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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Rhythms and plasticity: television temporality at home

  • Author(s): Irani, Lilly
  • Jeffries, Robin
  • Knight, Andrea
  • et al.

Digital technologies have enabled new temporalities of media consumption in the home. Through a field study of home television viewing practices, we investigated temporal orderings of television watching. In contrast to traditional pictures of television use, our evidence suggests that rhythms across households play an important role in shaping television watching. Further, we found a flexibility and openness within the patterns of television viewing that we refer to as “plasticity.” Our data suggest that plasticity and rhythms co-exist and together compose the qualitative experience of domestic television time; an understanding of both aspects of temporality suggests an approach for the design of future television technologies.

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