Connecting the individual and the other in disconnection studies

Rita Figueiras, Maria José Brites

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Disconnection studies tend to put agency at the center. The possibility of opting out tends to be framed as a strategic form of individual agency, associated with self-regulatory practices and acts of self-choice. This essay aims to question this well-established perspective in disconnection literature while contributing to the debate about disconnection fostered by Crosscurrents. The essay explores the role others play in the experience of individual media non-use. Even if indirectly, individual pursuits are not achieved alone or without the involvement of others. Still, the cultural narrative of the West tends to put the self at the center of his narrative, reinforcing the individualized dimension of the self in detriment of the social aspect of it. Framed as such, this led to another level of elaboration by linking the topic of disconnection to the field of disconnection studies itself. As in any scientific discipline, disconnection research is mediated by culture, and thus it tells something about the current moment. Problematizing the limits of connection involves accessing social imaginaries that shape the scope of the field that will offer another layer of arguments to our debate about the place of the other in disconnection studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-847
Number of pages11
JournalMedia, Culture and Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Agency
  • Connectivity
  • Culture
  • Disconnection
  • Disconnection studies
  • Individual
  • Other
  • Social connection


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