PsychNology Journal, Volume 3, Number 1, 16 – 34

Presence and Embodiment in Mobile Phone Communication

Ruth M. Rettie
Business School, Kingston University, U.K.



This paper explores the temporal and spatial characteristics of mobile phone communication, comparing the experience of presence in phone calls and in virtual reality environments. It is argued that in phone communication interactional affordances create an experience of presence and a degree of embodiment. The theoretical framework adopted combines Goffman's frame analysis with Gibson's affordance theory and a situated cognition perspective. The concept of presence is clarified by an analysis of embodiment. The traditional view of embodiment is criticised as assuming a Cartesian mind/body dualism. An alternative view of embodiment is developed which challenges the dichotomies of virtual and physical embodiment, and of virtual and physical environments.



presence, embodiment, situativity, mobile phone, virtual environment. .



Rettie R.M. (2005). Presence and Embodiment in Mobile Phone Communication. PsychNology Journal, 3(1), 16 – 34. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from

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