Tactile digital ethnography: researching mobile media through the hand

Sarah Pink, Jolynna Sinanan, Heather Horst, Larissa Hjorth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article we focus on the relationship between vision and the hand to develop an understanding of the experience of mobile media use which in turn informs a methodology for researching it; a tactile digital ethnography. Theories of knowing through the hand, and uses of the hand in documentary practice already highlight its significance. We bring these together with our video ethnographies of mobile media use, to show how a focus on the hand offers both new insights into other people’s digital worlds, and an approach to learning about these.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-251
Number of pages15
JournalMobile Media & Communication
Issue number2
Early online date16 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • ethnographic knowing
  • mobile media
  • tactile experience
  • the hand
  • video ethnography


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