Routledge – 2011 – 272 pages
Whilst Information Systems has the potential to widen our view of the world, it often has the opposite effect by limiting our ability to interact, facilitating managerial and state surveillance or instituting strict hierarchies and personal control. In this book, Bernd Stahl offers an alternative and critical perspective on the subject, arguing that the ongoing problems in this area could be caused by the misconceptualization of the nature and role of IS.
Stahl discusses the question of how IS can be used to actually overcome oppression and promote emancipation, breaking the book into four sections. The first section covers the theory of critical research in IS, giving a central place for the subject of ethics. The second section discusses the philosophical underpinnings of this critical research. The third and largest section gives examples of the application of critical work in IS. The final section then reflects on the approach and suggests ways for further development.
Table of Contents
Section 1: Theory
Critical Research in Information Systems
Theoretical Discourses: A Comparison of the Foucauldian and Habermasian Concepts of Discourse in CRIS
Ethics, Morality and Critical Research in IS, Emancipation Across Cultural Boundaries: A Fundamental Problem of Critical Research in Information Systems
Section 2: Philosophy
Ontology: On Positivism, Realism, and their Relevance for Critical IS Research
Epistemology: On Information, Knowledge and Truth, Methodology: Is there a Specific Critical Way to Knowledge?
Philosophical Syncretism in IS Research: Final Remarks on Ontology, Epistemology and Paradigms
Section 3: Application
Information Systems as Means of (Dis)Empowerment: The Information Society and Decision Support Systems in Local Authorities in Egypt
Responsible and Heroic Management of Workplace Privacy: A Critical View of ICT Management
Trust as Fetish: A Critical Theory Perspective on Research on Trust in E-Commerce
The Ideological Use of Privacy and Security
The Metaphor of Evolution in E-Commerce: A Critical Evaluation
Commercial Colonization: E-Teaching and E-Democracy
Section 4: Reflection(s)
Limitations of the Critical Approach, The Future of Critical Research in Information Systems
Bernd Stahl is a Reader in Critical Research in Technology in the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at De Montford University in Leicester.