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Drivers Using Mobile Phones in Traffic: An Ethnographic Study of Interactional Adaptatio

Journal article
Authors Alexandra Weilenmann
Oskar Juhlin
Mattias Esbjörnssson
Published in International Journal of Human Computer Interaction
Volume 22
Issue 1
Pages 39-60
Publication year 2007
Published at The Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction, and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS)
Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 39-60
Language en
Keywords mobile phones, user study, ethnography, traffic, social interaction, interactional adapation.
Subject categories Communication Studies, Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified

Abstract

Mobile phone use in cars is a highly debated issue. Legislation and policy discussions flourish in many countries and coincide with an increased effort in design of new in-car technologies. The studies which influence policy and design decisions use experimental approaches and are based on a cognitive perspective. In this paper, we discuss why this is a problematic approach. Further, we provide data and initial results from an initial ethnographic study of mobile phone use in traffic, where the aim is to investigate the ‘interactional adaptation’ by which the driver fit the involvement with the phone with driving and vice versa. By taking part of drivers’ daily work, and video recording their activities of driving and handling the mobile phone, we are able to reveal details which we believe could not be found with constructed studies. We end with a discussion of the benefits of this method and how it can be developed further.

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