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Health geographies; geographies of the body; feminist geographies; maternal health and motherhood; health technologies; e-health; the “quantified self”; virtual geographies
PhD research: Women, smartphones and maternal health apps
Downloadable smartphone applications, also known as “apps”, are a relatively new addition to the range of Internet-enabled technologies that encourage the management of reproductive and maternal health through education, self-surveillance and self-tracking. In my PhD research I am specifically interested in apps that relate to fertility and pregnancy, and how these are increasingly being integrated into the geographies and processes of trying to become or becoming a mother.
This research develops from emerging concerns in geography with the spatial and temporal experiences of maternity and maternal bodies. Moreover, by exploring how familial and social relations between people are mapped out, practiced and imagined through fertility and pregnancy apps, I also build on geographical concerns with the spatialities pertaining to notions of “relatedness” and performances of family and kinship networks.
The global scale within which maternal health apps are situated is crucial to understanding what drives the app market and where apps come from; however, the primary focus of my research is the individual uses of these apps by women in London. I will adopt a multi-sited qualitative research methodology that consists of 4 main strands: a broad survey of all existing maternal health apps; an in-depth analysis of select apps; analysis of existing online “talk” around apps; and semi-structured interviews with women about their personal app use.
- ESRC (2014-2017)
- MSc Geography, QMUL (2013)
- MA (Honours) Geography, University of St Andrews (2012)
- Hamper, J. (2014) “Internett, førstegongsmødre og amming [The Internet, first-time mothers and breastfeeding]”, Tidsskrift for Helsesøstre [Norwegian Periodical for Health Visitors], Nr. 3-2014, pp. 50-53.