University of Oulu

Huttunen, A., Kähkönen, L., Enwald, H. & Kortelainen, T. (2019). Embodied cognition and information experiences of transgender people. In Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science, Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 16-19, 2019. Information Research, 24(4), paper colis1940. Retrieved from (Archived by the Internet Archive at

Embodied cognition and information experiences of transgender people

Saved in:
Author: Huttunen, Aira1; Kähkönen, Lottamari2; Enwald, Heidi1;
Organizations: 1Information Studies, University of Oulu, Finland
2John Morton Center for North American Studies, University of Turku, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: University of Borås, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-01-08


Introduction: This paper examines how the concept of embodied cognition can be used to better understand information experiences where an individual’s body plays a major role. We will examine information grounded in body-based actions, as well as information sharing through bodies and gender expression on transgender people. The term ‘transgender’ is used as an umbrella term for diverse gender-variant identities.

Method: The data includes 25 semi-structured interviews with Finnish binary and non-binary transgender people.

Analysis: Interviews were analysed with a combination of theoretically and empirically driven content analysis.

Results: Embodiment plays a significant role in transgender people’s information experiences in relation to their gender identity. These information experiences involve knowledge derived from emotions, affects and senses. Gender expression happens in relation to others. Moreover, gender expression is constantly created and shared with others through dress and style.

Conclusions: In the context of information seeking and the sharing of intimate and personal topics, the concept of embodied cognition deepens the understanding of information as embodied, situational and social. This concept offers a new perspective of information experiences as embodied, and it helps to dismantle the body-mind dichotomy.

see all

Series: Information research. An international electronic journal
ISSN: 1368-1613
ISSN-E: 1368-1613
ISSN-L: 1368-1613
Volume: 24
Issue: 4
Article number: colis1940
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 518 Media and communications
Funding: The authors would like to [...] acknowledge the financial support provided by Kone Foundation.
Copyright information: © The authors, 2017. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).