Articulation Work from the Middle: A Study of How Technicians Mediate Users and Technology

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article studies the work performed by technicians in a large demonstration project, EcoGrid 2.0, in the Danish island Bornholm. Based on observations of household visits conducted by technicians, we demonstrate how these act as ‘middlemen’, mediating and linking together the smart technology of the demonstration and the involved users. Formally, technicians’ work is to keep users online; however, they also perform a number of invisible tasks to keep users engaged and active. Our ethnographic study shows two broad categories of invisible work: first, technicians continually facilitate the willingness of users, recurrently affirming the social contract between users and demonstration project. Second, technicians facilitate the abilities of users by improvising informal training sessions of how to operate the system. These findings are used to discuss the importance of invisible articulation work of technical service workers in large scale real‐world experiments.
This article studies the work performed by technicians in a large demonstration project, EcoGrid 2.0, in the Danish island Bornholm. Based on observations of household visits conducted by technicians, we demonstrate how these act as ‘middlemen’, mediating and linking together the smart technology of the demonstration and the involved users. Formally, technicians’ work is to keep users online; however, they also perform a number of invisible tasks to keep users engaged and active. Our ethnographic study shows two broad categories of invisible work: first, technicians continually facilitate the willingness of users, recurrently affirming the social contract between users and demonstration project. Second, technicians facilitate the abilities of users by improvising informal training sessions of how to operate the system. These findings are used to discuss the importance of invisible articulation work of technical service workers in large scale real‐world experiments.
LanguageEnglish
JournalNew Technology, Work and Employment
Volume33
Issue number2
Pages171-186
Number of pages16
ISSN0268-1072
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2018

Keywords

  • Articulation work
  • Ethnography
  • Situated learning and training
  • Middlemen
  • Technical work
  • Invisible work
  • Organising work
  • Technicians

Cite this

@article{83b3e3e2b6ca425c814d6005f7f067a0,
title = "Articulation Work from the Middle: A Study of How Technicians Mediate Users and Technology",
abstract = "This article studies the work performed by technicians in a large demonstration project, EcoGrid 2.0, in the Danish island Bornholm. Based on observations of household visits conducted by technicians, we demonstrate how these act as ‘middlemen’, mediating and linking together the smart technology of the demonstration and the involved users. Formally, technicians’ work is to keep users online; however, they also perform a number of invisible tasks to keep users engaged and active. Our ethnographic study shows two broad categories of invisible work: first, technicians continually facilitate the willingness of users, recurrently affirming the social contract between users and demonstration project. Second, technicians facilitate the abilities of users by improvising informal training sessions of how to operate the system. These findings are used to discuss the importance of invisible articulation work of technical service workers in large scale real‐world experiments.",
keywords = "Articulation work, Ethnography, Situated learning and training, Middlemen, Technical work, Invisible work, Organising work, Technicians, Articulation work, Ethnography, Situated learning and training, Middlemen, Technical work, Invisible work, Organising work, Technicians",
author = "Trine Pallesen and Jacobsen, {Peter H.}",
year = "2018",
month = "7",
doi = "10.1111/ntwe.12113",
language = "English",
volume = "33",
pages = "171--186",
journal = "New Technology, Work and Employment",
issn = "0268-1072",
publisher = "Wiley",
number = "2",

}

Articulation Work from the Middle : A Study of How Technicians Mediate Users and Technology. / Pallesen, Trine; Jacobsen, Peter H.

In: New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 33, No. 2, 07.2018, p. 171-186.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Articulation Work from the Middle

T2 - New Technology, Work and Employment

AU - Pallesen,Trine

AU - Jacobsen,Peter H.

PY - 2018/7

Y1 - 2018/7

N2 - This article studies the work performed by technicians in a large demonstration project, EcoGrid 2.0, in the Danish island Bornholm. Based on observations of household visits conducted by technicians, we demonstrate how these act as ‘middlemen’, mediating and linking together the smart technology of the demonstration and the involved users. Formally, technicians’ work is to keep users online; however, they also perform a number of invisible tasks to keep users engaged and active. Our ethnographic study shows two broad categories of invisible work: first, technicians continually facilitate the willingness of users, recurrently affirming the social contract between users and demonstration project. Second, technicians facilitate the abilities of users by improvising informal training sessions of how to operate the system. These findings are used to discuss the importance of invisible articulation work of technical service workers in large scale real‐world experiments.

AB - This article studies the work performed by technicians in a large demonstration project, EcoGrid 2.0, in the Danish island Bornholm. Based on observations of household visits conducted by technicians, we demonstrate how these act as ‘middlemen’, mediating and linking together the smart technology of the demonstration and the involved users. Formally, technicians’ work is to keep users online; however, they also perform a number of invisible tasks to keep users engaged and active. Our ethnographic study shows two broad categories of invisible work: first, technicians continually facilitate the willingness of users, recurrently affirming the social contract between users and demonstration project. Second, technicians facilitate the abilities of users by improvising informal training sessions of how to operate the system. These findings are used to discuss the importance of invisible articulation work of technical service workers in large scale real‐world experiments.

KW - Articulation work

KW - Ethnography

KW - Situated learning and training

KW - Middlemen

KW - Technical work

KW - Invisible work

KW - Organising work

KW - Technicians

KW - Articulation work

KW - Ethnography

KW - Situated learning and training

KW - Middlemen

KW - Technical work

KW - Invisible work

KW - Organising work

KW - Technicians

UR - https://sfx-45cbs.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/45cbs?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&url_ctx_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&ctx_enc=info:ofi/enc:UTF-8&ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rfr_id=info:sid/sfxit.com:azlist&sfx.ignore_date_threshold=1&rft.object_id=954921383834

U2 - 10.1111/ntwe.12113

DO - 10.1111/ntwe.12113

M3 - Journal article

VL - 33

SP - 171

EP - 186

JO - New Technology, Work and Employment

JF - New Technology, Work and Employment

SN - 0268-1072

IS - 2

ER -