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Digital Orientations

Non-Media-Centric Media Studies and Non-Representational Theories of Practice

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Shaun Moores

Might it be possible to rearticulate the term digital in digital media, so that it refers at least as much to the deft movements or orientations of hands and fingers (of digits) as it does to the new media technologies themselves? What if digital media are understood as manual media?

Has the academic field of media studies tended to focus too much on media, and not enough on the practices and experiences of daily living that help to give media their meaningfulness? What if media researchers were to pay more attention to knowledge-in-movement or to matters of orientation and habitation, and rather less to those of symbolic representation and cognitive interpretation?

Digital Orientations is a bold call for non-media-centric media studies (and ultimately for everyday-life studies) with a non-representational theoretical emphasis. The author engages here with a broad range of work from across the humanities and social sciences, drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological philosophy, Ingold’s anthropology, the geographies of Massey, Seamon and Thrift, and the sociologies of Bourdieu, Sudnow and Urry.

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Digital Formations is the best source for critical, well-written books about digital technologies and modern life. Books in the series break new ground by emphasizing multiple methodological and theoretical approaches to deeply probe the formation and reformation of lived experience as it is refracted through digital interaction. Each volume in Digital Formations pushes forward our understanding of the intersections, and corresponding implications, between digital technologies and everyday life. The series examines broad issues in realms such as digital culture, electronic commerce, law, politics and governance, gender, the Internet, race, art, health and medicine, and education. The series emphasizes critical studies in the context of emergent and existing digital technologies.

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