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Bruce Davis - ippr - Institute for Public Policy Research


									 “Why we love looking at money
     but still hate banks”

   Bruce Davis
15th February 2005

• The experience of financial services can tell us a
  lot about how people will use public services
  through ‘self service technologies’.

• Ethnographic research on money and technology
  suggests an alternative model of usage to the
  traditional adoption/education approach.

• Self service technologies will transform the social
  and cultural context and relationships of citizen,
  society and state.
          What is ethnography?

Genevieve Bell,
Ethnographer in residence at Intel

  – ‘It’s based on the idea that you can best absorb a
    culture by being there and doing it. An old professor of
    mine called it ‘deep hanging out’. You have to actually
    be there, hang out with people and participate in their
    daily activities’.
  Putting the individual in their place
   - describing „being in the world‟




          Two quick examples

“please ignore Mt. Vesuvius”

                               “When is an ISA not an ISA?”
A journey into the individual‟s imagined
            world of money

• Money is largely invisible in people’s lives and it is hard to
  discover the meaning.

• So we observed times of transition in people’s lives, when
  money was involved to investigate how it became visible in
  the real world.

• What we experienced was not the ‘money’ you get in a
  bank. That money is socially and culturally neutral in
  everyday life.

• Money in the real world is all about usage.

• Money is neutral; usage is social.
Usage of money reflects the way we see the
         world and society today
   Money reflects the growing tension and disconnection between the
    political world of society and the private world of the individual.

             The Private                      The Political
                - Solid                           - Fluid
                -Home                          -Uncertain
           -Bricks & mortar                        -Wild
              -My place                           -Public
             -Community                         - Isolated
               -Kinship                     - De-humanised
               -Security                  - ‘across the table’

    The private world of the individual is appropriating and adapting
 language, products and meaning to express its place in an increasingly
      threatening, irrelevant and changeable political environment.
We all have our own individual view of
        finances and insurance
Money helps place ourselves in both public
           and private worlds
                                         Increasing uncertainty

                        the domestic
  Decreasing humanity

                          ‘feminine &
                           autocratic’    the lifestyle
                                          ‘experiment, play,
                                          social interaction’
                                                                the macro
                                                                ‘masculine &
                                                                 laissez faire’
Two worlds… two very different contexts

      Private world of Money             Public world of money

Context =                           Context =

            – Home                              - Risk/Greed

            – Life Choices                      - Fear/Shame

            – Identity and Gender               - lack of confidence

            – Career                            - lack of control

Success = common sense              Success= knowledge & expertise
Adopt or Adapt?
                  Think „users‟

   „Consumer‟ =                                      User =
consumer of meaning                       creating/imagining meaning
                                                    & purpose

  Who has read or wants to read the technical manual of money?
                      Usage is social

•   Usage is rich, social and visible.

•   Usage communicates our values and creates our place in the

•   Usage is creative.

•   Usage generates meaning for money.

•   Usage creates and demonstrates purpose.

•   Usage labels and names money.
People use technology that puts money in
               its place…

• People want to get close to their money but
  do everything they can to avoid getting
  close to banks.
   – Banks are unnecessarily constrained and formal
     social spaces for your money.
   – It‟s a common remark that you don‟t feel you
     should even cough in a bank.

• Getting close to your money means having
  control over the choices and decisions of
  your everyday life.
   – Individual self expression
   – Domestic security and cohesion
Implications for self service government

• „Self service‟ technology will transform the behaviour and
  role of government more than it will transform citizens and
  individual behaviour.

• The institutions and infrastructure of big government will
  become an increasingly invisible utility for the individual.

• Individuals will adapt and use technology to enhance their
  everyday lives and will reject technologies that challenge
  the social structures, behaviours and attitudes that make
  up their world as they see it.

• As these technologies become more widely used and
  distributed, individuals will create new places that allow
  them to make political, social and cultural exchanges.
Self service or DIY government?

       Bruce Davis
      07747 864472

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