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A multimodal analysis of digitally mediated service encounters using ‘super-sticky’ applications: Implications from the micro to the macro

Authors
  • de Groot, Freek Olaf1
  • 1 BNU-HKBU United International College, China , (China)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Multimodal Communication
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Dec 15, 2020
Volume
10
Issue
1
Pages
5–18
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/mc-2020-0013
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Digitally mediated service encounters such as digital payments are becoming more common and super-sticky social media such as WeChat, applications which mediate an indispensible part of our day-to-day practices, are increasingly used as the main tool for these services. However, how digital technology affects the way semiotic modes realize lower level actions in service encounters has not widely been studied. This paper carried out a multimodal analysis of videoed service encounters combined with interviews and ethnographic field notes to analyze how the use of WeChat Pay affects how modes such as proxemics, gaze and gesture realize lower level actions such as handing, smartphone handling, and ratifying payments. Second, analyses of the wider semiotic trajectories involved in the use of super-sticky social media in digitally mediated service encounters show how a mundane digital payment has important implications for how we record and disclose our personal behavior in big data and for the distribution of knowledge and skills deploying semiotic resources and digital literacies in society.

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