Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Islands of Togetherness: Rewriting Context Analysis
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Numerical Analysis and Computer Science, NADA.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

A continuing debate within Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research is how to elucidate, improve, and optimize the relationship between social context and technology use. Social context is conventionally understood as immediate use context while an understanding informed by social science suggests a wider scope, involving actors and structures.

The focus of this thesis is the use of a communication environment using audio and video, established to span and connect three geographically distant call-centre workplaces in the Stockholm archipelago, Sweden. The research was carried out as intermittent fieldwork, spanning unevenly over a period of three years. The fieldwork was carried out at two sites: the premises of the Swedish Police Contact Centre in the archipelago and within the research project Community at a Distance. Methods included participant observation, interviews, and the analysis of documents, everyday talk, and images.

This thesis offers a broad analysis of the socio-cultural context of technology use investigating the question how a sense of togetherness is promoted and negotiated at the Swedish Police Contact Centre and around and across the communication environment. The technology served as a means of overcoming the distance between the sites and making everyday encounters between the dispersed staff members possible. The sense of togetherness—fellowship and belonging, caring for each other, fostering a sense of solidarity, and achieving consensus in everyday practices—had an impact on the uses (and non-uses) of the technology. The use of the communication environment reflects the values and arrangements of the workplace and reproduces its conventions. The discussion is explorative, outlining an analytical approach to the socio-cultural context of technology use informed by interpretive social science, and provides a partial analysis of the organizational culture of the Contact Centre and its technology use. The argument is that analysis should aim at exploring the relationship between individual actors and social structures. Rewriting context allows us to understand the socio-cultural embeddedness of technology. While the analytic framework is not comprehensive for the purpose of detailed design implications in HCI research, it does provide a reconsidered terminology that links individual practices to socio-cultural context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2007. , viii, 217 p.
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2006 : 29
Keyword [en]
Human-Computer Interaction, call-centre organization, ethnography, togetherness, socio-cultural context
National Category
History of Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4256ISBN: 978-91-7178-549-7ISBN: 91-7178-549-3OAI: diva2:11492
Public defence
2007-01-22, sal F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 00:00
QC 20100629Available from: 2006-12-29 Created: 2006-12-29 Last updated: 2010-06-29Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(2437 kB)561 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 2437 kBChecksum SHA-1
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Räsänen, Minna
By organisation
Numerical Analysis and Computer Science, NADA
History of Technology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 561 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 831 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link