chapter  4
11 Pages

Gliding Effortlessly Through Life? Surfaces and Friction

This chapter focuses on social interaction between people as an important aspect of hearing, and thus important for design, production, marketing and advice concerning hearing aids. Drawing on the work of the American pragmatists especially George Herbert Mead and the process sociologist Norbert Elias Stacey et al. posit human identity as essentially social, emerging during ongoing moment-to-moment interaction. These dynamics of social interaction are not only an aspect of users interacting; the authors are also consultants and researchers, and the processes in which identities and sense-making emerge are essentially the same. Gluckmann understands gossip as 'among the most important societal and cultural phenomena and, like Elias, finds that gossip serves a useful purpose in maintaining the cohesion of social groups. It experiences that the story of the hearing aid as a social object has changed over the last three decades, and of course the appearance of this in local interaction may also have influenced Claus's decision.