Skip to content
BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access June 3, 2019

Doing autoethnography of social robots: Ethnographic reflexivity in HRI

Bohkyung Chun

Abstract

Originating from anthropology, ethnographic reflexivity refers to ethnographers’ understanding and articulation of their own intervention to participants’ activities as innate study opportunities which affect quality of the ethnographic data. Despite of its methodological discordance with scientific methods which minimize researchers’ effects on the data, validity and effectiveness of reflexive ethnography have newly been claimed in technology studies. Inspired by the shift, I suggest potential ways of incorporating ethnographic reflexivity into studies of human-robot social interaction including ethnographic participant observation, collaborative autoethnography and hybrid autoethnography. I presume such approaches would facilitate roboticists’ access to human conditions where robots’ daily operation occurs. A primary aim here is to fill the field’s current methodological gap between needs for better-examining robots’ social functioning and a lack of insights from ethnography, prominent socio-technical methods. Supplementary goals are to yield a nuanced understanding of ethnography in HRI and to suggest embracement of reflexive ethnographies for future innovations.

References

[1] T. Fong, I. Nourbakhsh, K. Dautenhahn, A survey of socially interactive robots, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 2003, 42(3-4), 143–16610.1016/S0921-8890(02)00372-XSearch in Google Scholar

[2] A. Sauppé, B. Mutlu, The social impact of a robot co-worker in industrial settings, In: Proceedings of ACM International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 201510.1145/2702123.2702181Search in Google Scholar

[3] J. Rode, Reflexivity in digital anthropology, In: Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 201110.1145/1978942.1978961Search in Google Scholar

[4] S. Bødker, When second wave HCI meets third wave challenges, In: Proceedings of the 4th Nordic ACM Conference on Human- Computer Interaction: Changing roles, 200610.1145/1182475.1182476Search in Google Scholar

[5] A. Crabtree, T. Rodden, P. Tolmie, G. Button, Ethnography considered harmful, In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2009, 879–88810.1145/1518701.1518835Search in Google Scholar

[6] M. Hammersley, P. Atkinson, Ethnography: Principles in Practice, Routledge, 200710.1002/9781405165518.wbeose070Search in Google Scholar

[7] P. Atkinson, Ethnography, In: P. Atkinson (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise, Routledge, 2016, 71–8310.4324/9781315762012-14Search in Google Scholar

[8] J. Boyle, Styles of ethnography, Critical Issues in Qualitative Research Methods, 1994, 2, 159–185Search in Google Scholar

[9] P. Rothbauer, Triangulation, In: L. Given (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods, Sage Publications, 2008, 892–894Search in Google Scholar

[10] U. Hannerz, Being there... and there... and there! Reflections on multi-site ethnography, Ethnography, 2003, 4(2), 201–21610.1177/14661381030042003Search in Google Scholar

[11] B. Nardi, The use of ethnographic methods in design and evaluation, In: B. Nardi (Ed.), Handbook of Human-Computer Interaction, 1997, 361–36610.1016/B978-044481862-1.50081-9Search in Google Scholar

[12] J. Hughes, Moving out from the control room: ethnography in system design, In: Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 199410.1145/192844.193065Search in Google Scholar

[13] R. Bernard, C. Gravlee, Handbook of methods in cultural anthropology, Rowman & Littlefield, 2014Search in Google Scholar

[14] M. Burawoy, The extended case method, Sociological Theory, 1998, 16(1), 4–3310.1111/0735-2751.00040Search in Google Scholar

[15] A. N. Markham, Ethnography in the digital Internet era: From fields to flow, descriptions to interventions, In: N. Denzin, Y. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, Sage Publications, 2017Search in Google Scholar

[16] S. Woolgar, Reflexivity is the ethnographer of the text, In: S. Woolgar (Ed.), Knowledge and Reflexivity, New Frontiers in the Sociology of Knowledge, Sage Publications, 1988, 14–35Search in Google Scholar

[17] J. Van Maanen, Tales of the Field: On Writing Ethnography, University of Chicago Press, 1988Search in Google Scholar

[18] L. Suchman, Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of Human- Machine Communication, Cambridge University Press, 1987Search in Google Scholar

[19] B. Nardi, Studying context: A comparison of activity theory, situated action models, and distributed cognition, Context and Consciousness: Activity Theory and Human-Computer Interaction, 1996, 69–102Search in Google Scholar

