Article

The Invisible Technologies of Goffman's Sociology From the Merry-Go-Round to the Internet

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Abstract

Erving Goffman is not usually thought of as sociologist of technology. In this paper I argue that Goffman's early studies are replete with materiality and technologies. By paying more attention to mundane and invisible technologies, such as merry-go-rounds, surgical instruments, and doors, I argue that Goffman's interaction order can be shown to be materially and technologically framed, staged, and mediated. Important notions such as "role distance," "front stage," and "backstage" turn out to depend crucially upon materiality and technologies. When it comes to studying the internet there is thus, in principle, no fundamental distinction to be drawn between online and off-line interaction; both are forms of performed, staged, and mediated interaction. I show how Goffman's notion of copresence can be extended to the study of the internet and speculate as to what a sociology of material performativity, which combines interactional sociology with the insights of Social Construction of Technology, might look like.

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... There are few empirical studies on DTOs use of digital platforms and this research heeds the call of STS scholars to carry out online studies that account for the interactions that digital platforms enable, and not only the semiotic properties of online contents (Pinch 2007). I also aim to contribute to the debate about the appropriateness of Erving Goffman's theory for the study of online interactions (Knorr-Cetina 2005Pinch 2007Pinch , 2010. This paper supports Trevor Pinch's argument that Goffman was implicitly aware that social interactions could be mediated by "invisible" technologies (2010,412). ...
... Considering that YouTube is a collaborative-content platform and that its users can activate its interactional affordances, an interactional approach seems more suitable than a propagandistic approach for the study of DTOs on YouTube. The analytical framework that STS scholars, such as Pinch (2007Pinch ( , 2010 and Knorr-Cetina (2005) have suggested and applied for the analysis of online interactions is Erving Goffman's microsociology (1969Goffman's microsociology ( , 1970Goffman's microsociology ( , 1972. I will discuss this perspective next. ...
... The debate among STS scholars revolves around whether the internet has changed social interaction to the extent that classic sociological theories are not helpful anymore to understand online interactions (Hogan 2010;Knorr-Cetina 2005Miller 1995;Pinch 2007Pinch , 2010Preda 2009;Rettie 2009). Pinch and Knorr-Cetina have emphasized the potential of Erving Goffman's concepts for the study of online interactions. ...
Article
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This paper advances the discussion about the interactions enabled through communication technologies by articulating Goffman’s theory of strategic interactions and Trevor Pinch’s concept of co-presence, and applying them to analyze the way a Mafia’s armed wing posted videos on YouTube during the turf war developed in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, from 2008 to 2011. I analyzed the videos and the comments set up below them. Science and Technology Studies scholars have been engaged in a debate about how to study online contents. They agree that STS should advance approaches that only give an account of the semiotic properties of the contents, in order to explore the interactions they enable. However, they don’t agree on how this should be done. This study lends support to perspectives arguing that Goffman’s theory is still relevant to analyze online interactions, in spite of having written his theory before the expansion of the Internet. I provide examples to argue that, in fact, Goffman was fully aware that interactions could be technologically mediated. I suggest that members of the armed wing shaped YouTube’s technological affordances to make themselves accountable to other parties in the war, and available for interaction.
... A pesar de los distintos estudios citados ut supra, hay todavía territorio inexplorado. A pesar de que Goffman se centró en la interacción cara a cara [face-toface], es decir, situación de copresencia, no obviaba la materialidad de estas interacciones (Pinch, 2010;Collins 2004). Nunca llegó a desarrollarla (Pinch, 2010 y 2008), pero con la nebulosa noción de materialidad [materiality] se refirió al propio cuerpo y su ubicación en el espacio (Goffman, 1971) y al sustrato material -texto, voz-de la interacción (Goffman, 1969); asociaba, pues, materialidad de la interacción a la dimensión física: a) el cuerpo de los actores -su posición, su imagen, sus gestos, su voz-, b) el espacio donde tiene lugar la situación y c) los objetos o la tecnología comunicacional -el medio-que transporte el mensaje; materialidad que, a la sazón, también determina en parte dicha interacción (Goffman, 1971). ...
... A pesar de que Goffman se centró en la interacción cara a cara [face-toface], es decir, situación de copresencia, no obviaba la materialidad de estas interacciones (Pinch, 2010;Collins 2004). Nunca llegó a desarrollarla (Pinch, 2010 y 2008), pero con la nebulosa noción de materialidad [materiality] se refirió al propio cuerpo y su ubicación en el espacio (Goffman, 1971) y al sustrato material -texto, voz-de la interacción (Goffman, 1969); asociaba, pues, materialidad de la interacción a la dimensión física: a) el cuerpo de los actores -su posición, su imagen, sus gestos, su voz-, b) el espacio donde tiene lugar la situación y c) los objetos o la tecnología comunicacional -el medio-que transporte el mensaje; materialidad que, a la sazón, también determina en parte dicha interacción (Goffman, 1971). La sociología precisa de materialidad (Pinch, 2008), tanto de la tecnología (Pinch, 2010) como de los cuerpos y los lugares; lo social no se da entre voces sin cuerpo, en espacios asépticos y sin que medien los objetos (Le Breton, 2013). ...
... Nunca llegó a desarrollarla (Pinch, 2010 y 2008), pero con la nebulosa noción de materialidad [materiality] se refirió al propio cuerpo y su ubicación en el espacio (Goffman, 1971) y al sustrato material -texto, voz-de la interacción (Goffman, 1969); asociaba, pues, materialidad de la interacción a la dimensión física: a) el cuerpo de los actores -su posición, su imagen, sus gestos, su voz-, b) el espacio donde tiene lugar la situación y c) los objetos o la tecnología comunicacional -el medio-que transporte el mensaje; materialidad que, a la sazón, también determina en parte dicha interacción (Goffman, 1971). La sociología precisa de materialidad (Pinch, 2008), tanto de la tecnología (Pinch, 2010) como de los cuerpos y los lugares; lo social no se da entre voces sin cuerpo, en espacios asépticos y sin que medien los objetos (Le Breton, 2013). A pesar de que la materialidad se abre paso en la sociología, en especial, por los trabajos de Leonardi (2013;y con Barley, 2010y con Barley, y 2008, donde el objeto tiene un papel latournianamente preponderante, el triple enfoque goffmiano no ha sido integrado todavía (Pinch, 2010). ...
