Cochlear Implantation: Interactional Dynamics and Bounded Participation - A Micro-Sociological Agenda

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It is a scientifically robust insight that hearing loss constrains communicative capacities necessary for everyday life. Risks of marginalization, social withdrawal, depression, and loneliness are elevated across age spans. We suggest a new agenda to explore how advanced medical hearing technology is changing the nature of constraints on social participation for children and adolescents. Much medico-clinical research into auditory-language outcomes demonstrates very good outcomes. However, minor research fields also report highly variable outcomes when it comes to pragmatic language capacities, and psychosocial and peer relation difficulties. This suggests that there is a difference between medico-clinical results and the manners the technology works to support social participation. In order to explore this further, this paper outlines a principle of how successful interaction rests on micro-rhythmic entrainment among certain participants in a bounded situation. Rhythmic entrainment is the processes of becoming entrained in each other’s verbal and non-verbal micro-rhythms and emotions. The result is positive emotional ties, commitment to others, and high emotional energy for participants. The paper suggests that Cochlear Implant users face constraints on such capacities, which it demonstrates with empirical data on how situations of noise, multi-talker, and group conversation present a barrier to interaction and thus bond formation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventAnthropology of Technology Conference -
Duration: 4 Nov 20215 Nov 2021


ConferenceAnthropology of Technology Conference

ID: 336139930