During the summer of 2021 I did a fieldwork among carpenters in a small refurbishment company in Trondheim, Norway. It was exciting to learn by working with these fun guys! I am currently in the first stage of my PhD research project where I am trying to understand more about skills and culture among craftspeople in Norway.
The next stage will be to do fieldwork in a larger, more technologically complex construction company in Norway, and I will study construction workers who work alongside robots
AUTOWORK researcher Dr. Roger A. Søraa has just published a new book on Digitalization, together with colleague Dr. Kristine Ask at the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture, NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
The book features a chapter on the automation of work, and is a good introduction to understand how work is impacted by digital practices, and how technologies change the notion of work.
The book can be found in your local academic bookshop:
In kicking-off the AUTOWORK project, we have great expectations for what the project will bring to research on the automation, digitalization and robotization of work.
Although we had planned for a physical meeting in Trondheim, Norway, global realities of course made that impossible. Shifting to a digital solution was interesting in itself given the topic of this project: Would this digitalization of our work make it more efficient? Would the lack of informal interactions during coffee breaks or meals be detrimental? We found, surprisingly perhaps, that we could get to know each other well in the digital realm, even as we look forward to meeting face-to-face. But, most importantly, we discovered an enthusiasm for this project, and a wealth of knowledge that all partners already possessed, that was almost impossible to contain to eight hours of of video conferencing. We also discussed how COVID, which dictated the digitalisation of our own kick-off meeting, is accelerating the automation and digitalization of work, especially in the sale and service sector, in ways both visible and invisible, making out research more timely than ever.
The AUTOWORK project consists of project leader NTNU Social Research and four departments at NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology:
Department of Social Anthropology
Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture
Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science
Department of Sociology and Political Science
Department of Computer Science
With us digitally were partners from Monash University, in Melbourne in Australia. Participating from Monash are:
School of Media, Film and Journalism
Emerging Technologies Research Lab
Norway and Australia can seem remote from the rest of the world, at the northern and southern reaches of the globe. The restrictions on travel can make that isolation feel larger, while the digital meetings can make those distances seem to collapse. We look forward to sharing with the rest of the world insights we can glean about the future of work.