Social Analysis of Computerization
University of California, Irvine
ICS 131, Winter 1997
Professor: David Redmiles
Office: ICS2 215
Office hours: available by (email) appointment on Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10-11.
TA: David Hilbert
Office: ICS 248
Office hours: TBA
Lecture: Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:00-6:20
Discussion 1: Mondays 10:00-10:50
Discussion 2: Fridays 11:00-11:50
This course provides you with an introduction of computerization as a
social process. It examines the social opportunities and problems raised
by new information technologies, and the consequences of different ways of
organization. Topics include computerization and work life, privacy,
virtual communities, productivity paradox, systems risks.
ICS 1A or Engineering 10 or Engineering ECE11
ICS 21 or equivalent
upper division standing
lower-division writing requirement
The required text for this course is:
Rob Kling (1996). Computerization and Controversy: Value
Conflicts and Social Choices. (Second Edition). San Diego, CA: Academic
If needed, additional course notes will be made available through the
engineering copy center.
This class is about ideas, feelings, opinions, perspectives, and above all
Tuesday in-class exercises: 10% Other Notebook entries: 25%
Thursday in-class quizzes: 10% ics.131a participation: 5%
First section summary: 5% TRW and newsgroup exercises: 5%
Second summary: 15% Discussion participation: 10%
Third summary: 15%
You will express yourself in verbal discussion, in email, in writing, and
in presenting. There is further description of these assignments at the
end of this document.
Most Tuesdays involve an in-class exercise carried out by groups of about
5. Sometimes there is pre-class preparation for these exercises, but often
there isn't. After the first week, the groups are assigned, and
periodically change. Full credit requires making one of your group
presentations to the class.
Most Thursdays include a brief in-class quiz. Typically, these are
open-book, focus on one reading for that week, and the quiz question is
described in advance on ics.131a.
Your Course Notebook will contain one-page reviews of each assigned
reading, along with the topic summaries and materials collected for
discussion section activities. The Notebook will be graded the third,
sixth, and final weeks.
Notebook article reviews
Each review should be on a separate page or pages, headed by the article's
title and author. The review should first indicate the style (e.g. academic
or informal) and audience for the article, then summarize in a few clear
sentences the main argument of the article. Then you should describe your
reaction or a personal experience related to the article of a part of it.
Your personal experience, insight, reaction, or reasoned argument is
Topic summaries (with outside material)
The readings are divided into six topics. You will write three 3-to-5 page
section summaries, each tying together material from the assigned articles
in one section. It should also cite 2 new sources; one can be another
reading in the book, the second should be an outside source. Each summary
should also contain your opinions and experiences related to the material
in the section. Your first summary will cover the first reading topic. For
your second summary you can choose either the second or third topic. Your
third summary will cover one of the final three topics.
Everyone posts at least 3 messages to ics.131a: your reaction to an
assigned reading, and two responses to postings by other students.
Discussion section activities and participation
Some activities in discussion section require advanced preparation.
Policy on missed exercises, missed quizzes, and late Notebooks
In-class activities cannot be made up unless the instructor is notified in
advance of the absence. Notebook entries must be turned in together and
lose 10% for each day late.
You should use your UNIX accounts to access the bulletin board at least
once a day. The instructor and teaching assistant will post messages
including details of the assignments in this fashion. You will need to use
email to arrange office hours, etc. You will need to post messages to the
needs groups to complete some of the assignments.
Lecture and Discussion Topics - Readings Schedule
Tuesday, January 7: Introduction
Today we discuss the orientation of this course and the organization of the
activities that you will engage in.
Thursday, January 9: Introduction
Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition
I. A. Heads Up versus Heads In Views of Computer Systems--Rob Kling
Tuesday, January 14: The Dreams of Technological Utopianism
I. B. Reader's Guide to Computerization and Controversy--Rob Kling
I. C. Social Controversies About Computerization--Rob Kling
Thursday, January 16: The Dreams of Technological Utopianism
I. D. Computers as Tools and As Social Systems: The Car-Computer
II. A. Hopes and Horrors: Technological Utopianism and Anti-Utopianism in
Narratives of Computerization--Rob Kling
Tuesday, January 21: System Safety and Social Vulnerability
VII. A. Systems Safety, Normal Accidents, and Social Vulnerability--Rob Kling
VII. C. Jonathan Jacky, "Safety-Critical Computing: Hazards, Practices,
Standards and Regulation".