[20] L. Suchman, Lucy, Reconstructing technologies as social practice, American Behavioral Scientist, 1999, 43(3), 392–40810.1177/00027649921955335Search in Google Scholar

[21] H. Garfinkel, Studies in Ethnomethodology, Englewood Cliffs, 1984Search in Google Scholar

[22] P. A. Carbó, Reflexive practice in the ethnographic text: Relations and meanings of the use of heroin and other drugs in an urban community, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 2009, 10(2), Art. 23Search in Google Scholar

[23] A. Rapp, Autoethnography in Human-Computer Interaction: Theory and Practice, In: New Directions in Third Wave Human- Computer Interaction: Volume 2 – Methodologies, Springer, 2018, 25–4210.1007/978-3-319-73374-6_3Search in Google Scholar

[24] P. Dourish, Implications for design, In: Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2006, 541–55010.1145/1124772.1124855Search in Google Scholar

[25] C. Ellis, Carolyn, The Ethnographic I: A Methodological Novel about Autoethnography, Alta Mira Press, 2004Search in Google Scholar

[26] C. Ellis, T. Adams, A. Bochner, Autoethnography: An overview, Historical Social Research, 2011, 273–290Search in Google Scholar

[27] L. Malinverni, N. Pares N, An autoethnographic approach to guide situated ethical decisions in participatory design with teenagers, Interact Computer, 2017, 29(3), 403–41510.1093/iwc/iww031Search in Google Scholar

[28] G. Pritcherd, J. Vines, P. Briggs, L. Thomas, P. Olivier, Digitally driven: how location based services impact on the work practices of London bus drivers, In: Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2014, 3617–362610.1145/2556288.2557156Search in Google Scholar

[29] X. Xiao, H. Ishii, Inspect, embody, invent: a design framework for music learning and beyond, In: Proceedings of the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2016, 5397–540810.1145/2858036.2858577Search in Google Scholar

[30] L. Diaz, C. Morales, L. Gaytan-Lugo, V. Cid, L. Morales, S. Enriquez, Living without a smartphone: using autoethnography to get closer to basic phone users, Paper presented at CHI 2017 symposium on HCI across Borders Denver, 2017, 6–7Search in Google Scholar

[31] D. Harrison, M. Cecchinato, Give me five minutes!” Feeling time slip by, In: Adjunct Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing and Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers, 2015, 45–4810.1145/2800835.2800858Search in Google Scholar

[32] A. Marcengo, A. Rapp, F. Cena, M. Geymonat, The falsified self: complexities in personal data collection, In: Proceedings of the ACM HCI International Conference, 2016, 351–35810.1007/978-3-319-40250-5_34Search in Google Scholar

[33] A. O’Kane, Y. Rogers, A. Blandford, Gaining empathy for nonroutine mobile device use through autoethnography, In: Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2014, 987–99010.1145/2556288.2557179Search in Google Scholar

[34] M. Cecchinato, A. Cox, J. Bird, Always on(line)? User experience of smartwatches and their role within multi-device ecologies, In: Proceedings of the 2017 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2017, 3557–356810.1145/3025453.3025538Search in Google Scholar

[35] S. Ljungblad, Passive photography from a creative perspective: “if I would just shoot the same thing for seven days, it’s like... what’s the point?,” In: Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2009, 829–838Search in Google Scholar

[36] K. Williams, An anxious alliance, Aarhus Series on Human Centered Computing, 2015, 1(1), 1110.7146/aahcc.v1i1.21146Search in Google Scholar

[37] K. Boehner, P. Sengers, S.Warner, Interfaces with the ineffable: meeting aesthetic experience on its own terms, ACM Transaction of Computer Human Interaction, 2008, 15(3),1–2910.1145/1453152.1453155Search in Google Scholar

[38] C. Neustaedter, P. Sengers, Autobiographical design: what you can learn from designing for yourself, Interactions, 2012, 19(6), 28–3310.1145/2377783.2377791Search in Google Scholar

[39] A. Sabelli, A. Maria, T. Kanda, N. Hagita, A conversational robot in an elderly care center: an ethnographic study, In: Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, 201110.1145/1957656.1957669Search in Google Scholar

[40] B. Fogg, Persuasive computers: Perspectives and research directions, In: Proceedings of ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1998, 225–23210.1145/274644.274677Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2018-09-05
Accepted: 2019-05-08
Published Online: 2019-06-03

© 2019 Bohkyung Chun, published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License.

Scroll Up Arrow