Affecting and being affected. An ethnographic study of the mobile phone in Tokyo.

This research analyzes the affective use of the mobile phone in Tokyo focusing on family, friends and couples’ relationships. The mobile phone is seen as an instrument and media that not only mediates, but also crafts people’s relationships and represents an opened door to their affective worlds. The methodological approach in order to conduct this research is the virtual ethnography. The researcher will interview families, friends and couples, will spend time with them (shadowing), and collect their mobile phone messages. Also, videos will be taken in order to examine the ways our body is affected by the mobile phone, and expressions and body language will be examined.
After introducing the main theories on feelings, these will be mingled with media theory to reflect on how our feelings are being mediated by the mobile phone. Tokyo will be examined, as it is the urban setting that represents the context of this research and the place where affective communication happens. Finally, the fieldwork data will be analyzed in detail to explain the mobile phone mediated affective worlds of families, friends and couples in Tokyo.
(This research is being conducted by Minerva Terrades, a member of MoDe)

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