Ethnographic study of energy use in an office setting: Exploring the interactional role of energy

Bell, Lorraine M., Summerville, Jennifer A., & Buys, Laurie (2006) Ethnographic study of energy use in an office setting: Exploring the interactional role of energy. In Social Change in the 21st Century Conference 2006, 27 October 2006, Carseldine QUT, Brisbane.

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Energy, or electricity, plays a significant role in everyday human and technology interactions. Yet to date, research has not considered the interactional nature of energy, with studies either taking energy for granted or viewing energy as a static resource simply 'used' by humans. There is a need, therefore, to recognise energy's role as an interactional participant by investigating how energy operates in everyday human and technology interactions. Understanding how energy is present in everyday practices can give energy a 'voice' and provide new insight into the area of energy-use. As energy-use is embedded in routine practices, an ethnographic approach is considered necessary to explore the interactional role of energy. This study uses ethnographic observation in an office setting to examine routine interactions between humans, technology and energy in a workplace context. Observing these everyday workplace practices reveals four different states energy assumes as operational, idle, reserved or absent. Human interactions with technology can influence the presence of energy, while energy working in a coalition with technology can influence human actions through its presence.

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ID Code: 6073
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: energy, use, ethnography, everyday workplace practice, human, technology interactions
ISBN: 1741071291
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Social Change (160805)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 (The authors)
Deposited On: 07 Feb 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:23

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