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Why do People Wear Active Badges?

Richard Harper
This paper reports findings of an analysis into active badges as sociological phenomena. It examines the symbolic meaning given to active badges, the normative constraints underpinning attitudes to active badges; and the relationship between normative constraints, meaning, use, and the moral order of a workplace. It will be suggested that active badges can usefully be viewed as totems. The materials discussed derive from ethnographically informed interviews of 44 members of a corporate research institution. Similarities between this setting and other workplaces will be remarked. The role of sociological reasoning in design will conclude the paper.
Xerox Technical Report


EPC-1993-120.pdf (37.92 kB) (84.72 kB)