exploring the relationship between social science and software development methodologies: a blog by Pascal Belouin

I recently came across an interesting problem, which I guess is quite a common one for web application developers. I am currently working on a small to middle sized web application, and the development team is using Merb, a nice and neat MVC framework, and are making very good use of the ‘spirit’ and elegance [...]

Read more...



By introducing the idea of a fragmented, constantly ‘failing’ subject, Lacan directly challenged the essentialist concept of a ‘stable identity’, or ‘constant ego’ as commonly accepted since Descartes’ Cogito. Indeed, according to Lacan, biological sexual differences between individuals could be viewed as the ‘paradigmatic difference’ at the origin of the formation of the subject ‘from [...]

Read more...

§145 · March 17, 2010 · Theory · (No comments) · Tags: , , , , , ,


‘Because emergence is the foundation of our approach to theory building, a researcher cannot enter an investigation with a list of preconceived concepts, a guiding theoretical framework, or a well though out design’ (Strauss and Corbin, 1998, p. 34). Although this citation from Strauss and Corbin could make sense in the context of a practical, [...]

Read more...

§140 · March 17, 2010 · Practice, Theory · 1 comment · Tags: , , , , ,


What has been, in occidental culture, consensually defined as ‘the subject’, or ‘the self’, and seen as a natural, self-evident and indivisible part of the identity of human beings could be approached and understood as a historically constituted phenomenon, whose apparition and development could be investigated through an exploration of the various techniques and practices [...]

Read more...



I’ve been browsing the internet for a little while to see if anybody used Bourdieu’s notion of social capital as a framework for the analysis of social software such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn (the latter being particularly representative). I apologise in advance to purists that may think that I oversimplify Bourdieu, but it seems [...]

Read more...



During the course of fieldwork, the ethnographer can take on a number of different roles, which could be classified in regards to the degree of one’s involvement with the population he or she is studying. For instance, according to Junker (1960) and Gold’s (1958) model, the roles available to the researcher range from the ‘complete [...]

Read more...

§125 · March 16, 2010 · Practice · 1 comment · Tags: , , , , , , ,


The transcript presented below is a classic piece of data that have been used extensively by numerous conversation analysts to illustrate a rather large variety of CA concepts and notions. Below is a short example of how conversation analysis can be carried out, and what kind of results it can yield. Transcript: A call to [...]

Read more...

§113 · March 16, 2010 · Practice · (No comments) · Tags: , , , ,


Conversation analysis, or CA, focuses on the fine-grain analysis of talk in the framework of actual, day-to-day conversations between social actors. Its aim is to provide practical tools for allowing an understanding of the tacit rules and inherent order of common, day-to-day conversations by using short transcripts or recordings as data. This discourse analysis tradition [...]

Read more...



Overview of the Proposed Research Topic During the relatively short history of software development, several development methods have been introduced, from the rather standard waterfall model derived from development methods that can be found in more ‘traditional’ industries (Royce, 1970), to solutions more adapted to the particular issues involved in software development such as user-centered [...]

Read more...



Abstract It could be argued that discourse surrounding software development methodologies has evolved in recent years from a focus on technology and pure computer science subjects to issues of values, meaning and communication. This shift in the way software development is perceived in the professional world could be further explored through a Foucauldian analysis of [...]

Read more...