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Shifting PracticesReflections on Technology, Practice, and Innovation$
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Giovan Francesco Lanzara

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034456

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034456.001.0001

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The VCR and the Back Office: Building “Equipmentality”

The VCR and the Back Office: Building “Equipmentality”

(p.175) 6 The VCR and the Back Office: Building “Equipmentality”
Shifting Practices

Giovan Francesco Lanzara

The MIT Press

The chapter deals with the phenomena observed when the VCR and its products (videotapes) are introduced in the back office. Court officers struggle to turn the videotapes into an administrative object to be integrated within a complex web of objects, routines and activities, so that it can be made available to the relevant actors. In other words, the videotape must become a connectable piece of equipment in the back office. This calls for the redesign of microprocedures, like procurement, storage and retrieval, duplication, and authentication, among others. Most crucially, the use of videorecorders clashed with the working habits of the magistrates and with their engrained professional values of privacy and secrecy.

Keywords:   back office, videotapes, office equipment, administrative object, microprocedures, working habits

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