Perpetual contact as a communicative affordance: Opportunities, constraints, and emotions

Giovanna Mascheroni, Jane Vincent

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

37 Citazioni (Scopus)


his paper draws on qualitative data collected as a part of a comparative study on children and teenagers’ uses of smartphones in nine European countries to explore the meanings and emotions associated with the enhanced possibility of “full-time” contact with peers provided by smartphones. It argues that full-time access to peers—which interviewees identify as the main consequence of smartphones and instant messaging apps on their interactions with friends—is a communicative affordance, that is, a set of socially constructed opportunities and constraints that frame possibilities of action by giving rise to a diversity of communicative practices, as well as contradictory feelings among young people: intimacy, proximity, security as well as anxiety, exclusion and obligation. Understanding the perceptions and emotions around the affordance of “anywhere, anytime” accessibility, therefore, helps in untangling how communicative affordances are individually perceived but also, and more importantly, socially appropriated, negotiated, legitimised, and institutionalised.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)310-326
Numero di pagine17
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2016


  • children and young people
  • communicative affordances
  • emotions
  • perpetual contact
  • smartphones


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