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Apps and Infrastructures – A Research Agenda

C. Gerlitz, A. Helmond, D. B. Nieborg, and F. N. van der Vlist (alphabetical)

In this special issue editorial, we introduce a research agenda for empirical app studies. First, we introduce the three main strands of scholarship that have engaged with (mobile) apps and infrastructures so far. This enables us to position the contributions to this special issue at the cutting edge of the research on apps and infrastructures. We present our theoretical perspective on the infrastructural situatedness of apps to foreground how apps are always relational and, therefore, situated in a technological as well as social and cultural sense. From this perspective, we outline the contours of the app/infrastructure stack, which proposes to account for the hierarchical layered structure of apps and infrastructures, including their various interrelations and interdependencies. Finally, we derive six emerging research themes for future app studies based on the eight contributions included in this special issue that we hope will motivate further innovative and critical research into apps and infrastructures specifically as well as into computational culture in general.

app studies; mobile apps; platforms; app stores; software studies; infrastructure; app–platform relations


Kind Journal Special Issue; Editorial
Author C. Gerlitz; A. Helmond; D. B. Nieborg; F. N. van der Vlist
Publication Date 2019, October 21 [issue published online]
Journal Computational Culture – A Journal of Software Studies
Issue 7
Section Apps and Infrastructures
Publisher Computational Culture (London, United Kingdom)
Identifier http://computationalculture.net/apps-and-infrastructures-a-research-agenda/ [self]; http://computationalculture.net/issue-seven/ [part of]; 2047-2390 [part of]
License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

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