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Más allá del utilitarismo, las organizaciones son un entorno fértil para la sociología. El concepto impression management ha ahondado en esta complejidad, pues evidencia las tensiones dramatúrgicas de los agentes. A pesar de las diversísimas investigaciones con este concepto, se ha obviado la materialidad de las interacciones. Así, nuestro objetivo es investigar la impression management desde múltiples materialidades cotidianas, para entender el self –ser, apariencia– y generar teoría que aporte conocimiento sobre la socialización organizacional. En base al diseño grounded theory sobre siete casos, desgranamos la impression management en e-mails, chats, whatsapps, llamadas telefónicas, videoconferencias, reuniones y desayunos y, finalmente, definimos el concepto de ‘ixtimidad’ que contribuye a entender cómo los agentes luchan por proyectar sus imágenes en los otros.
... Their conversations and sometimes laughter should not be heard by the user. In this sense, the test apartment works as a "mundane technology" (Pinch 2010) to create the sense of robotic autonomy by rendering invisible (and inaudible) the constitutive human and technical labor that goes into maintaining it (Shapin 1989). This is what I call a theater of autonomy. ...
Article
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Roboticists are faced with a striking discrepancy between vision and demonstration of care with robots. On the one hand, research funders, policy makers, and entrepreneurs expect robots to become a panacea to impending demographic change. On the other hand, efforts to demonstrate that vision in care practice have largely remained unfulfilled. In this article, I investigate how roboticists manage and deal with this discrepancy between high expectations toward robotics research and what robots are capable of doing in practice. I will offer an extensive analysis of the efforts by roboticists and others to install, repair, stage, and, surprisingly, suspend robot dramas. Robot dramas comprise an ambivalent mix of experimental practices that seek to stage visions of care robotics while at the same time testing precarious phenomena of human–robot interaction. This relates two prominent but still largely disconnected strands of research in Science and Technology Studies: works on techno-scientific demonstrations, and on high and low expectations. Here, robot dramas are a crucial site for studying the conflicting interrelation between the theatrical performativity of demonstrations and the interplay of high and low expectations.
... Goffman analysiert facettenreich die kulturellen Normen der Theatralik auf Vorder-und Hinterbühnen. Die Rollen, die Materialien, Medien und Technologien dabei spielen, bleiben bei ihm aber ein Randthema (Pinch 2010 ...
... This active role of the user (social factors) in technology adoption implies that understanding the technology is being used is key for recognising how it influences organizations and the process of organizing work. Since the way people interact with technology and tools influences how they organize their micro-level relations (Garfinkel, 1967), and also impacts the definition of their roles (Goffman, 1956;Pinch, 2010). Furthermore, the increasing digitalization of organizations pushed scholars to investigate how the technologies used at the workplace are vital to the enablement of new forms of organizing work and practice (Bélanger and Watson-Manheim, 2006;Chudoba et al., 2005). ...
Thesis
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Background: Mobile health (mHealth) have shown promise for their potential to enhance clinical workflows, improve patient access to care, and the quality of that care. However, there remain persistent barriers to adoption, and some users continue to resist the use of these new tools. Objectives: This research investigated factors influencing clinicians’ mHealth adoption, and expounded these and the potential implications for their workflow and quality of patient care. Methods: A multiple-case study of three mHealth tools was conducted. Data were collected via 41 in-depth interviews with clinicians, technology providers, and medical informatics experts in 9 countries from April 2017 to March 2020. The case studies were examined in the context of relevant literature, identified by a systematic review that included171 studies published between 2008 and 2018. Results: Findings confirmed that the use of mHealth can provide numerous benefits such as efficacy and time-saving, improved safety and quality of patient care, improved accessibility, and better data security and validation. They can also positively impact workflow through better transparency and collaboration, empowerment, and efficiency. However, the factors impacting adoption go beyond material features such as usefulness, ease of use, privacy and security, interoperability and costs. Social factors like clinicians’ attitudes, awareness, experience, or culture are key. Organizational and policy factors are also vital and include user engagement, infrastructure, training, existing workload and resources, decision making, in addition to absence or ambiguity of regulations. Conclusions: Factors impacting clinicians’ adoption go beyond the material aspects of mHealth to also encompass substantial social and organizational elements. Therefore, from a practical perspective, mHealth providers should work together with clinicians and decision makers to address potential barriers and improve adoption. From a theoretical perspective, the study proposes an expansion of Leonardi’s methodological guidance to better account for user engagement; and a consolidated framework that better factors in the complexity of healthcare’s sociotechnical structure, and the interaction between the technical, social and organizational factors.
... Drawing upon ANT and the concepts of generalized symmetry also implies that objects and collectives have agency in line with humans, which implies that even an object like a prototype or technology might stage design and innovation if placed in a situation where it makes a difference. This perception of objects, technologies and networks as doing something, even staging particular interactions such as in the case of the internet (Pinch 2010), is essential. So, who is staging? ...
Chapter
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This chapter reviews the different origins and theoretical foundations of collaborative staging of design and innovation. It outlines staging as a sensitizing concept and a repertoire of ways to configure and facilitate interactions across actors and objects that is illustrated in different ways throughout this volume. With a starting point in participatory design, shaping of technology and theory of organizing the chapter draws up a metaphorically inspired picture of how to understand the staging of design and innovation, the vocabulary and the process. The key concepts and understandings of staging include the development and circulation of objects to translate knowledge and frame negotiations as well as the shaping of discursive spaces to inform a repertoire of approaches of how to make staging actionable for diverse professions. Keywords: Staging, collaborative, objects, spaces, action-oriented, Actor-Network Theory
... CMC complicates impression management both by making communication potentially visible to far more individuals than those present at the time of an interaction, and by offering individuals ways to materially manipulate communicative performances (Gibbs et al., 2013;Oostervink et al., 2016). Thus, efforts at impression management must be understood as intertwined with the sociomaterial affordances of the CMC technologies used to produce the communication, and the sociomaterial conditions under which performances are viewed (Pinch, 2010). ...
Article
This article argues that a distinctive aspect of computer-mediated communication (CMC) is the way it can make communication visible to others in ways that were previously impractical. We propose a theory of communication visibility that recognizes its multidimensional nature: resulting from activities that make communication visible, efforts by actors to see communication, and a sociomaterial context that influences possibilities for visibility. The different dimensions of communication visibility are explored as they relate to possibilities for action with CMC, and the ability of third-parties to view communication between others. Centering communication visibility in the study of CMC compels scholars to ask new questions regarding the interdependence of active, strategic efforts to make communication more or less visible to others, and the ways in which communication is assessed by observers. To facilitate ongoing research we offer an agenda for incorporating communication visibility into the study of contemporary and future forms of CMC.
