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Disembodied Conduct: Interactional Asymmetries in Video-Mediated Communication

Christian Heath, Paul Luff
Over the past thirty years, there have been numerous attempts to develop audio-visual technologies which provide real time access between geographically dispersed individuals. As yet, however, these attempts have met with relatively little success. The videotelephone and conferencing systems were early precursors of such developments, and in more recent years we have seen the ways in which audio-visual technologies can support a range of computer-based tools, such as shared meeting spaces, shared text editors and shared drawing tools. These extraordinary technological innovations have been accompanied by a growing body of research concerned with the potential contribution of audio-visual technologies to cooperative work. Despite this work, we still have relatively little understanding of the character of interpersonal communication mediated through video technologies or the extent to which the media facilitate collaboration in the work place.
Technology in Working Order: Studies of Work, Interaction, and Technology, Graham Button (ed), Routledge, London, 1993, pp 35-54.