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A View from the Cultured Barbarian. Barrett S. Caldwell, PhD School of Industrial Engineering Purdue University Fall 2002 AAAI Symposium Etiquette in Human-Computer Work 15-17 November 2002. What is A Barbarian?.

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a view from the cultured barbarian

A View from the Cultured Barbarian

Barrett S. Caldwell, PhD

School of Industrial Engineering

Purdue University

Fall 2002 AAAI Symposium

Etiquette in Human-Computer Work

15-17 November 2002

what is a barbarian
What is A Barbarian?
  • Jeanne Comeau presentation: “Someone who does not adhere to the norms of the cultural elite to which I aspire”
  • Inherent in this is that I am (can be?) accepted in the elite, which has power over another, whom I devalue via the label “Barbarian”
    • New victors declare old residents “savage / backward”
  • Advancement-- becoming more like what the elite prefer now
etiquette as negotiation of social complexity
Etiquette as Negotiation of Social Complexity
  • Emerging Rulesets to Manage Belief Systems and Dynamics of Social Environment--All Social Behavior Based on Negotiated Rulesets (Language)
  • Developing Formal Rules Based on Power Norms --Consensus, Majority, Elite
  • Stereotyping (6 sec sizing) as Self-Fulfilling, Inertial Simplification
  • Ease of Defining Etiquette Based on Number of Simultaneously Valued Cultures
cultures of culture
Cultures of Culture
  • Sociology and Cultural Anthropology Perspectives
    • Hall: Formal, Informal, Technical Cultures
    • Berger / Luckman: Social Construction within Culture
    • Goffman: Presentation of Self, “Roles”
  • Socialization of Cultural Affiliations and Adoption
    • Central / Primary: most central to self-concept
    • Peripheral / Secondary: later to develop, more situational
  • Category Membership: origin, profession, organization, avocation, class, etc.
  • Observation: US Ascribes Central Value to Professional Culture Affiliation (“What do you do?”)
why is etiquette powerful
Why is Etiquette Powerful?
  • Belief That Adhering to Ruleset Can Have Personal Advantages
  • Reputation and Social Advancement
  • Recognition of Power Dynamics: What is The Golden Rule?
    • “Do unto others as you would prefer”
    • “The ones with gold make the rules”
  • Sanctions And Isolation As Controls
  • Alignment of Subcultural Etiquettes (through Range of Participants) Makes Etiquettes Less Visible
assumptions by the fish studying water
Assumptions by the Fish Studying Water
  • Other’s Motivations Are Similar to Yours
    • Conflicting goals on the way to productization
    • Do users have a similar general background
    • Empirical research as a paternalistic legacy of DWMs
  • Others Share Your Sense of Fairness / Equity
    • Retribution / recompense for past inequity
    • “Don’t trust the other ones, trust me”: friend or con?
    • Sociopath: one who exploits etiquette for personal gain, without normal restrictions for social control
views from the margin
Views from the Margin
  • “Generalized” Culture Assumes Central, Primary, Unitary Affiliations (of Elite?)
  • Minority Groups as Managing Multiple Cultures
    • Observing elite within minority structure
    • Survival in majority culture (which is often not aware of itself as non-universal)
  • Range of Cultural Affiliations for Interaction
    • Simplicity: select and manage small set
      • Finding the place to “fit in” with “your kind”
    • Complexity: self-consistency across multiple groups
      • Consistency for self = marginalism in all groups
cultural flexibility and access
Cultural Flexibility and Access
  • All Culture is Contextual
  • Thus, All Etiquette is Specialized
    • Just some cultures are assumed general--for a simple, unitary group affiliation and ruleset adoption
  • Cultural Flexibility Is A Different Skill
    • Etiquette following as rule memory / execution
    • Etiquette selection as strategic recognition of context and appropriate shifting of rule application
  • Some Rules are Meant to Exclude
geek chic and nerd revenge
Geek Chic and Nerd Revenge
  • Intentional Creation of New Norms with New Power in Response to Devaluing
  • “Violating” Norms to Indicate “True” Cultural Affiliation
    • Goffman: Use of Stigma as Valuing Criterion
  • Complexity of Distinct Groups of Elites on Different Cultural Criteria
  • Should we Trust Computer People to Create Etiquette Norms?
challenges for the cultured barbarian
Challenges for the Cultured Barbarian
  • Fitting In to Existing Rules vs. Creating Opportunities for Acceptance and New Rules
  • Willingness to Accept Aspects of Formal Cultures as Part of Personal Style
  • Managing Multiple Elites, and Not Being Too Devalued in Any
  • Not Getting Too Tired of People Who Cannot Navigate Cultural Complexity
  • Acceptance and Cultivation of One’s Stigma
references
References
  • Berger, P. L., and Luckman, T. (1966). The Social Construction of Reality.
  • Goffman, E. (1959). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.
  • Goffman, E. (1963). Stigma.
  • Goffman, E. (1967). Interaction Ritual.
  • Hall, E.T. (1958). The Hidden Dimension.
  • Kaplan, D., and Manners, Robert A. (1972). Culture Theory.