... The individuals' own interpretations of the frame of interaction may, in this case, occasionally lead to error or frame disputes, as suggested by Goffman [39]. It is how the smartphone is a part of the conversation, and how it is arranged, that impacts how the frame is interupted [51]. ...
Article
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Abstract: The smartphone has become the most ubiquitous piece of personal technology, giving it significant social importance and sociological relevance. In this article, we explore how the smartphone interacts with and impacts social interaction in the setting of the urban café. Through analyzing 52 spontaneous in-depth interviews related to social interaction in cafés, we identify three categories of smartphone use in social settings: interaction suspension, deliberately shielding interaction, and accessing shareables. These categories comprise the constitutive smartphone practices that define the social order of public smartphone use within an interactionist sociological framework. Keywords: ethnomethodology; interaction suspension; smartphone; social interaction; goffman
... However, it is obviously a far greater challenge to make the invisible city more visible in decision-making and to the public. Pinch (2010) refers to invisible technologies and points out that the sociology of technology has much to offer to historians. He notes that technology is so all-pervasive in our everyday world that we scarcely notice it. ...
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This is an Open Access book distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial Licence (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits copying and redistribution for non-commercial purposes, provided that the original work is properly cited (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). This does not affect the rights licensed or assigned from any third party in this book.
... However, it is obviously a far greater challenge to make the invisible city more visible in decision-making and to the public. Pinch (2010) refers to invisible technologies and points out that the sociology of technology has much to offer to historians. He notes that technology is so all-pervasive in our everyday world that we scarcely notice it. ...
Book
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On the whole, the use of lead pipes is an example of path dependence that the old cities of developed and developing societies still seem to have a hard time eliminating.
... However, it is obviously a far greater challenge to make the invisible city more visible in decision-making and to the public. Pinch (2010) refers to invisible technologies and points out that the sociology of technology has much to offer to historians. He notes that technology is so all-pervasive in our everyday world that we scarcely notice it. ...
Chapter
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Our examples of the various theories on history of technology and of water and sanitation reveal some more general governance principles that we find valid and important: (i) plurality: we have various options, only seldom just one (ii) diversity: we have several institutional options concerning various political, economic, social, technological, ecological and legislative dimensions (iii) locality: particularly in water supply and sanitation, the local actors and conditions are most important for sustainable systems and stakeholders (iv) globality: there is clear need for more general global principles that we can agree on and implement (v) politicality: many of the decisions related to water policy and management are political by nature, which should not be forgotten when exploring history of technology and its development (vi) environmentality: the environment is a key requirement for sustainability, but we must remember that it is not our property, but on loan from future generations (vii) humanity: technology as shown by the examples is largely human by nature. (viii) visionarity: taking history into account, we should not base our decisions on short-sighted thinking but consider the longer term.
... The other thinkers we considered in our proposed synthesis of interactionism and atmosphere theory via the sonic included Vannini and Waskul (2006), Tacchi (1998), Ingold (2015), and Mason (2018). Vannini et al. (2012:45-46) propose the "[m]anipulation of sound plays a very important role in ritualization" and silence or "the abolition of sounds" often serves to transform the everyday and to shift our embodied awareness of it (e.g., the function of silence in meditation). ...
Article
In this article, we synthesize Goffman's microsociology with recent developments in fields such as aesthetics, geography, and urban studies labeled “atmosphere theory.” Our central rationale is if microsociology is to deepen its account of embodiment and the noncognitive it needs a theory of spatialized moods. In the second half, we develop our synthesis with respect to musical atmospheres and conclude by drawing on our own research regarding how social actors use music to shape “involvements” and “disinvolvements” in the spatial ambiances of public transportation, the street, the workplace, and the home.
... We were guided in our review by the field of social studies of technology that views individuals and technological artifacts as entangled and interacting elements in any organizational or social setting [24][25][26][27], bearing in mind that such interactions may trigger or enable new forms of organizing work, new roles, or new hierarchies [28,29]. This ontological approach enabled us to widen our scope and identify potential shortcomings in the most frequently used frameworks. ...
Article
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Background: Although there is a push toward encouraging mobile health (mHealth) adoption to harness its potential, there are many challenges that sometimes go beyond the technology to involve other elements such as social, cultural, and organizational factors. Objective: This review aimed to explore which frameworks are used the most, to understand clinicians’ adoption of mHealth as well as to identify potential shortcomings in these frameworks. Highlighting these gaps and the main factors that were not specifically covered in the most frequently used frameworks will assist future researchers to include all relevant key factors. Methods: This review was an in-depth subanalysis of a larger systematic review that included research papers published between 2008 and 2018 and focused on the social, organizational, and technical factors impacting clinicians’ adoption of mHealth. The initial systematic review included 171 studies, of which 50 studies used a theoretical framework. These 50 studies are the subject of this qualitative review, reflecting further on the frameworks used and how these can help future researchers design studies that investigate the topic of mHealth adoption more robustly. Results: The most commonly used frameworks were different forms of extensions of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM; 17/50, 34%), the diffusion of innovation theory (DOI; 8/50, 16%), and different forms of extensions of the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (6/50, 12%). Some studies used a combination of the TAM and DOI frameworks (3/50, 6%), whereas others used the consolidated framework for implementation research (3/50, 6%) and sociotechnical systems (STS) theory (2/50, 4%). The factors cited by more than 20% of the studies were usefulness, output quality, ease of use, technical support, data privacy, self-efficacy, attitude, organizational inner setting, training, leadership engagement, workload, and workflow fit. Most factors could be linked to one framework or another, but there was no single framework that could adequately cover all relevant and specific factors without some expansion. Conclusions: Health care technologies are generally more complex than tools that address individual user needs as they usually support patients with comorbidities who are typically treated by multidisciplinary teams who might even work in different health care organizations. This special nature of how the health care sector operates and its highly regulated nature, the usual budget deficits, and the interdependence between health care organizations necessitate some crucial expansions to existing theoretical frameworks usually used when studying adoption. We propose a shift toward theoretical frameworks that take into account implementation challenges that factor in the complexity of the sociotechnical structure of health care organizations and the interplay between the technical, social, and organizational aspects. Our consolidated framework offers recommendations on which factors to include when investigating clinicians’ adoption of mHealth, taking into account all three aspects.
