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A relational view of women's use of the internet: Exploring bodies, space and objects

By Louise Madden


This thesis reports on a research project investigating how women use the internet, and how this use is productive of femininity. It takes an approach to researching this technology that examines what it becomes when it is used, and looks in depth at this internet use in a small number of women’s lives. Diaries, online and offline interviews, photographs and participation online were used to investigate their use of and experience of the internet, to investigate what is particular about women’s use. The project attempted to think differently about the internet, to use a relational approach, influenced by phenomenology and home geography to argue that in order to understand the internet we need to consider embodied practices and the objects and movements that make it possible. The entity of the internet emerges in a range of modalities, with human, non-human, material and semiotic components in a constantly shifting ecology of relations, many of these gendered. It is not a simple or discrete entity. This means it can operate in the lives of women in very diverse ways, from a formal setting oriented to work, to a purely leisure uses, mediated through rooms, posture, expertise and affect

Topics: H Social Sciences (General), HM Sociology
Year: 2012
OAI identifier: oai:
Provided by: ORCA
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