Configuring the digital relationship landscape

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Configuring the digital relationship landscape

Post by Sheila »

Centre for Intimate and Sexual Citizenship - 'Configuring the digital relationship landscape'

Wednesday 14h February 2024
Zoom Webinar
Link/registration: ... As8ZawFYnw

Digital technologies play an increasing role in intimate couple relationships. In this context, new approaches are required to understand digitally mediated intimacies. This paper will show how feminist new materialist assemblage thinking can help us to explore the functioning and processes of a relationship support app, Paired. Deploying diffractive analysis, it presents composite narratives to examine the new relationship practices, routines, and spaces that are generated through the user–relationship–app assemblage. Composite narratives retain the emotional truth of original accounts and combine together participant voices. Deploying the novel concept of more-than relationship quality, we demonstrate how feminist new materialist analysis can advance understandings of the contemporary digital relationship landscape. Findings suggest that routinised app notifications prompt meaningful real-world everyday relationship behavioural maintenance behaviours. Human–technology intra–actions thus generated positive relationship health and wellbeing which may have lasting benefits.

Jacqui Gabb is Professor of Sociology and Intimacy at The Open University. She has completed externally funded research on couple relationships, intimacy, sex, sexuality, and RSE (relationships and sex education). Building upon her award-winning Enduring Love? study, she worked with a start-up tech company to develop Paired, which is now the global #1 couple relationship app. Her current research is pioneering conceptual tools to examine contemporary relationship quality and digital intimacies.