... Although Goffman developed his analysis of backstage before information and communications technology (ICT) became omnipresent in society, younger scholars have incorporated the concept in studies related to its use (Pinch, 2010). Using social networking sites (SNSs), smart phones, laptops, computers, and similar does not bring actors into the same region, as defined above, but gives them the impression of sharing a particular region. ...
Chapter
For many years, the concept “backstage” referred to the part of the theater behind the stage, and then gained a place in sociology and other social sciences. Erving Goffman uses the concept to describe a social environment where people, after leaving a situation involving visible and audible communication, can act free of the standards regulating that situation. What Goffman presents as a frame to describe some sections of societal life has been used by other researchers to elucidate the specific behavior of actors in backstage situations.
... We were guided in our review by the field of social studies of technology that views individuals and technological artifacts as entangled and interacting elements in any organizational or social setting [24][25][26][27], bearing in mind that such interactions may trigger or enable new forms of organizing work, new roles, or new hierarchies [28,29]. This ontological approach enabled us to widen our scope and identify potential shortcomings in the most frequently used frameworks. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Although there is a push toward encouraging mobile health (mHealth) adoption to harness its potential, there are many challenges that sometimes go beyond the technology to involve other elements such as social, cultural, and organizational factors. Objective: This review aimed to explore which frameworks are used the most, to understand clinicians’ adoption of mHealth as well as to identify potential shortcomings in these frameworks. Highlighting these gaps and the main factors that were not specifically covered in the most frequently used frameworks will assist future researchers to include all relevant key factors. Methods: This review was an in-depth subanalysis of a larger systematic review that included research papers published between 2008 and 2018 and focused on the social, organizational, and technical factors impacting clinicians’ adoption of mHealth. The initial systematic review included 171 studies, of which 50 studies used a theoretical framework. These 50 studies are the subject of this qualitative review, reflecting further on the frameworks used and how these can help future researchers design studies that investigate the topic of mHealth adoption more robustly. Results: The most commonly used frameworks were different forms of extensions of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM; 17/50, 34%), the diffusion of innovation theory (DOI; 8/50, 16%), and different forms of extensions of the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (6/50, 12%). Some studies used a combination of the TAM and DOI frameworks (3/50, 6%), whereas others used the consolidated framework for implementation research (3/50, 6%) and sociotechnical systems (STS) theory (2/50, 4%). The factors cited by more than 20% of the studies were usefulness, output quality, ease of use, technical support, data privacy, self-efficacy, attitude, organizational inner setting, training, leadership engagement, workload, and workflow fit. Most factors could be linked to one framework or another, but there was no single framework that could adequately cover all relevant and specific factors without some expansion. Conclusions: Health care technologies are generally more complex than tools that address individual user needs as they usually support patients with comorbidities who are typically treated by multidisciplinary teams who might even work in different health care organizations. This special nature of how the health care sector operates and its highly regulated nature, the usual budget deficits, and the interdependence between health care organizations necessitate some crucial expansions to existing theoretical frameworks usually used when studying adoption. We propose a shift toward theoretical frameworks that take into account implementation challenges that factor in the complexity of the sociotechnical structure of health care organizations and the interplay between the technical, social, and organizational aspects. Our consolidated framework offers recommendations on which factors to include when investigating clinicians’ adoption of mHealth, taking into account all three aspects.
... We were guided in our thinking about technology adoption by the field of social studies of technology; we view technology, roles, and practices and organizational structures as interacting parts of a mutually constituting ensemble of elements [19][20][21][22]. It follows that it is not simply a matter of factors affecting the decision to adopt a technology or not but also of the use of technologies enabling and triggering new forms of organizing and new work practices [23,24]. ...
Article
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Background: There is a growing body of evidence highlighting the potential of mobile health (mHealth) in reducing health care costs, enhancing access, and improving the quality of patient care. However, user acceptance and adoption are key prerequisites to harness this potential; hence, a deeper understanding of the factors impacting this adoption is crucial for its success. Objective: The aim of this review was to systematically explore relevant published literature to synthesize the current understanding of the factors impacting clinicians’ adoption of mHealth tools, not only from a technological perspective but also from social and organizational perspectives. Methods: A structured search was carried out of MEDLINE, PubMed, the Cochrane Library, and the SAGE database for studies published between January 2008 and July 2018 in the English language, yielding 4993 results, of which 171 met the inclusion criteria. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis guidelines and the Cochrane handbook were followed to ensure a systematic process. Results: The technological factors impacting clinicians’ adoption of mHealth tools were categorized into eight key themes: usefulness, ease of use, design, compatibility, technical issues, content, personalization, and convenience, which were in turn divided into 14 subthemes altogether. Social and organizational factors were much more prevalent and were categorized into eight key themes: workflow related, patient related, policy and regulations, culture or attitude or social influence, monetary factors, evidence base, awareness, and user engagement. These were divided into 41 subthemes, highlighting the importance of considering these factors when addressing potential barriers to mHealth adoption and how to overcome them. Conclusions: The study results can help inform mHealth providers and policymakers regarding the key factors impacting mHealth adoption, guiding them into making educated decisions to foster this adoption and harness the potential benefits.
... We were guided in our review by the field of social studies of technology that view individuals and technological artefacts as entangled and interacting elements in any organizational or social setting [24][25][26][27], bearing in mind that such interactions may trigger or enable new forms of organizing work, new roles, or new hierarchies [28,29]. This ontological approach enabled us to widen our scope and identify the potential gaps in the most frequently used frameworks. . ...
