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Abstract

By bringing together science studies, information science and ethnographic fieldwork in interdisciplinary research the author argues for the relevance of ethnographic practices when studying information systems as infrastructures of communication. Ethnographic fieldwork focuses attention on fringes and materialities of infrastructures and renders the researcher able to read the invisible layers of control and access, to understand the changes in the social orderings that are brought about by information technology. Numerous examples and personal accounts of studies of infrastructures with ethnographic tools show how paying analytical attention to mundane aspects of information infrastructures helps to understand the consequences of the imbrication of infrastructure and human organization.

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