Technology in consumer talk

Date of publication: February 1, 2004

Author: Rachel Lawes

Abstract:

This paper investigates how ordinary people use technology as both topic and resource in their natural interactions, away from research. New insight into attitudes and behaviour is achieved by researching how people use technology to manage real-life issues and relationships, e.g., by remarking on the technological taste and know-how of others. Research data of special interest are technology-mediated communications, from web pages to chat rooms. New research methods have emerged to tackle these data: in this paper, a selection of ethno-methods is introduced. The findings concern trust in cyberspace, stability in virtual communities and displays of individual expertise.

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