Preprint
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BACKGROUND While there’s a push towards encouraging Mobile Health (mHealth) adoption to harness the potential it brings, the reality is that there are many challenges that sometimes go beyond the technology itself, mainly due to the complexity of the healthcare ecosystem. OBJECTIVE The aim of this review is to explore which frameworks are used the most to understand clinicians’ adoption of mHealth, as well as identify potential gaps within them. Highlighting these gaps, and the main factors that were not specifically covered in the most frequently used frameworks will assist future researchers to better focus their research design, and to include all relevant key factors. METHODS This review is an in-depth sub-analysis of a larger systematic review that included research published between 2008 and 2018 and focused on the social, organizational, and technical factors impacting clinicians’ adoption of mHealth. The initial systematic review included 171 studies, out of which 50 studies used a theoretical framework. These 50 studies are the subject of this qualitative review, reflecting further on the frameworks used, and how these can help future researchers design solid and reliable research that investigates the topic of mHealth adoption more robustly. RESULTS The most commonly used frameworks were different forms of extensions of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) (34%), the Diffusion of Innovation theory (DOI) (16%), and different forms of extensions of the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) (12%). Some studies used a combination of the TAM and DOI frameworks (6%); others used the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) (6%), and Sociotechnical Theory (4%). The factors cited by more than 20% of the included studies were usefulness, output quality, ease of use, technical support, data privacy, self-efficacy, attitude, organizational inner setting, training, leadership engagement, workload, and workflow fit. Most factors could be linked to one or the other framework, but there was hardly any single framework that could adequately cover all relevant factors without some expansion. CONCLUSIONS Healthcare technologies are generally more complex than tools that address individual user-need as they usually support patients with comorbidities that are typically treated by multi-disciplinary teams who might even work in different healthcare organizations. This special nature of how the healthcare sector operates, its highly regulated nature, the usual budget deficits, and the interdependence between healthcare organisations necessitate some crucial expansions to existing theoretical frameworks usually used when studying adoption. We propose a shift towards theoretical frameworks that take into account implementation challenges that factor in the complexity of the sociotechnical structure of healthcare organizations, and the interplay between the technical, social and organizational aspects. CLINICALTRIAL NA.
... While as Larsen (2010) notes, Goffman never directly engages with tourism, his ideas are useful for thinking about how visitors undertake the tourist role and conform to, or transgress the scripts provided by tourist localities (Larsen and Meged 2013, p. 89). Moreover, given tourism studies has tended to neglect issues of sociality and copresence (Larsen et al. 2007, p. 245) this provides an opportunity to draw on Goffman's microsociological approach when considering tourism and the impacts of communication technologies on social interaction (Ling 2008;Pinch 2010;Misra et al. 2016;Walsh and Baker 2017;Walsh and Clark 2019). Employing this theory provides fertile grounding to examine how tourist experiences unfold and are interactionally managed. ...
Article
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This article presents an account of the social media tourist gaze. It does this by reporting on a qualitative exploratory study that considers the use of photography and its dissemination on social media while participants stayed overnight at a zoological park. To examine the impact of photography and social media, our study separated participants into two groups: those we asked to refrain from posting on social media and those whom we placed no restrictions on while undertaking this overnight tourist experience. Results indicate that participants experienced heightened levels of connection with tourist activities and increased interactions between participants who were refraining from social media use. But participants also indicate some consternation and difficulty associated with social media abstention. Our contribution provides an understanding of the impact of the social media tourist gaze which suggests that photography has become a critical instrument for sharing experiences within tourism contexts. Tension appears ever present between a need to capture tourist experiences for digital dissemination on the one hand, and engage in the tourist activity itself, which suggest that tourist contexts and providers may need to explore better ways to manage both face-to-face and digital involvements that travellers increasingly feel compelled to perform.
... However, the work of Goffman is not only restricted to the symbolic or expressive meaning of things. He also drew attention to how the materiality of certain objects can shape social interactions -for instance, in his work on the merry-go-arounds as a technical system shaping the relationship between riders and fellow riders and their audience (see Pinch 2010). Although the material dimension of the social is taken into consideration, symbolic interactionism is at its core still mainly human-centered. ...
Article
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In recent years computer technologies and digital devices have become ubiquitous in all facets of human existence, including crime and deviant behavior. Various forms of criminality have emerged in which technical entities play a substantial role. It can be argued that such a development urges criminologists and anthropologists to draw more attention to the significance of things in crime. Latour’s (2005) actor-network theory (ANT), which considers non-human entities as active participants of the social, could be a useful approach for extending our analytical focus to the non-human. The article will not only asses why, but also how we can apply ANT as a more-than-human methodology in qualitative research, by discussing three ANT-based methodological principles: ‘follow the tool’, ‘follow the hybrid’ and ‘follow the network.’ In this scope, this article draws on earlier conducted qualitative ANT case studies on different forms of high-tech cybercrime. In a more general vein, the article aims to show that innovations in qualitative research methods can be also informed by theory.
... Understanding the affordances resulting from this socio-material interaction is also key in accounting for how technology impacts on organizations and the process of organizing. Since people's interactions with objects influences the way they organize their micro-level relations [24], and also impacts on the definition of people's roles [25,26]. Moreover, as organizations become increasingly digital, scholars have portrayed how the technologies used at the workplace are central to the enablement of new forms of organizing and practice, and how in turn, new practices are essential to the enablement of new technologies and new organizational forms [27,28]. ...
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Background: Despite the existence of adequate technological infrastructure and clearer policies, there are situations where users, mainly physicians, resist mobile health (mHealth) solutions. This is of particular concern, bearing in mind that several studies, both in developed and developing countries, showed that clinicians’ adoption is the most influential factor in such solutions’ success. Objective: This research focuses on understanding clinicians’ roles in the adoption of an Oncology Decision Support App, the factors impacting this adoption, and its implications for organizational and social practices. Methods: A qualitative case study of a decision support app in Oncology, called ONCOassist. The data were collected through 17 in-depth interviews with clinicians and nurses in the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. Results: This case demonstrates the affordances and constraints of mHealth technology at the workplace, their implications for the organization of work, and clinicians’ role in their constant development and adoption. The research findings confirmed that factors such as app operation and stability, ease of use, usefulness, cost, and portability play a major role in the adoption decision; however, other social factors such as endorsement, neutrality of the content, attitude towards technology, existing workload and internal organizational politics are also reported as key determinants of clinicians’ adoption. Interoperability and cultural views of mobile usage at work are the key workflow disadvantages; while higher efficiency and performance, sharpened practice and location flexibility are the main workflow advantages. Conclusions: Several organizational implications emerged, suggesting the need for some actions such as fostering a work culture that embraces new technologies, and the creation of new digital roles for clinicians both on the hospitals/clinics and on the development sides but also more collaboration between healthcare organizations and Digital Health providers to enable Electronic Medical Record (EMR) integration and solve any interoperability issues. From a theoretical perspective, we also suggest the addition of a fourth step to Leonardi’s (2018) methodological guidance that accounts for user engagement; embedding the users in the continuous design and development processes ensures the understanding of user specific affordances that can then be made more obvious to other users and increase the potential of such tools to go beyond their technological features and have a higher impact on workflow and the organizing process.
