The multi-variation approach: Cross-case analysis of ethnographic fieldwork

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This article argues that a multi-variation approach can be a useful supplement to existing ethnographic studies in the field of Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). The multi-variation approach builds on classical ethnographic case studies, where a researcher studies a delimited field in a microstudy of a particular robot, its makers, users, and affected stakeholders. The approach is also inspired by multi-sited studies, where researchers move across fields, adding to the complexity of the ethnographic findings. Whereas both approaches build on analysis of microstudies, the multi-variation approach is further inspired by postphenomenology, where the main aim is to deliberately seek variation - thus again adding to the complexity of the detailed findings. Here, the multivariation approach includes several researchers studying several types of robots across sites. The analytical approach seeks patterns across this complexity - and the claim is that a multi-variation approach has a strength in findings that are systematic and consistent across cases, sites, and variations. The article gives an example of such cross-variation findings in the robot field - namely the tendency for roboticists across cases and robot types to publicly present their robots as more finished and wellfunctioning than they actually are.

Sider (fra-til)219-227
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2019

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