Taken for Grantedness: The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society

Taken for Grantedness: The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society

by Richard Ling
     
 

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Why do we feel insulted or exasperated when our friends and family don't answer their mobile phones? If the Internet has allowed us to broaden our social world into a virtual friend-net, the mobile phone is an instrument of a more intimate social sphere. The mobile phone provides a taken-for-granted link to the people to whom we are closest; when we are without it,… See more details below

Overview

Why do we feel insulted or exasperated when our friends and family don't answer their mobile phones? If the Internet has allowed us to broaden our social world into a virtual friend-net, the mobile phone is an instrument of a more intimate social sphere. The mobile phone provides a taken-for-granted link to the people to whom we are closest; when we are without it, social and domestic disarray may result. In just a few years, the mobile phone has become central to the functioning of society. In this book, Rich Ling explores the process by which the mobile phone has become embedded in society, comparing it to earlier technologies that changed the character of our social interaction and, along the way, became taken for granted. Ling, drawing on research, interviews, and quantitative material, shows how the mobile phone (and the clock and the automobile before it) can be regarded as a social mediation technology, with a critical mass of users, a supporting ideology, changes in the social ecology, and a web of mutual expectations regarding use. By examining the similarities and synergies among these three technologies, Ling sheds a more general light on how technical systems become embedded in society and how they support social interaction within the closest sphere of friends and family

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262304344
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
10/26/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
File size:
1 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

"While mobile communication may have entered the realm of the mundane,
Rich Ling's story about how it got there is anything but. This book makes an important and timely contribution to the way we think about mobile communication in an age when many of our 'new media' are not so new anymore." -- Scott W.
Campbell
, Constance F. and Arnold C. Pohs Endowed Professor of
Telecommunications, University of Michigan

The MIT Press

"The mobile phone is perhaps the great technology of our age, and with
Taken for Grantedness, it has met its match. Rich Ling offers us a rich, subtle, profound account of how it has taken its place as the technology without which our worlds cannot make sense -- rivaling its close cousins, the clock and the car. In doing so, Ling persuades us with grace and humor, and wide-ranging reference, that the mobile phone has become the essential thing for social creatures like us. Indispensable reading from the sociologist of mobile communication today." -- Gerard Goggin, Professor and Chair,
Department of Media and Communications, University of Sydney

The MIT Press

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