A Social Science Perspective

How can we develop inter-disciplinary epistemologies that will enable us to understand the Web as a complex socio-technical phenomenon?

How can we do mixed methods research to explore the relations between ethnographic insights to Web practice and the emergence of the Web at the macro level?

How can we draw on new data sources e.g. digital records of network use to develop understanding of the sociological aspects of the Web?

What are the on-going iterative relations between use and design of the Web?

How and why do people use newly emergent forms of the Web in the way that they do? What kinds of sociological and psychological concepts do we need to understand this? What implications does this have for our understanding of key sociological categories, e.g. kinship, gender, race, class and community, and vice versa? What implications does this have for our understanding of psychological constructs, e.g. personal and group identity, collaborative decision making, perception and attitudes.

How is the Web situated within networks of power and in relation to social inequalities? To what extent might the Web offer empowering political resources? How might the Web change further as new populations access it?