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Some Common Misunderstandings, Objections and Complaints

  • Andrew Crabtree
  • Mark Rouncefield
  • Peter Tolmie
Chapter
Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)

Abstract

A great many people find ethnomethodologically-informed ethnography problematic. Not only does it have a peculiar language and talk about the world in terms that designers often find strange and hard to digest, when they do manage to swallow it then it often sits uncomfortably with their prior intellectual diet. It is not possible to do justice to the full range of misunderstandings, objections and complaints that are entertained about ethnography, but we can address some of the more common and salient ones. Accordingly, this chapter seeks to explore, elaborate and even correct some of the chief ways in which ethnography is continuously ‘misread’ by designers and others involved in the development of computing systems. You will find even more matters of contention in the social sciences but we wish to set those aside here and focus on the key issues that we have encountered within a design context over the years. These tend to revolve around issues of subject, method, role and scope of ethnography in design. A rounded appreciation of them relies on understanding what we have said in the previous chapters.

Keywords

Common Sense Work Practice Ethnographic Study Logical Procedure Design Context 
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 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Crabtree
    • 1
  • Mark Rouncefield
    • 2
  • Peter Tolmie
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  2. 2.School of Computing and CommunicationsLancaster UniversityLancasterUK

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