Embodied cognition and information experiences of transgender people

Huttunen, Aira, Kähkönen, Lottamari, Heidi Enwald, Heidi, Kortelainen, Terttu

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    Introduction. This paper examines how the concept of embodied cognition can be used to better understand information experiences where an individual's body plays a major role. We will examine information grounded in body-based actions, as well as information sharing through bodies and gender expression on transgender people. The term 'transgender' is used as an umbrella term for diverse gender-variant identities.Method. The data includes 25 semi-structured interviews with Finnish binary and non-binary transgender people.Analysis. Interviews were analysed with a combination of theoretically and empirically driven content analysis.Results. Embodiment plays a significant role in transgender people's information experiences in relation to their gender identity. These information experiences involve knowledge derived from emotions, affects and senses. Gender expression happens in relation to others. Moreover, gender expression is constantly created and shared with others through dress and style.Conclusions. In the context of information seeking and the sharing of intimate and personal topics, the concept of embodied cognition deepens the understanding of information as embodied, situational and social. This concept offers a new perspective of information experiences as embodied, and it helps to dismantle the body-mind dichotomy.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)
    Number of pages13
    JournalInformation Research
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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