We focus here on the history, status and future of social informatics. In doing this we build on the visionary work of the late Rob Kling. Social informatics research contributes insights and perspectives to the study of computing in our society that other approaches do not. We make the case that social informatics is on its way to becoming a scholarly institution: accepted as one of the several approaches to study computing, and in particular, the approach best suited to engage on computerization. In making this case, we highlight the value of social informatics, summarize its principles and common findings, point to current work and issues, illustrate the three perspectives through which to pursue this scholarship, and identify several current activities remaining for social informatics to institutionalize.
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