Human-computer interaction (HCI) is an ever-more pervasive phenomenon. Many societies are at the point where avoiding interaction with digital technologies is hugely challenging. In this way HCI – both as a phenomenon and as a field of research – has the potential for widespread relevance well beyond its initial disciplinary origins (which stem largely from university computer science and psychology departments).
Simultaneously, approaches from the human sciences (and arts and humanities) have pushed well into HCI’s mainstream. One strand of this having significant formative impact in HCI is, broadly, what we might gloss as ‘sociological interactionism’ or pragmatics (although ‘pragmatics’ is a less used term in HCI); that is, research approaches that foreground ‘interaction’ with / around digital technologies, infrastructures and services, and simultaneously formulate this as constitutively interactional in nature.
Dr Stuart Reeves