Digital Liminalities: Understanding Isolated Communities on the Edge

Rikke Bjerg Jensen, Lizzie Coles-Kemp, Nicola Wendt, Makayla Lewis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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This paper brings together three distinct case studies to explore how social isolation and notions of liminality shape ontological security within communities on "the edge" of society. Each case study exemplifies the differing nature of liminality in everyday contexts and the extent to which increased digitalisation perturbs it in multiple ways. Taking an ethnographic approach, the research engaged with seafarers onboard container ships in European waters, communities in Greenland and welfare claimants in the North East of England. It posits that technological innovation must attend to the routinisation of everyday life through which people establish ontological security if such innovation is to be supportive. The paper thus moves beyond existing HCI scholarship by foregrounding the contextual and relational aspects of social isolation rather than the technological. It does so by advocating a ground-up design process that considers ontological security in relation to notions of liminality among communities on the edge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationCHI'20
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-6708-0/20/04
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

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