About the project
The research aims to study how family and home life is constituted in the car, with a particular emphasis on exploring the role and use of media in this setting. The research wishes to point to the cultural, social and technological organization of activity in the car that can be used in such a way so as to inform design that will consider the multi-faceted nature of car travel.
Why the car?
It is our interest as interdisciplinary researchers from the social sciences and technology studies to study the car , given that it is a novel locale of study. We see it's features as:
By studying how families occupy car spaces, the research sets to:
The researcher will travel with the families in typical family car journeys. In addition, families will be given cameras to capture in car video data using a multi-camera recording technique to film inside the car with paired cameras capturing activities on the front and back seats during family car journeys.
Approach and Methodology
In order to gain a clear understanding of behaviour within cars, the research will involve data collected from a number of family car-based travel episodes, including, shopping trips, holiday travel, sports events, the school run and lifts. Data collection itself will be broadly based on video-ethnographic techniques (e.g. Suchman and Trigg, 1991; Hindmarsh and Heath, 2007), supplemented through the use of interviews to provide contextual detail and give coverage where access and video data collection is limited. The research will therefore examine traveller’s activities both within the car during their journeys, as well as exploring behaviour around the journey itself.
The current research takes the perspective of ethnomethodologically driven ethnography where the researcher as an ethnographer enquires into the reasoning and methods for accomplishing situations used by particpants(Crabtree et al, 2000). A multi modal approach for analysis will be taken, by drawing the theoretical basis from ethnomethodology, conversation analysis and interaction analysis to explore the organization and interaction around media use in family cars.