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Bodies in Smartwatches: Embodied Data and Augmented Experiences in Self-Tracking Runners
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
2023 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the relation between human and smartwatch by exploring the experiences of four Swedish long-distance runners who use digital technology to self-track their running activities. By examining the participating runners’ use of their smartwatches and smartwatch data as postphenomenological human-technology relations (Ihde, 1990), this thesis offers a perspective on the use of wearable self-tracking technology as augmenting human experience through digital data. The empirical material was gathered through semi-structured interviews with the participating runners. In the analysis of the material, a computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software is used to transcribe and code the material following a concept-driven approach influenced by Ritchie and Lewis’ Thematic Framework Method (2003). The coded transcripts are summarized in thematic charts based on postphenomenological human-technology relations developed by Ihde (1990) and Verbeek (2008) along with an understanding of data influenced by the field of critical data studies and adjacent work (e.g. Iliadis & Russo, 2016; Kitchin, 2014; van Dijck, 2014; Edmond et al., 2022). The runner-smartwatch relations that are analyzed in this thesis showcase how the digital data produced in self-tracking practices become part of the self-tracker’s experiences by being incorporated in a runner-data assemblage. Viewing the runner-smartwatch relation as a type of augmentation relation (Verbeek, 2008), this thesis further suggests that the digital data function as an augmenting layer through which the running activity is experienced.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. , p. 84
Keywords [en]
datafication, human-technology relations, postphenomenology, quantified self, self-tracking, smartwatches
National Category
Other Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-118949OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-118949DiVA, id: diva2:1733173
Educational program
Digital humanities, master programme, 120 credits
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2023-02-03 Created: 2023-02-01 Last updated: 2023-02-03Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf