, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 345–349 | Cite as

Review of Human–Machine Reconfigurations: Plans and Situated Actions

  • Heather Barnick
Book Review

Lucy A Suchman Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2nd edn., 2007, 314pp., £18.99, ISBN: 052167588X

Human–Machine Reconfigurations: Plans and Situated Actions (HMR) includes a second edition of Lucy Suchman's Plans and Situated Actions, as well as a series of original chapters. Published in 1987, Suchman's Plans and Situated Actions: the Problem of Human Machine Communication (P&SA) was an early anthropological foray into the study of science and technology. The book arrived on the scene when such an interest was seen to fall outside the boundaries of anthropology's key sites of concentration – ‘human nature’ and ‘human culture’ (Downey and Dumit, 1997, p. 7). Then, as now, Suchman's work makes an important contribution across disciplinary boundaries in the way that it unsettles the categories of ‘humans’ and ‘machines’ as taken for granted starting points in any analysis of their interactions. This is accomplished by providing a framework in which ‘the human’ and ‘the nonhuman’ as...


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heather Barnick
    • 1
  1. 1.York University, TorontoCanada

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