... Perhaps to a greater extent than allied fields (Timmermans & Berg 2003: 104) work within STS has emphasized the importance of mundane technologies within society (e.g. Latour 1988;Michael 2000;Pinch 2010;Woolgar & Neyland 2013). ...
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It is widely argued that the final decades of the twentieth century saw a fundamental change, marked by terms such as biomedicalization and geneticization, within the biomedical sciences. What unites these concepts is the assertion that a vast array of emerging technologies––in genomics, bioengineering, information technology, and so forth––are transforming understandings of disease, diagnosis, therapeutics, and working practices. While clearly important, these analyses have been accused of perpetuating theoretical trends that attribute primacy to the new over the old, discontinuity over continuity, and the laboratory over the field. In this paper I show that in the case of autism the effects of genomic technologies can only be understood by simultaneously examining the role of questionnaires. Due to shortcomings in clinical diagnoses, genomic analyses could only progress once questionnaires had been developed to address a “reverse salient” within the “technological system.” Furthermore, I argue that questionnaires such as the Autism Quotient have a significance that surpasses the genomic classifications they were designed to undergird. I argue that to neglect the role of mundane technologies such as questionnaires in contemporary biomedicine is to miss complexity, bifurcate old and new, and do a disservice to innovation.
... Understanding the use of technology is key for acknowledging how it impacts organizations and the process of organizing. Since people's interactions with objects influence the way they organize their micro-level relations [25], and also impact the definition of people's roles [26,27]. And as organizations became more and more digital, scholars have portrayed how the technologies used at the workplace are central to the enablement of new forms of organizing and practice and how new practices are essential for the enablement of new technologies and new organizational forms [28,29]. ...
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BACKGROUND Despite the existence of adequate technological infrastructure and clearer policies, there are situations where users, mainly physicians, resist mobile health (mHealth) solutions. This is of particular concern, bearing in mind that several studies, both in developed and developing countries, showed that clinicians’ adoption is the most influential factor in such solutions’ success. OBJECTIVE This research focuses on understanding clinicians’ roles in the adoption of mHealth solutions, the factors impacting this adoption, and its implications for organizational and social practices. METHODS A qualitative case study of a decision support app in Oncology, called ONCOassist. The data were collected through 17 in-depth interviews with clinicians and nurses in the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. RESULTS This case demonstrates the affordances and constraints of mHealth technology at the workplace, their implications for the organization of work, and clinicians’ role in their constant development and adoption. The research findings confirmed that factors such as app operation and stability, ease of use, usefulness, cost, and portability play a major role in the adoption process; however, other social factors such as endorsement, neutrality of the content, attitude towards technology, existing workload and internal organizational politics are also perceived as key determinants of adoption. Interoperability and cultural views of mobile usage at work are the key workflow disadvantages; while higher efficiency and performance, sharpened practice and location flexibility are the main workflow advantages. CONCLUSIONS Several organizational implications emerged, suggesting the need for some actions such as fostering a work culture that embraces new technologies, and the creation of new digital roles for clinicians both on the hospitals/clinics and on the development sides but also more collaboration between healthcare organizations and Digital Health providers to enable Electronic Medical Record (EMR) integration and solve any interoperability issues. From a theoretical perspective, we also suggest the addition of a fourth step to Leonardi’s (2018) methodological guidance to account for user engagement; embedding the users in the continuous design and development processes ensures the understanding of user-specific affordances that can then be made more obvious to other users and increase the potential of such tools to go beyond their technological features and have a higher impact on workflow and the organizing process.
... 'Pass the salt'), they may be the reason for some faux pas (e.g., 'Your fly is open'), or they may serve as boundary markers for frames, such as Goffman's famous example of the difference between what goes on behind the restaurant's kitchen door and what kinds of norms are upheld in the restaurant proper (Goffman, 1959, pp. 120-121;Pinch, 2010). ...
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Healthcare staff are encouraged to use feedback from their patients to inform service and quality improvement. Receiving patient feedback via online channels is a relatively new phenomenon that has rarely been conceptualised. Further, the implications of a wide, varied and unknown(able) audience being able to view and interact with online patient feedback are yet to be understood. We applied a theoretical lens of dramaturgy to a large ethnographic dataset, collected across three NHS Trusts during 2019/2020. We found that organisations demonstrated varying levels of ‘preparedness to perform’ online, from invisibility through to engaging in public conversation with patients within a wider mission for transparency. Restrictive ‘cast lists’ of staff able to respond to patients was the hallmark of one organisation, whereas another devolved responding responsibility amongst a wide array of multidisciplinary staff. The visibility of patient‐staff interactions had the potential to be culturally disruptive, dichotomously invoking either apprehensions of reputational threat or providing windows of opportunity. We surmise that a transparent and conversational feedback response frontstage aligns with the ability to better prioritise backstage improvement. Legitimising the autonomous frontstage activity of diverse staff groups may help shift organisational culture, and gradually ripple outwards a shared responsibility for transparent improvement.
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While Erving Goffman’s renown stems from his pioneering efforts legitimising the study of the interaction order and everyday life, an appreciation for his conceptual contributions to the study of social media remains less understood. This could be due to the way Goffman articulated his ideas through the use of metaphor, a general reticence to systematize ideas in consistent fashion, and perhaps most crucially because by the time of his passing the Internet was merely in its infancy. In this chapter, my aim is to outline Goffman’s contribution to the sociological understanding of social media by tracing several concepts that illuminate vital ideas about the interaction order with respect to social media. By adapting several Goffmanian concepts such as facework, framing and gender display, I seek to demonstrate how Goffman’s ideas pertaining to social interaction remain at the heart of many social media practices that are fundamentally ordered and maintained via the visual dimensions of social media. I argue that while Goffman never explicitly provides an analysis of social media his ideas provide fertile grounding for explorations of the digital, offering sociologists insights into the way social interactions remains at the centre of life online.
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Ausgehend von Goffmans Aufsatz The Neglected Situation behandelt der Beitrag denDurkheim, Émile Situationsbegriff Goffmans, seine Quellen und seine breite Rezeption, die insbesondere im Rahmen der gegenwärtigen digitalen Mediatisierung eine besondere Bedeutung erlangt hat.
