Interspecies intercorporeality and mediated haptic sociality: distributing perception with a guide dog

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Some visually impaired people/persons (VIP) use guide dogs to help them navigate when walking outdoors, e.g. when shopping, visiting friends or going to work. In this article, I show how a VIP and his dog function as an interspecies assemblage, in which they co-operate to accomplish navigating and avoiding obstacles. Based on ethnomethodological multimodal conversation analysis and video ethnographic methodology, the article introduces the concepts of interspecies intercorporeality, which relates to bodily connection, and mediated haptic sociality to describe the transferral of sensory feedback through the dog harness, and thereby shows how the VIP and the dog co-operate in situ. The article contributes to visual studies by highlighting how senses other than the visual are made relevant for accomplishing simple navigational tasks, and how perception of the world is achieved through a distribution of perception-related actions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVisual Studies
ISSN1472-586X
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Aug 2021

ID: 275331367