With the experiences of individual participants as a starting point, the Ph.D. dissertation “Sibling presence – A phenomenological study of separated young siblings’ everyday life focusing on technology, materialities and bodily experience” shows that sibling relations and presence are experienced and shaped in different ways, linked to embodied experiences, materialities and technologies.
Through the use of social media and mobile technologies, which offer experiences of quasi-presence, separated siblings are able to be part of each other’s everyday lifes, thereby sustaining and supporting their experiences of siblingness. Similarly, experiences of quasi-presence emerge in embodied experiences linked to materialities, even though this form of quasi-presence does not include updates and information from the physically absent siblings. It is suggested that siblingness is an experience which does not depend on whether siblings are biologically or socially related, linked to closeness and conflictuality which connect to a common history. The common history may be sedimented in the materialities of common homes, or it may be created technologically as a visible history of relatedness constituted by the mediated actions of siblings on social medias such as facebook.
The dissertation proposes that quasi-presence is a fundamental building block in the experience of siblingness, constituting a main aspect in the experience of being part of each other’s everyday life as separated siblings.