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Theories, Practices and Examples for Community and Social Informatics


FRANCESCA COMUNELLO is Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication and Social Research, Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), where she teaches Internet studies. Her research focuses on the intersections between digital technology and society, with a focus on social media. Her work has been presented at national and international conferences. She has authored two books and several articles and book chapters; she has edited or co-edited three books (among them, Networked Sociability and Individualism).

ALBERTA CONTARELLO is Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Padova (Italy). Her fields of teaching and research are Social Psychology and Qualitative Methods in Social Psychological Research. Theoretically, she has adopted a social constructivist stance which takes into account psychological processes and places particular emphasis on membership, praxis and value endorsement. Her current interests concern the social construction of knowledge, with particular regard to social issues in phases of change and debate. The macro-level theme is social inclusion vs. exclusion, while specific themes regard ageing, science and gender, ICTs, environmental conflicts and social wellbeing.

TOM DENISON PhD is a Lecturer and Research Associate with the Centre for Organisational and Social Informatics (COSI) in the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University. He conducts research within the fields of social and community informatics, specialising in research relating to the effective use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) by communities and their members. Particular foci of his research include: ICTs as a form of mediated communication and the consequences of such use, for example by migrants and migrant groups; the use of ICTs by non-profit organisations and cultural institutions; and the role of social networks. He has also consulted widely in Australia and Vietnam, assisting libraries and non-profit organisations in making more effective use of ICT.

MANUELA FARINOSI PhD is post-doctoral researcher and adjunct professor of Economic Sociology at University of Udine (Italy). She received her PhD in Multimedia Communication in 2010. Her main research interests are focused on social and cultural aspects of digital technologies, with particular attention to the adoption and use of social media in the context of natural disasters. She has been Visiting Scholar at Ljubljana University (Slovenia), Alberta University (Canada), and Namur University (Belgium). She is currently a member of the COST Action FP1104.

PROFESSOR LEOPOLDINA FORTUNATI is the director of the doctoral program in Multimedia Communication at the University of Udine (Italy), where she teaches Sociology of Communication and Culture. She has conducted research in the field of gender studies, cultural processes and communication and information technologies, and her works have been published in eleven languages. She is the Italian representative in the COST Domain Committee (ISCH, Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health). She is associate editor of the journal The Information Society, and co-chair with Richard Ling of the Society for the Social Study of Mobile Communication (SSSMC).

ALDO DE MOOR is owner of the CommunitySense research consultancy company, founded in 2007. He earned his Ph.D. in Information Management from Tilburg University in the Netherlands in 1999. From 1999 to 2004, he worked as an assistant professor at the Department of Information Systems and Management at Tilburg University. From 2005 to 2006, he was a senior researcher at the Semantics Technology and Applications Research Laboratory (STARLab) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium. His research interests include community informatics, collaboration and communication modeling, socio-technical systems design, and the impact of ICT on society. See for his publications.

TOMI OINAS PhD is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. His research interests include job quality, working time, time use and division of labour in households.

VELI-MATTI SALMINEN PhD works as a researcher at the Church Research Institute in Tampere, Finland. His PhD thesis was about the social differentiation of social networks in local communities. Salminen has studied different aspects of civil society. Currently, he is working on a research project that deals with the changing patterns of community in the Finnish Church.

MAURO SARRICA PhD in Personality and Social Psychology, researcher at the Department of Communication and Social Research, Sapienza, University of Rome (Italy). His main interests are social construction of knowledge, stability and change of social beliefs, and peace psychology. He has been involved in international and interdisciplinary research on Internet and Communication Technologies. In these fields he has studied the social representations of ICTs, the impact of the Internet on journalists’ practices and the use of online forums to motivate and coordinate collective actions. His publications include twenty scientific papers on these topics and participation in international conferences.

LARRY STILLMAN PhD is a Senior Research Fellow with the Centre for Organisational and Social Informatics (COSI) in the Faculty of IT at Monash University. He is interested in micro and macro level analysis and theorisation of the effect of technology in society, in both developed and developing countries. Research includes understandings of technology cultures in community based organisations in Australia; indigenous understandings of technology by Maori in New Zealand; and the social-technical effects of the Digital Doorway Initiative in South Africa and Australia. He is also researching information cultures in development NGOs and communities as part of the international Oxfam-Monash Partnership.

SAKARI TAIPALE PhD works as an Academy of Finland Research Follow at the University of Jyväskylä (Finland). Taipale is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Eastern Finland. His research interests relate to the uses and politics of new media technologies, on which topics he has published widely in international journals and edited volumes.

EMILIANO TRERÉ PhD is Associate Professor of Digital Media and Social Movements at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of the Autonomous University of Querétaro (Mexico). His work has been published in New Media & Society, the International Journal of Communication, The Journal of Community Informatics, the ESSACHESS Journal for Communication Studies, and in edited books in English, Spanish and Italian. He is currently concluding a two-year project where he explores Mexican movements’ communication practices, with particular attention to social media platforms.

JANE VINCENT PhD studies the social behaviours of ICT users, especially emotions and mobile communications. Jane is Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Media and Communication at the LSE and Visiting Fellow with the Digital World Research Centre, University of Surrey (UK). Her academic studies build on over 20 years within the mobile communications industry developing new products and services. Jane’s publications include Migration, Diaspora and Information Technology in Global Societies, edited with L. Fortunati and R. Pertierra, and she is series editor of Participation in Broadband Society.

Theories, Practices and Examples for Community and Social Informatics

   by Tom Denison, Mauro Sarrica and Larry Stillman