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This content will become publicly available on April 6, 2025

Title: Languaging Ethics in Technology Practice
Ethics as embodied by technology practitioners resists simple definition—particularly as it relates to the interplay of identity, organizational, and professional complexity. In this paper we use the linguistic notion of languaging as an analytic lens to describe how technology and design practitioners negotiate their conception of ethics as they reflect upon their everyday work. We engaged twelve practitioners in individual co-creation workshops, encouraging them to reflect on their ethical role in their everyday work through a series of generative and evaluative activities. We analyzed these data to identify how each practitioner reasoned about ethics through language and artifacts, finding that practitioners used a range of rhetorical tropes to describe their ethical commitments and beliefs in ways that were complex and sometimes contradictory. Across three cases, we describe how ethics was negotiated through language across three key zones of ecological emergence: the practitioner’s “core” beliefs about ethics, internal and external ecological elements that shaped or mediated these core beliefs, and the ultimate boundaries they reported refusing to cross. Building on these findings, we describe how the languaging of ethics reveals opportunities to definitionally and practically engage with ethics in technology ethics research, practice, and education.  more » « less
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ACM Press
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ACM Journal on Responsible Computing
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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