Abstract - The Information Society 23(4)

Rob Kling In Search of One Good Theory

Alice Robbin

Rob Kling’s legacy is a corpus of work that exemplifies the craft of inquiry and the social enterprise of science. This article examines his contribution to Social Informatics through an analysis of the multiple theories, methods, and sources of evidence he relied on to make his arguments about the social life of computing and the consequences of computerization. His citation identity demonstrates that he transcended disciplinary boundaries but grounded his analysis of the political and social order in interpretive theory and critique. Kling created a working vocabulary for theorizing about computerization and social life. His sustained inquiry and critique, a very public record of his work, enthusiasm, and charisma contributed to the penetration of his ideas and the fostering of a world-wide community of interest for a domain of study called Social Informatics.


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