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  • 1.
    Ghita, Cristina
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
    In Defence of Subjectivity: Autoethnography and studying technology non-use2019In: Proceedings of the 27th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Association for Information Systems (AIS) , 2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite calls for the use of reflexive methods in Information Systems, few notable autoethnographic works have made an impact in the field. This paper acknowledges the increase of interest in topics related to technology non-use and offers autoethnography as a possible solution to methodological challenges in studying absence of technology. As autoethnography allows the researchers to experi- ence the effects of technology absence first hand, evocative accounts emerge making visible practices and phenomena that were not apparent before, or bringing into question assumed behaviours. The paper uses a vignette from an autoethnographic study to illustrate the type of data that can emerge, followed by a discussion on the validity and legitimacy of the method, as well as concrete possible steps researchers can take in planning autoethnographic work. Furthermore, an argument is present- ed in defence of subjectivity as way of interrogating topics in which trustworthiness and authenticity are of utmost value. Finally, the merits of autoethnography are presented to the community of Infor- mation Systems researchers who are interested in investigating technology adoption as well as non- adoption through qualitative methods.

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  • 2.
    Ghita, Cristina
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
    No Lunch Today?!: An Analysis Of The Digitalization Assemblage In Higher Education During A Power Outage2019In: Europe and Beyond:: Boundaries, Barriers and Belonging, 2019, p. 451-Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Digitalization processes are often seen as one of the hallmarks of modernity in Europe, as the EU continuously support the nationwide implementation of digital technologies through policies that allow citizens faster, safer, and increasingly easy access to the Internet. In Sweden, the government supports the use of digital technologies in the personal and professional every-day life, with increasingly available online-based services in such diverse contexts as healthcare, travel, and education. The way communication is conducted in higher education institutions bears the mark of these changes as well as challenges, as digital artifacts are used every day. 

     

    As digitally-based means of communicating and working in universities in Sweden are becoming normative, this paper aims at uncovering the ramifications of such practices by studying the sudden inability to use digital technologies for a limited time. 

     

    Drawing on assemblage theory, this paper looks at the entanglement of material and immaterial components of technology use during a power outage at one of Sweden’s largest universities. Using ethnographic methods such as observations and informal interviews, results show that within the assemblage of higher education digitalization, clear expectations are created in regards to what it means to work, study, communicate, etc.  When these common cultural expectations are not met, this assemblage collapses, leading not only to the impossibility to continue work, but also to symptoms of stress and anxiety, as well as creative workarounds.

  • 3.
    Ghita, Cristina
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering.
    Outdated and re-configured: Challenging linear conceptualizations of ageing through the case of revived obsolete technologies2024In: Journal of Aging Studies, ISSN 0890-4065, E-ISSN 1879-193X, Vol. 70, article id 101246Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Taking as a starting point the conventional view of ageing as a linear process beginning in a youthful and productive stage but gradually deteriorating, this paper shifts the usual anthropocentric focal point towards technological artifacts which do not conform to this typical view. More specifically, three examples of technologies previously considered obsolete, but which have seen a revival in the last decade, are presented: the so-called dumbphones, analogue cameras, and vinyl players. Although very different at first glance, the three cases of these revived technologies show a similar evolution trajectory which breaks from the typical view of ageing in technological artifacts. Instead, they indicate how their revival does not simply entail a reconsideration of their initial value (such as it is often the case with antiques or heirlooms), but a transformation, hybridisation, and re-envisioned purpose.

    To this effect, the agential realism theory is applied to show how the revival of technological artifacts and practices once considered outdated attempts to dissolve binaries such as old/new, young/old, or slow/fast. Furthermore, such artifacts reveal trajectories of ageing that are unlike their human counterparts, but which can make way for new manners of articulating issues pertaining to ageing as a process in humans as well.

    The contribution of the paper lies in illustrating how adopting a non-linear view of ageing and fundamentally questioning its inherent binaries has the capacity to produce a much-needed nuanced view of ageing in humans, non-humans, and their sociomaterial entanglements.

  • 4.
    Ghita, Cristina
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering.
    Scaling-up digital disconnection practices in service of sustainability2023In: BEHAVE 2023: the 7th European Conference on Behaviour Change for Energy Efficiency / [ed] Marta Lopes; Kaisa Matschoss; Thijs Bouman, European Energy Network (EnR) , 2023, p. 62-62Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Ghita, Cristina
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
    Technology in Absentia: A New Materialist Study of Digital Disengagement2022Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The rhetoric associated with society-wide digitalisation promises benefits such as increased quality of life, democracy, or sustainability, which point towards normative trajectories of increased automation and digitalisation of nearly all aspects of society. Meanwhile, there is evidence of a disenchantment with digital use, forming a movement that challenges the pervasiveness of digital artefacts such as the smartphone. This kind of scepticism towards digital technologies is currently informing and changing how we assume, understand, and conceptualise technology in our professional and private lives, leading to an emerging trend of volitionally reducing or postponing the use of digital devices – a practice often labelled as digital disengagement. In this dissertation the research lens is directed towards how the disengagement from ubiquitous digital devices unfolds and to what results. Thus, it investigates the productive potential of technology intentionally made absent, repositioning the traditional approach of articulating such absence as a deficit.

