What is ATIC?

Suchman and Jordan (1987) suggest that the design of technology is only completed fully once it is in use. This idea is shared by many who now investigate the domestication of new technologies.

ATIC is the acronym for Assessment of Technology in Context. Technology assessment is the analysis of technologies in their situated contexts.  Bush (1983) places these contexts into four categories:

  1. the design or developmental context which includes all the decisions, materials, personnel, processes, and systems necessary to create tools and techniques from raw materials.
  2. the user context which includes all the motivations, intentions, advantages, and adjustments called into play by the use of particular techniques or tools.
  3. the environmental context that describes the specific physical surroundings in which a technology or tool is developed and used.
  4. the cultural context which includes all the norms, values, myths, aspirations, laws, and interactions of the society of which the tool or technique is a part (Bush, 1983, 157).


Bush, C. G. (1983). Women and the assessment of technology: To Think, to be; to unthink, to free. In J. Rothschild (Ed.), Machina ex dea: Feminist perspectives on technology. New York: Pergamon.

Suchman, L. and Jordan, B. (1987). Computerization and women's knowledge.  In K. Tijdens, Jennings, M., Wagner, I. and Weggelaar, M. (Eds.), Women, work and computerization: Forming new alliances (pp. 153--160). Amsterdam, North Holland, (Proceedings published 1989).