Accepted Papers:

Co-laboration as an analytical tool for the ethnographic study of infrastructures in organisations  


Catharina Lüder (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich)
Jonas Müller (Kassel University)

Paper Short Abstract:

We discuss methodological issues in STS research with regard to participant observation of infrastructures which are elaborated in two small case studies. The interest here is with infrastructures in specialised work places and co-laboration may be used as an analytical tool.

Paper long abstract:

During ethnographic field research infrastructures are hard to follow although they are everywhere around us. How to research with and in infrastructures is changing with every field and every time. In this paper we discuss two case studies of ethnography in public authorities. Our aim is to show how in fields were the structure of the organisation guides how participant observation is possible infrastructures surface beyond breakdowns and how researcher-field entanglements can be analysed by looking at emerging para-sites. We argue that the notion of co-laboration helps us to see those para-sites and to analyse both our own knowledge practices and those in our fields.

Panel F07
Methodography of data practices in STS's ethnographic collaboration and participant observation