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APPropriate Fitness and the CyberRunner: Governing the body through mobile media

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APPropriate Fitness and the CyberRunner: Governing the body through mobile media

Zenger, Nancy (2013) APPropriate Fitness and the CyberRunner: Governing the body through mobile media. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The primary purpose of this thesis is to critically analyze mobile media and self quantification practices within the context of running and discourses of health. By focusing on mobile running applications I observe how one is called through an app’s feedback mechanisms and interfaces to quantify, measure, control and continually improve. The apps work as a tool to discipline the body into becoming a better body. Drawing on interviews with runners who use these apps, the thesis contextualizes the discussion by using the framework of governmentality, of which gamification is a part. I question how personal data is generated and given meaning in an individual’s life. As a modern and neoliberal subject, the runner engages with the apps as a technology of self, a tool of governmentality. An important point of inquiry regards the implications of breaking down a person into metrics for thinking about identity. As the ubiquity of mobile media increases, the ability to generate and share intimate personal data increases and this information is shaped by discourse as it is circulated through multiple interfaces. In the first chapter, I focus on the individual who becomes a calculable subject and in the second I look at the effects of social interfaces and disembodied information as they become a part of how we interact with ourselves and others. By studying runners, I attempt to better understand how locative mobile media and quantification become a part of the discourse of health and think of potential implications of ubiquitous data collection.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Zenger, Nancy
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Media Studies
Date:September 2013
Thesis Supervisor(s):Gabriele, Sandra
Keywords:mobile media, fitness, social media, communication studies, governmentality, running, apps, quantified self
ID Code:977829
Deposited By: NANCY ZENGER
Deposited On:25 Nov 2013 17:08
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:45
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