Thursday, January 23: System Safety and Social Vulnerability
VII. E. Brian Cantwell Smith, "The Limits of Correctness".
VII. I. Neumann, Peter G. "Risks of technology."
VII. D. Stix, Gary. "Aging Airways."
Tuesday, January 28: Electronic Communities
V. A. Social Relations in Electronic Forums: Hangouts, Salons, Workplaces
and Communities--Rob Kling
V. B. Sproull, Lee and Sara Kiesler. "Increasing Personal Connections."
V. C. Herring, Susan C. "Gender and Democracy In Computer-mediated
Thursday, January 30: Electronic Communities
V. G. Van Tassel, Joan. "Yakety-Yak, Do Talk Back: PEN, the Nation's First
Publicly Funded Electronic Network, Makes a Difference in Santa Monica."
V. K. Crawford, Walt. "I Heard It Through the Internet."
V. M. Richard Sclove and Jeffrey Scheuer. "On the Road Again: If
Information Highways Are Anything Like Interstate Highways--Watch Out!"
Tuesday, February 4: Privacy and Social Control
VI. A. Information Technologies and the Shifting Balance Between Privacy
and Social Control--Rob Kling
VI. B. Linowes, David. "Your Personal Information Has Gone Public."
VI. C. Bill of Rights (Amendments to the US Constitution)
Thursday, February 6 Privacy and Social Control
VI. D. John Shattuck, "Computer Matching is a Serious Threat to Individual
VI. E. Richard P. Kusserow, "The Government Needs Computer Matching to Root
Out Waste and Fraud"
Tuesday, February 11: Privacy and Social Control
VI. I. Posch, Robert. "Direct Marketing is Not a Significant Privacy Threat"
VI. J. Hibbert, Chris. "What to do When they Ask for Your SSN."
Thursday, February 13: Privacy and Social Control
VI. G. Rotenberg, Marc. Wiretapping Bill: Costly and Intrusive.
VI. H. Hatch, Denison. "How Much Data Do Direct Marketers Really Need?"
Tuesday, February 18: Organizations and Worklife
III. A. The Centrality of Organizations in the Computerization of
III. C. Feder, Barnaby J. "Getting the Electronics Just Right"
III. E. Frantz, Douglas. "B of A's Plans for Computer Don't Add Up."
III. J. Baily, Martin Neal. "Great Expectations: PCs and Productivity"
Thursday, February 20: Organizations and Worklife
IV. A. Kling, Rob. "Computerization at Work"
III. D. Michael Scott Morton. "How Information Technologies Can Transform
Tuesday, February 25: Organizations and Worklife
IV. C. Marx, Gary. The Case of the Omniscient Organization.
IV. G. Clement, Andrew. Computing at Work: Empowering Action by `Low-level
Thursday, February 27: Ethics and Professional Responsibilities
I. G. Information and Computer Scientists as Moral Philosophers and Social
VIII. A. Beyond Outlaws, Hackers, and Pirates: Ethical Issues in the Work
of Information and Computer Science Professionals.--Rob Kling
Tuesday, March 4: Ethics and Professional Responsibilities
VIII. C. Anderson, Ronald, Johnson, Deborah G.; Gotterbarn, Donald;
Perolle, Judith. "Codes of Professional
VIII. D. Association for Computing Machinery. "ACM Code of Ethics and
VIII. B. Parker, Donn B.; Swope, Susan; Baker, Bruce N.; Weiss, Eric A.
"All in a Day's Work: Nine Provocative Examples in the Practice of
Thursday, March 6: Ethics and Professional Responsibilities
VIII. E. Wagner, Ina. "Confronting Ethical Issues of Systems Design in a
Web of Social Relationships"
VIII. H. Wenk Jr., Edward. "New Principles for Engineering Ethics"
Tuesday, March 11: TBA
Final Notebooks Due
Thursday, March 13: TBA