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« The Conceptualization of IT: Respective Contributions of Sociology and Information System »


  • François-Xavier de Vaujany


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The following article aims at analyzing the different phases the IS- sociology relationship has gone through and at pointing out some specific features of sociologists and IS scientists in their conceptualization of IT. It shows that both academic fields develop more and more convergent theorizations. The first part is centred on an historical analysis of sociology itself. It shows the great comeback of the Object within the sociological field at the beginning of the 80s. Different models have been developed from the generalized kinds of sociology to those that have been focused on the social construction of the Object. These make up sociological groups, which we call 'autonomous'. Part two is based on sociological approaches used and worked out in the domain of IS. These are presented by means of three historical moments (causalist, actor-based and processual). For each of these stages the influence of sociologies, notably those that deal with the Object, is obvious and models are more or less 'illuminated' by means of broader perspectives. In the third part, there is a discussion of ontological differences between the work of sociologists studying IS objects and the work of IS researchers drawing on sociologists’ conceptual contributions. Lastly, it seems that if sociology and IS sometimes diverge in the way they study sociotechnical systems, they converge gradually in their conceptualization of the IT artifact.

Suggested Citation

  • François-Xavier de Vaujany, 2005. "« The Conceptualization of IT: Respective Contributions of Sociology and Information System »," Computer Programs 0509001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppr:0509001
    Note: Type of Document - zip; pages: 28. Source: de Vaujany (FX), (2005), « The Conceptualization of IT: Respective Contributions of Sociology and Information System », Journal of Information Technology Impact, vol 5, n°1, pp. 39-58

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