Layers of Silence, Arenas of Voice: The Ecology of Visible and Invisible Work

Susan Leigh Star & Anselm Strauss

Strübing has developed the notion of “subjective achievement” which is helpful to describe the importance of negotiating the parameters of visibility. He uses the example of computer programming, work organized within organizational structures, but also partly and necessarily against them, partly hidden from view:

It seems reasonable to see negotiation as one of the central subjective achievements of software designers. In programming work the participants have to bring together various dimensions: Every programmer is only capable to act within the framework of his or her subjective dispositions. There is the specific “materiality of the subject” and there is an organization with certain structures, a formal and informal balance of power, explicit and implicit goals. All this has to be taken into account while negotiating. (1992, p. 17)

Jörg Strübing: Negotiation: A Central Aspect of Collaborative Work in Software Design. 13

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