Human-computer interaction in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century has been aided by the graphical user interface (GUI). Cinematic representations of the GUI have reflected its pervasive quotidian presence and expanded beyond to create spectacular technophilic Hollywood blockbusters. The screen-based interaction, which computers and the cinema share, offers an important point of reflection upon the embodied relationship among screen, spectator, and the onscreen computer user. By examining cinematic representations of hackers, experts, and users and the extent to which they manipulate or submit to the computer's vision, this article considers the possible future interaction between spectator and the digital medium of cinema.
Involvement and Participatory Approaches in Applied Health Research
This article provides an account of service-user involvement in applied health research in the U.K., where such involvement is understood as research 'with' or 'by' service users. I reflect on some of the driving forces behind service-user involvement in health research and discuss the ways in which this kind of involvement has become systematised in a research context that values comparison and evaluation. I argue that the potential to conflate participatory research with service-user involvement may lead to participatory approaches – so often practiced by anthropologists – becoming described as forms of service-user involvement. Despite the systematisation of service-user involvement to meet the requirements of applied health research, service-user involvement is not viewed as providing research evidence. If participatory approaches become redefined as user involvement then there is a risk that evidence produced by disciplines such as anthropology are no longer viewed as 'evidence', and become unable to influence decisions about healthcare practice and policy. Sensitising anthropologists to this possibility may be a first step in identifying ways to ensure that results from participatory research retain a position as evidence.
Engaging a cross-disciplinary approach, this comparative analysis shows how two disparate icons, Barbie and Modulor, are similar. The former is an often criticized symbol of girl culture, beauty, and consumerism. The latter is a drawing of a man that summarizes the dimensional system of Le Corbusier, one of the world's most influential architects, and that subsequently became a symbol of modern architecture. Divided into three parts—idealized bodies, their spaces, and how typical users are excluded—this nuanced interpretation explores the intersections of architecture, feminism, embodiment, and ableism. I show how these two bodies—Barbie and Modulor—inspire homes that emphasize the vertical: the buildings exclude typical users. For instance, Barbie's friend Becky, who is in a wheelchair, does not fit into Barbie's skinny world and Modulor's needs are dissimilar to those of mothers and children. Putting these artifacts into conversation reinvigorates the subjects and provides a contextual framework in which to consider Barbie's house as architecture.
The Internet in Everyday Life in Irish Households
This paper presents a study of Irish households, the internet and everyday life. Social studies of technology draw heavily from anthropology, not only in ethnographic methodologies but also in the ways in which such data can be understood and interpreted within the contexts of everyday life. To achieve this, the concept of the domestication of (media) technologies has been developed to describe and analyse the processes of technology's acceptance, rejection and use. Domestication is employed as a structural and analytical framework to achieve an empirical understanding of the domestic user. Based on a critical analysis from an anthropological perspective, the paper will revise the original domestication of the concept of technology. The notion of technological black boxes and I-methodology strategies are critiqued. This paper calls for users to be conceptualised as active agents in the overall design process and not as just end users who become active once the artefact has become commodified.
Odette Lobato-Calleros, Humberto Rivera, Hugo Serrato, María Elena Gómez and Ignacio Méndez Ramírez
This article reports on the methodology for setting the Mexican User Satisfaction Index for Social Programs (MUSI-SP) as tested in seven national social programs. The evaluation is based on Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). How satisfaction takes the central place of the SEM, which postulates its causes and effects, contributes to the increased validity and reliability of satisfaction indicators that allow benchmarking between social programs. The MUSI model is an adaptation of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) model. The MUSI methodology includes qualitative and quantitative techniques. The estimation model is by the Partial Least Squares (PLS). In each of the seven social programs, no statistical evidence was found to reject the main relationships postulated by the ACSI’s model: that Perceived Quality impacts Satisfaction, and Satisfaction impacts Trust. The improvement opportunity areas were also identified for each program. These results give valid and reliable feedback to public policies.
Mauro Sarrica, Sonia Brondi and Paolo Cottone
This article examines the contents of the representations of sustainable energy in Italy from 2009 to 2011. In particular it explores the representations of energy, energy systems, and users. The article's starting point was the assumption that critical points may change the relationship between communities and the represented issues, and that new representations may be dialogically elaborated following relevant societal events. Political debates and newspaper articles dealing with sustainable energy were subjected to content analyses. Results show that the representations bear witness to the prevalence of economic and strategic approaches and a view of citizens whereby, even when involved in decentralized systems, they are required to stay passive. Alternative contents seem not to challenge the hegemonic view of energy. A clear trend toward sustainability is lacking, suggesting the absence of a continuing motivation to look at energy taking into account the civic growth of the population.
Locating Tween Girls
Melanie Kennedy and Natalie Coulter
We reflect on the media coverage of Amy “Dolly” Everett’s death by suicide to highlight the continued spectacularization of tweenhood as an idealized form of white feminine beauty tied to consumer culture, and one that shores up contradictory notions of the can-do/at-risk girl binary. We consider contemporary tweenhood’s continuities with the visibility and concerns of girlhood from the 1990s while questioning what a definition of tweenhood in the age of digital media and beyond the boundaries of whiteness, heteronormativity, able-bodiedness, and the Global North might look like. Calling for a discursive approach to understandings and conceptualizations of tweens, we introduce the eight articles in this special issue that range from media representations of the tween to lived experiences of actual tween girls.
Mary Beth Oliver and Tilo Hartmann
This article extends current theorizing in media psychology on audience responses to cinema by examining individuals' perceptions of meaningfulness. Specifically, it presents the results of a study designed to expand upon research on psychological and subjective well-being to experiences and memories of films that are perceived as particularly meaningful by viewers. Characteristics and themes of such films are examined and identified, as well as the specific emotional responses that accompany perceptions of meaningful cinema.
Bicycle Lanes in Urban Europe, 1900-1995
Ruth Oldenziel and Adri Albert de la Bruhèze
Today most cities emphasize the construction of separate bicycle lanes as a sure path toward sustainable urban mobility. Historical evidence shows a singular focus on building bicycle lanes without embedding them into a broader bicycle culture and politics is far too narrow. Bicycle lanes were never neutral, but contested from the start. Based on comparative research of cycling history covering nine European cities in four countries, the article shows the crucial role representations of bicycles play in policymakers' and experts' planning for the future. In debating the regulation of urban traffic flows, urban-planning professionals projected separate lanes to control rather than to facilitate working- class, mass-scale bicycling. Significantly, cycling organizations opposed the lanes, while experts like traffic engineers and urban planners framed automobility as the inevitable modern future. Only by the 1970s did bicycle lanes enter the debate as safe and sustainable solutions when grass-roots cyclists' activists campaigned for them. The up and downs of bicycle lanes show the importance of encouraging everyday utility cycling by involving diverse social groups.
Emma Terama, Juha Peltomaa, Catarina Rolim and Patrícia Baptista
The popularity of car sharing as part of the urban mobility repertoire has barely increased from a niche contribution in recent decades. Although holding potential to address local issues such as congestion and air quality, but even more crucially to meet the urgent need to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions from traffic, car sharing often meets barriers stemming from local contexts, regulatory environments, and/or lack of political support or consumer awareness. In this article, we discuss the interdependencies of these barriers and provide some key elements to consider in the future when planning practical implementation, research initiatives, and policy support for car sharing in order to overcome the complex and interrelated barriers.