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Misinformation is a social problem increasingly, and routinely, commanding significant political and public attention. Less well known is that Erving Goffman was writing about misinformation as early as 1953 in his PhD thesis. Subsequent to which, he wrote repeatedly about the social organization and conduct of “information control” across several of his most influential publications. This article distils his ideas about these concepts to explore how they illuminate the contemporary phenomena of misinformation. To do this, empirical data are introduced from a large‐scale research program exploring the causes, communication, and consequences of digital information operations and campaigns, with a particular focus upon the Internet Research Agency and Instagram. The analysis attends in particular to sequences of “revealing moves” and “concealing moves” performed by the social media account operators. The dialogue between the data and Goffman's concepts outlines the precepts of a sociologically inflected, interactionist position on misinformation.
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This qualitative exploratory study focuses on understanding meat-eating practices in urban Australia and urban India, with a view towards encouraging a reduced-meat diet in both countries.
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This chapter reports on the first empirical criminological research on the Tor Project, the organisation which develops the Tor anonymity network. There has been little focus as yet by cybercrime researchers on the human factors shaping the platforms and infrastructures on which the Internet depends. These are emerging as powerful technologies of control and profound sites of resistance in contemporary societies, increasingly taking on responsibility for enormous user communities and the crime and abuse which come with them. Of these, I focus on Tor, an international anonymity infrastructure which offers its users extremely strong protections against online surveillance and censorship. Tor has become a particularly important subject of criminological research on online crime. However, there is as yet no criminological research which deals with how the people who develop and maintain Tor understand these issues. Through interviews and archival research, I study how this community perceive Tor’s use for crime and harm and how they navigate these issues in practice, identifying three distinct sites at which Tor deals with crime, and three concomitant ways of making sense of Tor’s crime problem (conceptualised as ‘social worlds’ of Tor). I explore how Tor has developed from a disruptive character to an increasingly governmental one and the implications of this for understanding the role of platforms and infrastructures in the governance of online crime more broadly.
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Basándose en los desarrollos recientes en la intersección entre los estudios sobre el sonido y los estudios sobre ciencia y tecnología, este trabajo analiza los procesos de conformación mutua de la industria musical digital y las identidades de consumo en entornos urbanos dominados por la incertidumbre, el miedo y la individualización creciente. El concepto de audiotopía de Kun (2015) es utilizado para analizar los espacios sonoros privados que generan las prácticas de escucha musical mediadas por las tecnologías digitales. Sin embargo, mientras que para Kun las audiotopías son espacios abiertos para imaginar nuevas posibilidades, se defiende que, en el marco del capitalismo digital, resultan en conflictos y contradicciones. Finalmente, se identifican tres paradojas de estas audiotopías urbanas relacionadas, respectivamente, con los sistemas de vigilancia y control del consumo digital, la desarticulación de activismos y la oferta prediseñada de identidades. La multiestabilidad o flexibilidad de los ensamblajes sociotécnicos en la que se dan estas paradojas hace que sea posible explorar nuevos caminos y visibilizar nuevas audiotopías urbanas alternativas.
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Je länger man über Situationen nachdenkt, umso befremdlicher erscheinen sie. Das gilt für ihre Praxis ebenso sehr wie für alle Begriffe, die versuchen, der Medialität situierter Produktionsweisen gerecht zu werden. Marshall McLuhan hat in einem frühen und unbekannten Text – Notes on the Media as Art Forms – Kommunikation als etwas verstanden, das Teilhabe an gemeinsamen Situationen erzeugt: „[C]ommunication as participation in a common situation“ (McLuhan 1954, S. 6). Damit ist nach den Regeln der transatlantischen Nachkriegsdiskurse zu ‚Medien‘ und ‚Kommunikation‘ weniger ein alltägliches Kommunikationsverständnis adressiert, sondern viel eher die Frage, was Medien generell ausmacht (Schüttpelz 2005).
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Young people's engagement with social network sites have predominantly been depicted in binary ways, overplaying either the risks posed by digital technologies or their positive benefits. Adopting a critical perspective, this thesis understands young people’s uses and perceptions of social network sites as continuously negotiated and deeply entrenched in their everyday lives; and analyses them within the social struggles and power structures in which they are embedded. Based on qualitative interview material with 32 young adults aged 20-25 and on an innovative research design incorporating digital prompts, this study explores the meanings that participants ascribed to social network sites and their everyday uses of the platforms. Drawing on Bourdieu’s theory of practice and Foucault’s work on power and governmentality, the thesis argues that young people actively negotiate social network sites. Yet their uses and understandings of the platforms are constituted through a 'practical knowledge' of the world which reflects existing social divisions and, are embedded within broader neoliberal narratives of entrepreneurship, choice and responsibility, producing corresponding forms of governmentality. Throughout the interviews, participants described their engagement with social network sites, for example their attitudes towards privacy or the ways in which they managed and maintained relationships through the platforms, in terms of individual choice, personal preference and growing up. The analysis of the data suggests, that their engagement were, nonetheless, substantially informed by the economic interests and the monopolies enforced by private corporations; by the technological affordances and playful designs of the platforms; by social processes of differentiation rendering specific uses legitimate; and by neoliberal discourses encouraging individual responsibility and understandings of the self as enterprise. All of the above combined to actively shape and produce participants' understandings of social network sites as 'useful' and 'necessary' tools for managing the everyday and their relationships, for maximising professional opportunities, and for engaging in practices of profile-checking and monitoring. In short, the thesis argues that young people's uses and understandings of social network sites are complex and cannot be reduced to risks or positive leverage, nor can it be understood without an analysis of the asymmetrical relations of powers between private corporations which own the platforms and users, and a critical engagement with the pervasive neoliberal discourses that shape them.
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This article addresses the relationship between technology and institutions and asks whether technology itself is an institution. The argument is that social theorists need to attend better to materiality: the world of things and objects of which technical things form an important class. It criticizes the new institutionalism in sociology for its failure to sufficiently open up the black box of technology. Recent work in science and technology studies (S&TS) and in particular the sociology of technology is reviewed as another route into dealing with technology and materiality. The recent ideas in sociology of technology are exemplified with the author’s study of the development of the electronic music synthesizer.
