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Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life

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Overview

"The Japanese term for mobile phone, keitai [roughly translated as "something you carry with you"], evokes not technical capability or freedom of movement but intimacy and portability, defining a personal accessory that allows constant social connection. Personal, Portable, Pedestrian, the first book-length English-language treatment of mobile communication use in Japan, covers the transformation of keitai from business tool to personal device for communication and play." The essays in this groundbreaking collection document the emergence, incorporation, and domestication of mobile communications in a wide range of social practices and institutions. The book first considers the social, cultural, and historical context of keitai development, including its beginnings in youth pager use in the early 1990s. It then discusses the virtually seamless integration of keitai use into everyday life, contrasting it to the more escapist character of Internet use on the PC.
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Geert Lovink taught me how to think critically about technology, and I always turn to him for thoughtful and humane analysis. Too few technology writers have any sense of social and cultural context, and too few technology critics have an appreciation of why people find technologies attractive and how they improve people's lives. I recommend Dark Fiber to those who haven't yet learned to think critically about Internet technology and the culture that has grown up around it,and to those critics who fail to see the real advantages afforded by the Internet."—Howard Rheingold, author of *The Virtual Community* and *Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution*
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262090391
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2005
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Mizuko Ito is a cultural anthropologist who studies new media use, particularly among young people, in Japan and the United States, and a Professor in Residence at the University of California Humanities Research Institute.

Misa Matsuda is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Chuo University, Tokyo.

Daisuke Okabe is Lecturer at the Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University, Shonan Fujisawa Campus, Japan.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : personal, portable, pedestrian 1
1 Discourses of Keitai in Japan 19
2 Youth culture and the shaping of Japanese mobile media : personalization and the Keitai Internet as multimedia 41
3 A decade in the development of mobile communications in Japan (1993-2002) 61
4 The third-stage paradigm : territory machines from the girls' pager revolution to mobile aesthetics 77
5 Japanese youth and the imagining of Keitai 103
6 Mobile communication and selective sociality 123
7 The mobile-izing Japanese : connecting to the Internet by PC and Webphone in Yamanashi 143
8 Accelerating reflexivity 165
9 Keitai and the intimate stranger 183
10 Keitai in public transportation 205
11 The gendered use of Keitai in domestic contexts 219
12 Design of Keitai technology and its use among service engineers 237
13 Technosocial situations : emergent structuring of mobile e-mail use 257
14 Keitai use among Japanese elementary and junior high schools students 277
15 Uses and possibilities of the Keitai camera 300
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