PM
A growing body of papers referring to sociomateriality have now been published. Many of these, however, employ the term in ways that are only loosely related to the sources. Five elements of the sociomaterial approach are identified (the centrality of materiality, inseparability, relationality, performativity and practices) and are illustrated with evidence from an ongoing study of the adoption of a computer-based Clinical Information System in a Critical Care Unit. It is argued that these five elements constitute a distinctive and coherent account of the relationship between the social and the material, but that there is a need for greater care in the terminology employed and clarification of the scope of the claims made. In particular it is questioned whether strong relationality is a necessary feature of the approach. Further empirical exploration of sociomateriality that engages with all five features, rather than focusing only on materiality, is proposed to gain insight on these issues.