Paradoxes of Digital Dis/Engagement

Paradoxes of Digital Dis/Engagement

The project develops a new way of looking at the link between digital technologies and culture, citizenship, and society, by using those who refuse to engage with the digital (out of concerns for privacy, political freedom, over-consumerism, damage to personal relations or education) as an innovative and fruitful angle on understanding social relations, well-being and digital footprint in our present and future. This seed project is the first stepping-stone in a larger research project, which will use a range of qualitative methods and conceptual approaches to determine the relations between community, culture and digital dis/engagement. It asks: What is digital disengagement? Who chooses to disengage from mobile and digital technologies, and why? How is disengagement practiced, negotiated and experienced? What are the potential consequences of this disengagement for our communities and the society as a whole?



Kuntsman, A. & Miyake, E. 2016, ‘Paradoxes of Digital dis/engagement: a follow up study (businesses and services).’ Working Papers of the Communities & Culture Network+ Vol.7 (March 2016).

Kuntsman, A. & Miyake, E. 2015, ‘Paradoxes of Digital Dis/engagement: Final Report.’ Working Papers of the Communities & Culture Network+ Vol.6 (Oct 2015).



Key Participants:

Dr Adi Kuntsman is a lecturer in Digital Media and Communications at MMU, who has substantial expertise in researching community, citizenship, technology and social transformation, and over a decade of experience in studying digital communications and cultures. Adi’s past and current research into digital cultures brings together her training as a social ethnographer, her passion of theoretical innovation, and her commitment to social justice, fairness and sustainability. Adi’s work pioneered the use of a multidimensional on-line ethnography of people, media texts and communication platforms for the study of transnational communities in flux (2009). She developed original conceptual frameworks for understanding on-line violence and belonging (2009), digital emotions (2011), and digital militarism (2015); and led and mentored scholars working on digital cultures in Eastern and Central Europe and the Middle East (2010, 2012). After successfully completing a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (2009-2011) and Simon Research Fellowship (2011-2014) at the University of Manchester, Adi has moved to MMU in 2014 where she is now developing an innovative interdisciplinary study of digital dis/engagement, in collaboration with colleagues across the University and the Centre for Digital Innovation.

Dr Esperanza Miyake is a researcher based in the Department of Languages, Information and Communications at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her interdisciplinary work uses critical feminism, queer theories, (sub)cultural and media studies, cyberculture and digital studies to interrogate issues relating to gender, race and sexuality within a transmedia landscape. Her interests cover a wide range of subjects in popular culture including recent publications on film (2014, 2013), popular music (2015, 2014, 2013), and ethnography (2013, 2008). Currently, Esperanza is working on her passion for motorcycles, identity and technology, especially though internationalised media content in relation to gender, race and Japanese identities.