Thursday, February 20, 2003

Mobile research

According to the BBC, a three-year study into the evolution of consumer mobile behaviour, entitled Me, My Mobile and I, suggests that mobile devices are increasingly offering people a way to control their relationships, location and self-image.

This study was conducted by the Teleconomy Research Group in the Management School at Lancaster - and I could only find Google caches of their pages. The research team comprised behavioural psychologists and applied sociologists and anthropologists, and I was trying to find out what theoretical/methodological frameworks they used. The use of anthropology and sociology in management and business research makes me nervous - I have ethical concerns, and I need to know where they're coming from and how the findings will be used. (And, in this case, I'm curious why the Lancaster Science, Technology and Society folks don't seem to be involved.)

So, I managed to find a cached CHI workshop paper which states that the research was "interpreted using applied frameworks from sociology and philosophy. The frameworks are mainly derived from the work of Anthony Giddens, Roland Barthes and Jean Baudrillard. The leading concepts are identity, dialogue and symbolism." OK - post-structural but still very much concerned with signs and representation.

Now, if they'd just make the results available... I like BBC news and all, but more detail would be good.


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