GRECS

Papers in Geneva

In ponència, recerca on Octubre 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm

The GRECS research group was present at the 10th Conference of the European Sociological Association (ESA), which took place between the 7th and the 10th of September of2011 in Geneva, Switzerland, with several papers, a round table and a poster) containing part of the results of this year’s research work.  Below you can find the abstracts of two of them:

‘Smile! You´re on Film!´ The Interplay between Shame and the Use of Mobile Phone Cameras in the Process of Emergence of Norms (F. Núñez; N. Cantó; S. Seebach)

It is becoming increasingly common that teenager friendships end up in controversy, dispute and even fight because of pictures that have been shared in Fotolog or facebook without the permission of all those who are on them.

The easiness with which pictures can be taken and videos made with a mobile phone, and the easiness with which these pictures and videos can then be shared has generated many conflicts on many different levels. From public scandal to lawsuits because celebrities feel their intimacy invaded, to thousands of minor discussions among friends and lover for not having been asked before a picture of theirs was made public.

After the incorporation and generalisation of cameras and video cameras in mobile phones, a period of time has been necessary in order to domesticate the multiple possibilities, which are offered by these devices. These possibilities are still growing, but so are the routinized practises and norms of their use. Shame has been an emotion highly present in this process. It has facilitated the perception of the public dimension of an apparently innocent and familiar action, such as taking a picture, centred in a concrete place and time, and has helped become aware of the possible moral and social implications of taking that picture and publicising it.

From 2007 to 2009 interviews and discussions in focus groups with teenagers from Catalan schools were realised (56 teenagers aged between 15 and 18). These interviews and focus group discussions concentrated on finding out the use that these teenagers made of video materials in the Internet. This paper focuses on the results of the analyses of these interviews, emphasising the role that shame played in the regulation of the use of their mobile cameras, at a time in which the possession of mobile phones with cameras was becoming common among middle class and working class teenagers.

Send me a message and I’ll call you back – The late modern webbing of everyday love life (F. Núñez; N. Cantó; S. Seebach)

New technologies of communication are playing an increasingly important role in the everyday webbing of love relationships. Lovers use their mobile phones, email accounts, and webcams to communicate with each other in the most diverse situations and circumstances, and for the most varied reasons: the shopping list, the nanny’s phone number, or the most intimate confessions – those, which would cause great embarrassment without the possibility to hide behind the coded words … all these different types of messages are channeled by these same new forms (possibilitites and/or obligations) of communication. The possibilities to remain in touch despite the distance, the possibilities to create ‘artificial’ distance by chatting from the bedroom to the living room, to carry on arguing in the tube on the way to work, or to discuss the latest movie seen together whilst sitting at the desk at work, are, this is this paper’s thesis, webbing new forms of partnership, and possibilities of commitment.

To be always there for each other now does not only mean to stay together. Potentially it means being there for each other in every minute, every second, 24 hours, wherever one is, for there is always a possibility of ‘being in touch’. It also means to perceive the beloved other increasingly through written words and sent  images ; the same way as we perceive our colleagues, or old friends from school.

In order to research the forms in which quotidian love relationships are webbed today, strengthening or weakening the social bond (and their subsequent commitments) webbed between lovers, we have realised 70 autobiographical interviews with people in love relationships inBarcelona and Berlin. The results of the analyses, regarding their discourses on love, on that which relationships are and should be, their daily practices, their conflicts, hopes, problems and forms of communication will be presented within this paper.

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