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   P1651 Technical assessment of fibre only solutions for Telcos´ drop segments in greenfield environments  
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Identity and ICTs - Analysis and Implications for Service Design
For further information please contact:

Peter Stollenmayer
Project Supervisor
Wieblinger Weg 19/4
69123 Heidelberg, Germany

The activities of this project were closed during phase 1.  The activities are being followed up as Task 3 of P1302.
Project Information
What was this Project about?

Europeans have a multiplicity of different social identities they want to create, support and communicate. The more mobile people get, the more complex their social relations become and the more they use communication technologies to create and support their social identities. People build and maintain more and more relationships through information and communication applications and devices.

This project investigates the relationships between people’s social identities and the adoption and use of information communication technology (ICT). It will focus particularly on how the term "identity" can be understood and used to get a better understanding on how people communicate with ICT. The various communication technologies have different role-maintaining qualities. It is not only personal preferences that define ICT choice but also the nature of the relationships between the communication partners.

The project team examines the term identity and its relevance for ICT-use by reviewing existing theories (sociological and psychological), looking into both completed and ongoing research projects on the topic and performing interviews on the target group "freshly retired people" in order to develop a model to be used for later fieldwork.

Different groups of interest could be:
- Migrants (Europeans who live and work in a different country have to manage the different cultural identities and personal proximal and distant relationships)
- Retirees (when a person retirees the element of being occupied is diluted and the retiree needs to look for other elements to define his/her identity, such as hobbies, family situation)
- Private/public – private/professional - Work/Home conflict (individuals who are required to balance their role as a worker versus their role as a parent or partner often experience feelings of conflict).


The content of the project is a very complex subject. Since it is extremely wide in nature, it needs to be focused. Therefore the project will be split into two phases:

  • A first phase (running until September 2002) which is collecting more information on the subject and checks existing material. A test identity group (freshly retired people) will be interviewed and analysed in parallel.
  • A second, main phase starting in October 2002 and running probably until end 2003.

What were the main objectives of this Project?

First Phase:

  • Survey the social psychological and sociological literature for theories, models or data which can help us to understand how and why people create, maintain and manage their identities.
  • Check existing project results (e.g. Eurescom P903. P1047, P1144 and IST projects) and look at how partners’ business units tackle the issue of identities and ICT needs and what information they would like to have.
  • Develop a model which links this to the use of specifically information and communication technologies.
  • Identify the important aspects and identity groups which should be focused in the main part of the project.
  • Run an example identity case (European migrants) to verify the model

Second, main phase (details to be determined after first phase):

  • Conduct a subsequent gap analysis to determine what new data collection (fieldwork) is necessary in order to inform the design of new ICTs.
  • Through qualitative fieldwork identify qualities that are crucial to the constitution of peoples identities for example switching between identities easily, the need for multiple identities versus the need for coherence, or for presenting a coherent identity to others.
  • Formulate recommendations to shareholders on what types of (3G and 4G) products, services and applications could capitalise upon core user needs driven by identity creation and maintenance.

What relationship exists to other organisations or bodies?

EURESCOM projects P902, P903, P904, P1047 and P1144.
IST projects e-living, FAMILIES, interliving