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Title: Storing, caring and sharing: Examining organisational practices around material stuff in the home
Authors: Zarabi, Roshanak
Advisors: Perry, M
Keywords: Studies of home technologies;Ethnography in HCI and CSCW;Social interaction at home;Gender and technology;Ethnographically oriented methods and home studies
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Brunel University, School of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics
Abstract: Homes are a much discussed, but little empirically examined resource for action. Material stuff at home offer resources for social, organisational and individual activities that we routinely encounter and use on an everyday basis. Yet their purposes, storing and sharing practices of use and roles in social and organisational actions are hardly touched upon within Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) academic literature. As a consequence of this, there are critical gaps in understanding home organisation and management methods as a means of informing the design of novel technologies. This thesis is an examination of everyday routines in home, paying particular attention to tidying, storing, retrieving and sharing practices. To examine these practices at home, this thesis presents a combination of two qualitative studies using ethnographically oriented methods. Study one (Home’s Tidying up, Storing and Retrieving) concerns the topic of home storage in practice; investigating how householders create and use domestic storage practices and the methods used to manage their storage at home. Study two (Social Interaction around Shared Resources) concerns social interaction around shared resources, and the methods used to manage sharing practices at home. Semi-structured interviews, fieldwork observation, tour around a home, and a photo diary were undertaken to produce a ‘rich’ description of how householders collaborate in storing and sharing set of practices to manage their everyday routines. Several key finding emerged from the research, that are used to identify important implications for design of home organisational technologies, for example to support effective lightweight interactions, providing user controlled mechanism to make different levels of privacy protection for family members, offering effective awareness of family communications and notifications of the activities of other people around these organisation systems, and making available a range of flexible options for family members to access a shared resource. The thesis make the case that flexible systems should be designed allowing people to categorise things in different ways, and have the values of home asserted in technologies, considering factors such as emotion around the use of space in home organisation to make homes become the unique places that they are understood to be.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Computer Science
Dept of Computer Science Theses

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