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Store, Interface, Package, Connection

Methods and Propositions for App Studies

M. J. Dieter, C. Gerlitz, A. Helmond, N. Tkacz, F. N. van der Vlist, E. J. T. Weltevrede (alphabetical)

This paper discusses methodological approaches to app studies, focussing on their embeddedness and situatedness within multiple infrastructural settings. Our approach arises by paying close attention to the multivalent affordances of apps as software packages, particularly their capacity to enter into diverse groupings and relations depending on different infrastructural situations. The changing situations they evoke and participate in, accordingly, makes apps visible and accountable in a variety of unique ways. Engaging with and even staging these situations, therefore, allows for political-economic, social and cultural dynamics associated with apps and their infrastructures can be investigated through a style of research we describe as multi-situated app studies. The piece offers an overview of four different entry points of enquiry that are exemplary of this overarching framework, focussing on app stores, app interfaces, app packages and app connections. We conclude with nine propositions that develop out of these studies as prompts for further research.

app studies; mobile apps; situatedness; app stores; software studies; infrastructure



Kind Periodical; Working Paper
Author M. J. Dieter; C. Gerlitz; A. Helmond; N. Tkacz; F. N. van der Vlist; E. J. T. Weltevrede
Publication Date 2018, August
Journal CRC ‘Media of Cooperation’ Working Paper Series
Issue 4
Publisher Collaborative Research Centre ‘Media of Cooperation’ (Siegen, Germany)
Identifier http://bit.ly/wps1187-4; 2567–2509 [part of]; 2567–2517 [part of]; urn:nbn:de:hbz:467-13410 [part of]
Download store-interface-package-connection.pdf
License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0