Portable Communities: The Social Dynamics of Online and Mobile Connectedness

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Looks at the social implications of having constant access to others through cell phones, wireless computers, and other electronic devices.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Portable Communities is the first book to clearly identify the importance of mobile media in the evolution of new forms of social relations. Anyone interested in matters of online community, identity, and social media should read this absolutely terrific book.— Steven G. Jones, editor of CyberSociety: Computer-Mediated Communication and Community and CyberSociety 2.0: Revisiting Computer-Mediated Communication and Community, and founder, Association of Internet Researchers

"This book addresses how advances in technology are altering the form and content of social relationships. It is THE central question sociologists must address in the coming decades."— Rebecca G. Adams, coeditor of Deadhead Social Science: You Ain't Gonna Learn What You Don't Want to Know

"In the old days, we had to travel to our friends, families, and social networks. Now, Mary Chayko shows us, we take our networks with us, connecting by text, voice, and video wherever we-and they-are. Chayko's timely and fascinating book provides a guide to the new world of 'communities to go.'"— Barry Wellman, coeditor of The Internet in Everyday Life and Director, NetLab, University of Toronto

"In this fascinating volume, Mary Chayko explores the way people use their communication technologies to produce conviviality and connections. She insightfully captures people playfully and seriously engaging their online and mobile communities, and she shows how ordinary physical limits are transcended to create rich worlds of meaning and interaction."— James E. Katz, author of Magic in the Air: Mobile Communication and the Transformation of Social Life and Director, Center for Mobile Communication Studies, Rutgers University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791476000
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 10/9/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 318
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Chayko is Professor of Sociology at the College of Saint Elizabeth and the author of Connecting: How We Form Social Bonds and Communities in the Internet Age, also published by SUNY Press.

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Table of Contents

I. Introduction: The Internet, Mobile Phones, and Community

1. The Portability of Social Connectedness

II. Internal Dynamics: Inside the Portable Community

2. Thinking in Tandem: Cognitive Connectedness

The Cognitive “Face” of the Community
Sociomental Space
Cognitive Resonance
Stories and Collective Memories
Proximity, Presence, and Reality

3. Feeling Connected: Emotionality and Intimacy

Friendship and Intimacy
Trust and Social Support
Happiness and Hostility: The Moderation of Moods and Behavior

4 Playing Around: Fun, Games, and Hanging Out

Just “Hanging Out”
Playful Talk: Humor, Gossip, and Flirting
The Seductive Allure of Fun

5 Social Networking: Convenience, Practicality, and Sociability

Dating, Romance, and Sex
Learning, Working, and Getting Things Done

III. External Dynamics: The Portable Community in the Society

6 Being There: Constant Availability

Comfort and Companionship
Anxiety, Apprehension, and Overload
The Impact on Privacy

7 Harnessing Social Interaction: The Control of Time, Space, and People

Where, When, and Whether We Interact
Technology-Based Strategies for Interaction
Spontaneity and Social Interaction

8 Creating, Expressing, and Extending the Self(and Watching Others Do So)

Socialization in a Technological Age
The Making and Remaking of the Self
Voyeurism, Watching, and Lurking
Multitasking and the “Hyperlinking” of Identity

9 Shaping the Social Landscape: Equalities, Inequalities, Possibilities

Technological Divides and Power Differentials
Old Problems, New Angles
Agency and Activism: Mobilizing for Social Change
A Look Ahead

Appendix 1. The Methodology
Appendix 2: Profiles of Interview Subjects

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2012

    An Excellent Book: A Must Read!!

    Portable Communities is such an excellent book, going into depth as to how technology affects our society not only in small groups, but larger ones as well. Dr. Mary Chayko does a wonderful job explaining the sociological factors in how people connect virtually, and provides examples of other people’s perspectives of the Internet. This is an outstanding book for anyone who has an interest in learning about the positive and negative aspects in socializing with others in an online atmosphere.

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