Studying Technology in Public Settings

  • Stuart Reeves
Part of the Human-Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


This chapter addresses the problem of studying technology in use in uncontrolled and complex settings found in public and semi-public places. Firstly it covers broadly the methodological approaches and analytic perspectives that have been employed in overcoming these problems. Primarily, the insights of ethnomethodology, Goffman’s dramaturgical metaphor for social interaction and his analytic development of this with interactional ‘framings’, have informed much of the strategy behind selecting and collecting data for study, examining it, drawing analytic points from it and therefore influencing the construction of the framework as it developed alongside the four key studies in this book. As such a central aim of this chapter is in exploring the philosophical rationales that were formative in engaging in this work. After discussing this underlying intellectual basis for approaching the data, the chapter then turns in more detail to the more practical processes of collection and analysis, and the distinct challenges it presents in terms of studying interaction ‘in the wild’ and piecing together fragmented, distributed and potentially mobile data resources. As part of this, we shall also further explore the relationship between the framework and the concepts developed in the studies, expanding upon the opening chapter’s diagrammatic summary of them. This is an important topic when seeking to connect naturalistic video-based data collection and analysis with the more conceptual generalisations of them developed subsequently as part of a framework.


Conversation Analysis Informal Conversation Public Setting Sustained Engagement Workplace Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Horizon Digital Economy ResearchUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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