Presence Research & Science and Technology Studies

Nevertheless, the human reality that is facilitated by technology is of such a complex nature that a clear understanding of its effect on the developing social structures between human beings remains a terrain full of unknown dynamics.In presence research, the social effect of mediating presence is hardly addressed. This study hopes to contribute to this field of research by emphasizing the impact of mediating presence on how people interact socially.

In philosophy, scholars have concerned themselves with understanding the essence of presence. In this study presence is specifically studied as a social phenomenon, which structures social interactions between human beings. Therefore, I have not entered into the philosophical debates about the essence of presence, but have chosen to approach presence from a perspective of science and technology studies.
Science and Technology Studies (STS), which has been a discipline in its own right for the last few decades, studies the social functioning and implications of science and technology. In addition to many other focuses, a variety of disciplines collaborate in STS to unfold or deconstruct the 'obvious' way technology is embedded into the day-to-day lives of people. By carefully describing certain situations, by following links between different actors in a network, by constructing and deconstructing how inventions are actually introduced into the world, by analysing in a semiotic way how meaning and social networks are produced around a certain object, STS unravels how technology contributes to the construction of our day-to-day lives in a variety of ways. The two methodologies for analysis that have been used in this study, the text laboratory and the techno-biography, were developed in science and technology studies. Thus the work carried out here can also be understood in the context of Science and Technology Studies.