    Drawing on a new materialist perspective of technology use which combines assemblage theory with agential realism, this dissertation explores the search for meaningful technological encounters through a multi-sited ethnographic approach. More specifically, it combines autoethnography, a diary study, interviews, participatory observations, and netnography in which moments of disconnection are observed in order to understand experiences of digital disengagement at individual and collective levels. 

    Through this lens, the performativity, temporality, and productivity of digital disengagement are made visible and analysed. Results show that digital disengagement is not an insular practice, including in its composition a myriad of external components. Digitalisation is shown to be in direct dialogue with practices of digital disengagement through their mutual dichotomic logics. Further analysis of such dichotomies suggests new manners of engaging with technology in which digital use and non-use are entangled, resulting in a novel type of technology engagement called diffractive digital use

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  • 6.
    Ghita, Cristina
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering.
    Through the Looking Screen: Exploring Familiar Places Through Google Maps Street View2024In: Postdigital Science and Education, ISSN 2524-485XArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

     The widespread of digitalization and its consequent adoption of digital navigation tools has led to an increased digitally mediated wayfinding of unknown and known places. In this study, the focus was placed on the latter, namely the exploration of familiar places through Google Maps. This study aimed to understand how familiar places are digitally revisited through the use of the popular Google Maps Street View. By employing digital go-along interviews, participants were invited to choose a known place which they have not physically visited in a significant amount of time and guide a digital walk.

    By adopting an agential realist theoretical perspective, Google Maps Street View is articulated as a more-than-digital tool. The main emerging themes consisted of the experienced disruptive elements leading to workarounds, the existent spatiotemporal shifts, and the visibility of present and absent matter emerging from the intra-actions of human and non-human actors.

    The work illustrates how digital places are understood and engaged with, and how meaning is ascribed to such digital worlds which come into being through an entanglement of memories, physicality, and digital elements. The paper contributes to an understanding of digital place, being of relevance to future directions in the development of similar navigational technologies, and to policy and legislation being formulated in this area.

  • 7.
    Ghita, Cristina
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
    Thorén, Claes
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
    Going cold turkey!: An autoethnographic exploration of digital disengagement2021In: Nordicom Review, ISSN 1403-1108, E-ISSN 2001-5119, Vol. 42, no s4, p. 152-167Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As the dust of society-wide digitalisation settles, the search for meaningful technological encounters is becoming more urgent. While the Nordic countries embrace digitalisation, recent concerns regarding technology overuse have been gaining increased attention. This tendency is exemplified in practices of limiting digital use, called digital disengagement – an apparent paradox in Nordic societies where digital is the dominant paradigm. In this article, we explore the emergence of disconnection-centred devices called “dumbphones”, which cater to individuals wishing to escape hyperconnected lifestyles. Drawing on a new materialist perspective, we present a content analysis of dumbphones’ advertising material, followed by a collaborative autoethnographic study in which we replace our smartphones with dumbphones. We critically weigh the promises of the dumbphones against the actual experience of digital disengagement in Sweden. Our findings illustrate a struggle with digital technologies, even despite their absence, due to emerging workarounds and societal expectations of use.

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  • 8.
    Ghita, Cristina
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
    Thorén, Claes
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
    Stojanov, Martin
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
    ‘Deleted User’: Signalling Digital Disenchantment in the Post-Digital Society2021In: Management and Information Technology after Digital Transformation / [ed] Peter Ekman, Peter Dahlin, Christina Keller, Abingdon: Routledge, 2021, 1, p. 185-194Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter discusses the concept of post-digital as a critical reaction to digital practices,such as use of Internet-connected devices in everyday settings. The idea of post-digital is exemplified by an examination of the Reddit virtual community,‘/r/nosurf’, where reducing online screen-time is discussed. The chapter argues that these types of communities demonstrate negotiation of control and the redistribution of human agency,among current prevailing ongoing automation practices,and the need for increased technological transparency in everyday as well as in organisational life. The chapter provides an overview of the concept of post-digital that positions it as a theoretical concept for future scholarly work and demonstrates its applicability to ongoing explorations of the evolving relationship between humans and our digital devices.

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