Techniques of the tactile body: A cultural phenomenology of toddlers and mobile touchscreens

Nansen, B and Wilken, R 2019, 'Techniques of the tactile body: A cultural phenomenology of toddlers and mobile touchscreens', Convergence, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 60-76.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Techniques of the tactile body: A cultural phenomenology of toddlers and mobile touchscreens
Author(s) Nansen, B
Wilken, R
Year 2019
Journal name Convergence
Volume number 25
Issue number 1
Start page 60
End page 76
Total pages 17
Publisher Sage Publications Ltd.
Abstract A key dimension of young children's mobile media engagement and play centres on their embodied relations, and how these are shaped with and through the interfaces, materiality and mobility of haptic media. This article explores these embodied dimensions of young children's mobile media use, drawing on research from (1) ethnographic observation of young children's play practices in family homes, (2) analysis of videos of young children's tactile media interaction shared on YouTube and (3) analysis of user interface (UI) and mobile app developer literature, such as the 'Event Handling Guide for iOS', which encodes touchscreen interaction through the design constraints and possibilities of gesture input techniques. Taking as its starting point Marcel Mauss' famous reflection on body techniques, this article draws on past and present research on mobile technologies, tactility and everyday life, to explore what might be involved in developing a 'cultural phenomenology' of mobile touchscreens. This research and analysis reveals the emergence of what we term a haptic habitus or cultivation of embodied dispositions for touchscreen conduct and competence.
Subject Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies
Keyword(s) App development
cultural phenomenology
haptic habitus
haptic sense
iPad Baby
mobile devices
toddlers
touchscreens
DOI - identifier 10.1177/1354856518815040
Copyright notice © The Author(s) 2018.
ISSN 1354-8565
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