Habituated: A Merleau-Pontian Analysis of the Smartphone
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Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press
Citation:Howard, M., & Bussell, H. (2018). Habituated: A Merleau-Pontian analysis of the smartphone. Library Trends, 66(3), 267–288. https://doi.org/10.1353/lib.2018.0003
This paper offers a phenomenological account of our relationship to our smartphones rooted in the work of philosophers Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908–1961) and Drew Leder (1954–). We argue that the nature of this relationship has implications for the ways we conceptualize and promote information literacy in the era of mobile ubiquity. After reviewing recent LIS literature on mobile devices in libraries, we discuss Merleau-Ponty’s notion of the habit body and Drew Leder’s development of the Merleau-Pontian concept of incorporation. We then apply these concepts to our use of smartphones, paying particular attention to the incorporation of the smartphone in our bodily habit and what this means for our relationship to the information we access on this device. The paper concludes by considering how the insights from this analysis of the smartphone could be integrated into existing information literacy conversations through the lens of dispositions.
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Rights:Copyright © 2018 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. This article first appeared in Library Trends, Volume 66, Issue 3, Winter 2018, pages 267-88.
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