Christine Hine - Exploring the online landscapes of sleep on social media - 13/02/2019

About the lecture

The advent of mass-market devices that enable everyday tracking and monitoring of sleep has potential to give us a new understanding of our own sleep, and that of others. Sleep is often a highly emotionally charged topic, frequently used to account for emotions and behaviours in interactions with others. This presentation describes the current information ecologies of sleep and then sets out to explore how sleep and sleep self-tracking in particular are manifest across a variety of online contexts and social media platforms. Across Twitter, Instagram and discussion forums we find that sleep self-trackers do not have a uniformly transformative effect on understandings of sleep. Rather, in each setting the outcomes of sleep self-tracking are used in a distinctive fashion appropriate to contextually established conventions. Within each setting the understanding of what sleep is, and the trust in technologies for measuring sleep is negotiable. Studying this multiplicity of sleep across settings offers a distinctive insight into the non-deterministic but potentially disruptive connotations of self-monitoring.

About the speaker

Christine Hine is a sociologist of science and technology who has a particular focus on the role played by new technologies in the knowledge construction process. She has a major interest in the development of ethnography in technical settings and in "virtual methods" (the use of the Internet in social research). In particular, she has developed mobile and connective approaches to ethnography that combine online and offline social contexts. In common with many scholars in Science and Technology Studies, Christine has a scientific and technical background herself. She studied Botany (BA, Oxon) and Biological Computation (MSc, York) and completed her DPhil in the Biology Department at York before making a transition to Sociology of Science and Technology.

Practical information

13/02/2019, 4:00 - 6:00 pm, Aula M.002

Participation is free, but online registration is mandatory

This lecture is organized by ViDi in collaboration with Cemis

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