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Luke Plurkowski

Luke Plurkowski considers himself an "interaction analyst," with wide-ranging expertise in sociology, ethnomethodology, conversation analysis, ethnography, video analysis, and a bit of quantitative analytic skill for good measure. His work at PARC has spanned the use of video ethnography to study sales fronts and customer-employee interactions in order to design and implement organizational change across national and global corporate organizations, to studying the organizing structures in large-group conversation in order to design and improve a shared mobile audio platform. Luke is currently focused on using interactional analysis to improve human-robot interactional capabilities in a humanoid robot and is also supporting an effort to develop and deliver work practice analysis training to consultants in a large-scale sales corporation.

Luke has an MA in Sociology from San Jose State University, a CA teaching credential in Fundamentals of Mathematics, a BA in Sociology from University of California at Santa Barbara, and a PMP license from Project Management Institute.

When he isn't behind the video camera following people around, he enjoys scuba diving, playing the drums, and traditional film (gasp!) photography. Luke's professional journey, and to some degree his personal one, are guided by this quote from Margaret Mead: "What people say, what people do, and what they say they do are entirely different things."


PARC publications

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How can I help you today? The knowledge work of call center agents

Participatory Design Conference 2012

15 August 2012

Video ethnography and the complexity of service work

First International Conference on the Human Side of Service Engineering

21 July 2012

Ethnographic research podcasts in the corporate research environment

Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting

23 March 2012


The implications of interactional ‘repair’ for human-robot interaction design

Fifth International Workshop on Human Aspects in Ambient Intelligence (HAI '11)

22 August 2011

The organization of repair in game play

International Institute for Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis (IIEMCA)

10 July 2011

The work practice center of excellence

Chapter in Making Work Visible: Ethnographically Grounded Case Studies of Work Practice

18 April 2011

How health IT is changing the nature of medical work

Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting

3 March 2011


Ethnographic study of projector use

YouTube (public video)

28 June 2009


The affordances of deep-immersion, team-based video ethnography in the workplace

American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting

1 January 2008


Organizing sociable group communication: a conversation analytic study

67th Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology

27 March 2007


Where’s the 'party' in 'multi-party'? analyzing the structure of small-group sociable talk

Proceedings of the 20th Anniversary Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW 2006)

4 November 2006

How conversation analysis informs the design of social, mobile audio spaces

International Conference on Conversation Analysis

10 May 2006

Exploring the public sector copy shop: from investigation to solution

Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology

28 March 2006


Organizing multi-party talk: Orienting to multiple simultaneous conversations

9th International Pragmatics Conference (IPrA)

10 July 2005

Pivot turns and the relaxation of continuity

Midwest Sociological Society Conference

31 March 2005





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EPIC 2012
14 October 2012 - 17 October 2012 | Savannah, GA  

Video Ethnography and the Complexity of Service Work
21 July 2012 | San Francisco, CA