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Systems for computer-mediated interaction provide unprecedented research opportunities for social scientists. The scale and complexity of these data also pose practical and theoretical challenges regarding data management, aggregation, analysis, and inference. This chapter discusses these challenges and describes a series of techniques that help researchers move from repositories of interaction logs, through large-scale databases, to visual and quantitative answers to theoretically motivated questions. We describe an integrated framework for generating theoretically motivated research based on the traditions of collective action, social networks, and interactionist sociologies. At the practical level of data collection, processing, and presentation, we describe the use of relational databases, standard data structures, and strategies that facilitate moving data across different research platforms and tools. Drawing on data from the Netscan project, we illustrate techniques for measuring and visualizing hierarchies, distributions, and relationships extracted from Usenet, a large-scale social software system that supports the exchange of messages among ...
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This article asks methodological questions about studying infrastructure with some of the tools and perspectives of ethnography. infrastructure is both relational and ecological-it means different things to different groups and it is part of the balance of action tools, and the built environment, inseparable from them. It also is frequently mundane to the point of boredom, involving things such as plugs, standards, and bureaucratic forms. Some of the difficulties of studying infrastructure are how to scale up from traditional ethnographic sites, how to manage large quantities of data such as those produced by transaction logs and how to understand the interplay of online and offline behavior: Some of the tricks of the trade involved in meeting these challenges include studying the design of infrastructure, understanding the paradoxes of infrastructure as both transparent and opaque, including invisible work in the ecological analysis, and pinpointing the epistemological status of indictors.
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An institutionally independent organic online learning community (OOLC) founded and populated by London cabbies-in-training, more commonly known to the world and to themselves as 'Knowledge Boys and Girls', is described here. Qualitative discourse analysis of message board transcripts and interviews with members was undertaken in an effort to elucidate benefits that accrue to OOLC members. Goffman's theory of region behaviour is enlisted to explain why frank, collegial and sometimes confessional interactions with peers might take place in such an online venue. This article suggests that through such candid interactions among peers, learners create a back-region that allows participants to compare themselves with one another, cultivate friendships and practise for high-stakes assessments. OOLC members take advantage of the pseudonymity provided by their electronic social space to engage in bchaviours that, if they occurred in a front-region, might invite damage to a learner's reputation as a pre-service cabbie. The online community BR becomes a sanctuary of sorts for taking social and academic risks, one where potential adverse consequences are few and benefits are legion.
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This paper presents an ethnographic account of surgical operations as encounters of two disciplined bodies — a parcelled `patient-body', and an aggregated `surgeon-body'. It describes the practices of making bodies operable, of cooperating and of creating anatomical visibility by means of highly skilled manipulations and optical technology. The discussion relates features of surgical practice to two issues raised in science studies: (1) Ritual aspects of scientific work; how does a medical science deal with the life-world esteem for its object?; and (2) The relation of experience and representation; how do patients' bodies come to embody the properties of anatomical pictures? A constructivist interpretation is offered: the anatomical body is an accomplishment of the sculptural practice of operations.
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Michel Foucault's ‘archaeology’ and Erving Goffman's interpersonal sociology are complementary. Both are essential for understanding how classifications of people interact with the people classified, and hence for the author's studies of ‘making up people’. The paper begins by explaining how that project is rooted in an ‘existentialist’ conception of the person. It then uses Goffman's Asylums and Foucault's Folie et déraison - both published in 1961 - to illustrate how these methodologies reinforce each other.
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This paper is intended as a contribution to the sociology of skill. Research which suggests that skills and their transmission are the properties of communities leaves unanswered the question of how information may be explicitly transmitted and acquired as part of the process of leaning a skill. Second-order studies of skill accept that skill acquisition occurs within a culture, but then go on to examine in detail which aspects of skills can be explicated and which cannot. Such a second-order study is presented here. Observations of veterinary surgery are used to identify a quasi-quantitative measure of skill acquisition – hardness. This measure is useful in understanding how task uncertainty is resolved in practice and how new skills are learnt.
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
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Using the author's own experiences in local politics, the paper examines several cases in which pieces of mundane infrastructure are contested. The cases include eruvs, traffic-calming technologies, and invisible dog fences. The argument is that in contra distinction to abstract philosophical approaches to technology, the social construction of technology (SCOT) needs to return to the examination of the mundane embeddedness of technologies in everyday life. It is argued that an adequate approach to the role of the human and the non-human should not buy into a distinction between ontology and epistemology but instead should focus upon the contested interaction of humans and non-humans in everyday life and thereby restore the analysis of intentionality and meaning to its rightful place at the core of the sociology of technology.
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Calculation has been recently discussed in relationship to market transactions as: (1) a set of operations, including classifications and computations, which support decision-making processes by economic actors; (2) action plans or strategies which can be evaluated against efficacy criteria; (3) broader social processes which induce behavioral modifications and transformations along (1) and (2). Calculations would appear as situated plans or strategies, bounded by institutional constraints, and anchored in classifications, computations, and evaluations, strategies which are implemented within trading interactions. Such plans make use of available resources and adapt to constraints, but are prior with respect to live trading interactions. Using a conceptual apparatus anchored in the work of Erving Goffman, I argue that calculation is situational action. Its features are shaped by the interaction order of trading, and it can be conceptualized as emerging from gaming encounters--i.e., competitive displays of the participants' socially relevant attributes. These arguments are supported with empirical data from online, anonymous financial trading. In these markets, gaming encounters make anonymous strangers present in the trader's situation, as a basis for assessing the relevance of displays on the trading screen and for reacting to these displays. At the same time, traders engage in repeated self-displays as a means for defining their own situation and for projecting subsequent action sequences.
Article
Presented as the Distinguished Lecture at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction in Boston, Massachusetts, on August 1, 2008, this article rethinks central assumptions of the interaction order as conceptualized by Goffman and others with respect to global domains of activity. It proposes two new concepts, that of the synthetic situation and that of time transactions. Synthetic situations are situations that include electronically transmitted on-screen projections that add informational depth and new response requirements to the "ecological huddle" (Goffman 1964:135) of the natural situation. Global situations invariably include such components; we also find that temporal forms of integration may substitute for joint territoriality of copresence in the natural situation. Based on research on global currency trading and other empirical examples, I identify four types of synthetic situations and describe the synthetic situation's informational character, its ontological fluidity, and the phenomenon that synthetic situations may become role-others for participants. I outline the response system of synthetic situations, sketching out the concepts of response presence and its implications in this context as well as the importance of embodiment I also discuss time transactions and the idea of fatefulness as a symbolic charge linked to the synthetic components of the situation.