Sammanbunden närvaro: om umgänge på distans och medieväxling mellan familjemedlemmar

Amelie Hössjer


Distributed interaction – mediated interaction between individuals in different geographical places – has become increasingly common in today’s society. This applies not only to contacts of a more transitory nature such as various Internet chat rooms. Even in families – social formations normally associated with intimacy, closeness and duration – distributed interaction has increased significantly (Findahl 2009, 35). From an extensive set of interview data (60 interviews) this article closely examines the interaction and its contextual conditions in primarily two different family constellations. From a so-called thick description perspective the article focuses on what the interactional role of distributed family communication is when the interaction is predominantly mediated. Based on the use of different communication channels (texting, email, Skype, telephone calls and face-to-face interaction) the article investigates how interaction takes place. The findings show that the interaction can be described as a continuous conversation where relational aspects emerge as a key motivator. The communication also appears to be less tied to one channel (mobile phone) than previous research suggests. Further, there is little difference in the way communication is realized between people more permanently separated and those that meet more or less daily, which points to the central role of mediated communication in people’s lives today.


communication; distributed interaction; ethnography; family context; mediation

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