'What is puberty, then?' Smartphones and Tumblr images as de/re-territorialisations in an upper secondary school classroom

Antti Paakkari, Pauliina Rautio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


In this paper, we explore the part mobile phone use plays in the capitalist assemblages present in school classrooms. Capitalism is approached through the continuous movement of de- and re-territorialisation. The empirical grounding is a wide study on mobile phone use conducted at an upper secondary school in Finland. The focus of this paper is one psychology lesson on puberty and the ways in which territories such as puberty are challenged in the school life of young people through their mobile phone use in class. Analysing a student’s Tumblr photo stream, we show how smartphones challenge the existing territorialities in a classroom. We locate three central deterritorialising movements: in relation to the physical space of the classroom; to the affective space of the classroom; and to the notion of body in puberty. We conclude that mobile phone use matters to students intimately and channels flows of capitalism at school.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDiscourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)873-888
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences

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