Publication: ResearchPh.D. thesis???published???

Make difference: deafness and video technology at work

Publication: ResearchPh.D. thesis


Video meetings are a regular part of work at Swedish television’s editorial for programming in Swedish Sign Language (SVT Teckenspråk). In the process of creating television programming in Swedish Sign Language, SVT employees communicate with and through technologies. This ethnographic exploration of video meetings at SVT Teckenspråk presents how deafness is reconfigured between hearing, interpreters, and video meeting technology within the context of a public service organisation. Concepts such as technology, meetings, organisations, and visuality are re-formulated from within the context of SVT Teckenspråk and interpreted using feminist and queer theory frameworks. These re-examined concepts are embedded in the history of SVT Teckenspråk and presented as part of the everyday way of holding video meetings. Technologies and people become intertwined and co-constitutive as moments of video meetings are subsequently understood not as human-technology ‘interactions’ but as intra-actions. Using empirical examples of video meetings collected during fieldwork, this thesis evinces how the materialities of video meeting technology relate to the ways in which deafness is or is not enacted, embodied, and co-constituted. Deafness is accordingly framed not as disability, but as a way of being - one that is founded on a different language, culture, and way of seeing. This emically-derived notion of being deaf impacts understandings and acts of video meetings at SVT Teckenspråk. Yet it is through people’s material intra-actions with technologies that notions of deafness emerge which run counter to ways of being deaf which SVT Teckenspråk employees’ (hearing and deaf alike) work hard to establish. Once technologies and the meanings co-created through people’s intra-actions with them are made visible, these same technologies disable rather than enable; making difference rather than making a difference.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationStockholm
PublisherKTH Royal Institute of Technology
Number of pages350
ISBN (print)978-91-7729-137-4
StatePublished - 16. Jan 2017
NameDoctoral Thesis
ISSN (print)1653-5723

Note re. dissertation

Doktorsavhandling. Doctoral thesis. Doctoral dissertation.

Bibliographical note

Public defence 2017-01-16


  • deaf culture, technology, video meetings, materiality visuality, alterity, disabilities, SVT

ID: 33274105