“Move and Be Healthy!”: Performative Sensibility and Body Experiences Mediated by Wearable Devices in Brazil



In this chapter we reflect on the role played by the agency of performative sensibility (PS) in the association between bodies and wearable technologies. We explore this particular form of algorithmic agency (PS) in bodies by mapping user experiences with wearable devices in Brazil. A total of 121 responses from a digital questionnaire were analyzed. The findings indicate that although these technologies are sustained by a discourse that values a healthy lifestyle, the behaviors acquired by the users suggest that the latter are motivated more by a desire to produce data for the system. The results also show that the data visualization interfaces support a narrative of “healthy” based on the amount of general “body movement.” We argue that PS acts as a “rhetorical communicational device” that translates the practice of physical activity by separating body performance from the context of the action.


Performative sensibility Smart bodies Communication of things Wearables Digital health Quantified self Digital humanities 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Communication DepartmentFederal University of BahiaSalvadorBrazil
  2. 2.Department of DesignBahia State University - UNEBSalvadorBrazil

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