Being a Reflexive Insider: The Case of Designing Maritime Technology
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Conferences on Advances in Computer-Human Interactions ACHI. 2020, 282-292.
This article reports a long-term, multiple-site ethnographic study in which the author cooperated with a heterogeneous group in designing remote-control systems for maritime operations since 2015. The paper reports how the participants were assembled in a network that represented their interests in balancing the relationship between a design and its use. The author asserts that if Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) research aims to shed light on other disciplines, CSCW researchers should be reflexive insiders that first position themselves in such disciplines. Different from the first generation of CSCW researchers, members of the new generation are trained in multiple disciplines, and they have the ability to use their expertise in reducing the gap between CSCW research and engineering practices in various fields. Thus, through reflexive practice, CSCW researchers could connect communities of practice, thus narrowing the distance between humanity and engineering. The paper moves the historical debate on the relationship between ethnography and design toward a new focus on reflective insiders as a method used to support CSCW research outside the CSCW community.