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The 'Digital Glimpse' as imagining home.

Clayton, W., Jain, J., Ladkin, A. and Marouda, M., 2017. The 'Digital Glimpse' as imagining home. Mobilities, 13 (3), 382-396.

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Clayton et al.The Digital Glimpse as imagining home (1).pdf - Accepted Version
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DOI: 10.1080/17450101.2017.1365473


This paper proposes the concept of the “digital glimpse”, which develops the existing framing of imaginative travel. Here it articulates the experiences of mobile workers digitally connecting into family life and everyday rituals when physically absent with work. A large number of occupations require people to travel away from home as a part of their work. The recent embedding of digital communication technologies into personal relationships and family life is reconfiguring how absence is experienced and practiced by workers on the move, and through this, new digital paradigms for life on-the-move are emerging. This paper explores how such social relationships are maintained at-a-distance through digital technology – using evidence from qualitative interviews with mobile workers and their families. The aim of the paper therefore is to present a new theoretical perspective to meanings of ‘absence’ and ‘presence’ for workers on-the-move in the digital age, and to explore the consequences of the management of physical absence through digital presence. Digital technology now enables quite expressive forms of ‘virtual travel’, including video calling, picture sharing, and instant messaging. This has implications for the ways in which absent workers can experience being away from home, and how families can manage the social and relational pressures of being apart. We conclude that experiences of imaginative travel created through novel media can enrich the experience and give a greater sense of connection for both those who are at home and those who are away. While technology is limited in its ability to replicate a sense of co-presence – often due to temporal and social constraints – “digital glimpses” are an emergent set of sociotechnical practices deployed that can reduce the negative impact of absence on family relationships

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:family ritual; imaginative travel; mobile worker; digital technology; relationship; work life balance; virtual mobility
Group:Bournemouth University Business School
ID Code:29542
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:31 Jul 2017 11:43
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:06


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