Call for papers

CfP Convergence special issue: Advancing Digital Disconnection Research

Guest editors: Brita Ytre-Arne & Stine Lomborg

Abstract deadline: September 10th 2020. Full paper deadline: February 1st 2021.

Over the past years, digital disconnection has emerged as a research topic attracting interest across media and communication studies. In an age of ubiquitous media, the idea of “digital disconnection” represents a cultural, political and personal response inspiring interest and investigation. Along with related concepts such as abstention, resistance, avoidance and detox, digital disconnection is discussed and explored in a growing number of research endeavors emerging in various subfields.

However, questions are also raised about what disconnection really means and how we can study it, about paradoxes and inherent dilemmas that affect research on disconnection as well as the phenomenon itself. By questioning established concepts and shedding light on new aspects, scholarship on digital disconnection could potentially open new avenues in key debates on the meanings of media and communication technologies in our lives and in our societies. On the other hand, methodological and conceptual challenges arise when studying disconnection with perspectives and approaches that originate from research fields shaped by keen interest in emerging digital technologies. The time has come to critically consider the contributions, challenges and promises of digital disconnection research.  

This special issue invites papers on digital disconnection as a concept and as an area of research, in order to develop a more systematic research agenda and advance digital disconnection studies as a research area. The ambition is to bring together perspectives from different traditions and disciplines, and build foundations for further theoretical and empirical advances. We welcome conceptual, theoretical and methodological discussions, literature reviews, provocations and interventions, and empirical studies with different contexts and methodologies. We encourage all contributions to consider how their approaches to digital disconnection research intersect with other developments in media and communication research, related disciplines and various sub-fields. This could take the form of cross-disciplinary research contributions, methodological or conceptual critiques or innovations, or engagement with debates on for instance mediatization, cross-media use, datafication, algorithmic media, platform power or the attention economy.

We particularly welcome submissions on:

  • Key concepts, perspectives and frameworks in research on digital disconnection
  • Investigations and critiques of ubiquitous and intensified media involvement as a communicative condition, and of reactions and ambivalences to it
  • Contradictions, dilemmas and opportunities in analysis of digital disconnection
  • Innovative methodological approaches to studying disconnection
  • Counter-cultural movements and the politics and communities of detoxing, or other cultural and social expressions of disconnection
  • Empirical studies of user experiences and practices of regulating attention, e.g. strategic configurations of media use
  • Empirical studies of industry responses, practices and policies in relation to disconnection.

Prospective authors should submit an abstract of no more than 500 words by email to Stine Lomborg ( and Brita Ytre-Arne ( Abstracts should outline key arguments and contributions, theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches (as relevant), and engage directly with concepts, topics and debates that can advance digital disconnection research.

Please also include a 100-word bio for each author, and contact information for the corresponding author.

A selection of authors will be invited to submit a full paper. Please note that acceptance of abstract does not guarantee publication, given that all papers will be put through the journal’s peer review process.


Published June 25, 2020 12:04 PM - Last modified June 25, 2020 12:13 PM