Mobile headphone and technologically-mediated experience : the uses of privacy

Beginning with a brief review of the notion of human-technology relationships, this dissertation suggests a holistic approach toward understanding the complex connection between media technologies and the corresponding mediated experience. The dissertation positions the study on mediated experience among other existing research on the topic of human-technology relationships through an investigation of an established, familiar media device, namely the headphone. The headphone is one of the central components connected to various forms of media gadgets, ranging from personal stereos and mobile phones to virtual-reality systems and wearable technologies. It is symbolic of mediated experience, links areas of the human body and technologies to converge into a unity. Being wired with a headphone is a cultural phenomenon that has stormed into our everyday life, yet studies on the headphone are strangely absent from media studies and cultural research. To rediscover the significance of headphone use is one way to understand the variety of human involvement…


Chapter 1: Headphone-listening and the Experience of Privatization
1.1 Background: The Notion of Technologically-Mediated Experience
1.2 Definition of Headphone
1.3 Reflections on the Uses of Headphone
1.4 The Experience of Privatization
1.5 Thesis Organization
Chapter 2: Literature Review and Research Methods
2.1 The Influences of Technological Determinism
2.2 The Conception of “Headphone-Listening”
2.3 Uncovering the Desire for Privatization
2.4 Making Audiences Visible
2.5 Possibilities of the Headphone Experience
Chapter 3: Hidden Thoughts Behind the Experience of Privatization
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Privatization as a Protective Shelter within Public Space
3.3 New Dimension of Privacy within the Collective Setting
3.4 Conclusion
Chapter 4: Headphone-Listening in Everyday Life
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Private Space, Personal Choice
4.3 Do You Hear Me?
4.4 Shifting Between Two Worlds
4.5 Collaboration Between Senses
4.6 Listening, or Not Listening
4.7 Conclusion
Chapter 5: Potential Uses of the Headphone in the New-Media Environment
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Dislocation of Sound and Pluralization of Place
5.3 Emphasis on the Aural Element in Virtual Simulation
5.4 Navigating the City
5.5 Listening with the Body
5.6 Conclusion
Chapter 6: Conclusion, Discussion and Recommendation
6.1 Summary
6.2 Theoretical and Practical Implications
6.3 Suggestions for Further Research
6.4 Conclusion
Appendix A: Interview Summary
Appendix B: Figures

Author: Fan, Ho Ki

Source: City University of Hong Kong

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