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Emotion in the Social Practices of Mobile Phone Users

Vincent, Jane (2011) Emotion in the Social Practices of Mobile Phone Users Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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This thesis explores emotions that are mediated via the mobile phone and how these emotions are managed and used in the presentation of self. It addresses the question `How does emotion occur in the everyday use of mobile phones? ' The topic is explored using data collected in interviews with UK mobile phone users aged over 40. These respondents' expressions about, comments on and descriptions of their emotional connection with and through their mobile phones are used to explicate how the emotions mediated via mobile phones impact on their everyday emotional lives. I Prior sociological research on the affective aspects of mobile phone use and on emotion in particular has been limited. Furthermore, most research on the social practices of mobile phone users has been published during the last nine years with studies typically investigating much younger respondents than those in this present study. Drawing on literature on the sociology of emotion and on the social practices of mobile phone users, this study uses the theories of Goffman on dramaturgy, Hochschild on emotion management and Silverstone and Hirsch on domestication to frame the research design and analysis. The main findings of this study are that within this group of respondents the mobile phone has become a key component in the emotion management of their everyday lives, and that the emotion engendered by mobile phone use appears to have an effect on their sense of self. They use mobile phones extensively to manage the presentation of the self, as well as the emotional highs and lows of relationships and family commitments. It is also a repository of the emotional memories with which respondents interact. The older age of the respondents and the length of time they have used a mobile phone would appear to have some bearing on these findings and future studies on these aspects would further contribute to the body of research about emotion in the everyday use of mobile phones.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Vincent, Jane
Date : 2011
Contributors :
Additional Information : Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, University of Surrey. Copyright remains with the author.
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 23 Apr 2013 15:07
Last Modified : 23 Mar 2016 13:40

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