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Taken for Grantedness:The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society

Cover Image Copyright Year: 2012
Author(s): Ling, R.
Publisher: MIT Press
Content Type : Books & eBooks
Topics: Communication, Networking & Broadcasting
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Abstract

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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      Front Matter

      Ling, R.
      Taken for Grantedness:The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society

      Page(s): i - xiii
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Half Title, Title, Copyright, Contents, Preface: Mobile Phone Balloons, Acknowledgments View full abstract»

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      The Forgotten Mobile Phone

      Ling, R.
      Taken for Grantedness:The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society

      Page(s): 1 - 12
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Technologies That Mediate Sociation, Mobile Communication as a Moving Target, Organization of This Book View full abstract»

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      DeWitt Clinton's “Grand Salute” versus Technologies of Social Mediation

      Ling, R.
      Taken for Grantedness:The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society

      Page(s): 13 - 36
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Domestication and the Adoption of Technology, The Facticity of Social Mediation Technologies, The Components of Social Mediation Technologies, Becoming Taken for Granted View full abstract»

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      “My Idea of Heaven Is a Daily Routine”: Coordination and the Development of Mechanical Timekeeping

      Ling, R.
      Taken for Grantedness:The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society

      Page(s): 37 - 60
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: “Sonnez les matines!”: The Diffusion of “Clock Time”, Helping “Citizens of Honor to Lead Orderly Lives”: The Legitimation of Clock Time, The Temporal Regularity of Modern Society: The Social Ecology of Timekeeping, The Regulation of Behavior: Reciprocal Expectations and Mechanical Timekeeping, The Compelling and Cohesive Nature of Clock Time View full abstract»

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      “Four-Wheeled Bugs with Detachable Brains”: The Constraining Freedom of the Automobile

      Ling, R.
      Taken for Grantedness:The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society

      Page(s): 61 - 80
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Puffing Devil and the Orukter Amphibolos: The Diffusion of Cars in Society, A “$1,200 Studebaker with a California Top”: The Legitimation of the Automobile, The Impact of the Car on the Social Ecology, “My Best Friends Live in the City but by No Means in This Neighborhood”: Reciprocal Expectations, The “Constraining Power” of the Car Culture View full abstract»

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      “If I Didn't Have a Mobile Phone Then I Would Be Stuck”: The Diffusion of Mobile Communication

      Ling, R.
      Taken for Grantedness:The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society

      Page(s): 81 - 99
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Technical Foundation of Mobile Communication, The Diffusion of Mobile Communication, From Communication Monoculture to a Complex Personal Communication Environment, Conclusion View full abstract»

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      “We Are Either Abused or Spoiled by It—It Is Difficult to Say”: Constructing Legitimacy for the Mobile Phone

      Ling, R.
      Taken for Grantedness:The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society

      Page(s): 101 - 122
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: “I Have to Have One because I Am a Director on Several Boards”: Early Mobile Ownership as a Status Indicator, “First Come the Show-Offs and after a While It Is OK”: Negative Mobile Telephony Narrations, “It Really Makes You Popular”: Positive Accounts of the Mobile Phone, Conclusion View full abstract»

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      Mobile Communication and Its Readjustment of the Social Ecology

      Ling, R.
      Taken for Grantedness:The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society

      Page(s): 123 - 158
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: “A Little Back and Forth”: The Changing Method of Coordination, “We Ran Over a Girl and It Was Good to Have a Mobile Phone”: The Mobile Phone as a Safety Link, “She Was Calling Me Like Every Day”: Parent-Child Relations in the Age of Mobile Telephony, Texting as a Low-Overhead Form of Interaction, Information Access and Mobile Telephony in Commerce, Conclusion View full abstract»

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      “It Is Not Your Desire That Decides”: The Reciprocal Expectations of Mobile Telephony

      Ling, R.
      Taken for Grantedness:The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society

      Page(s): 159 - 179
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Transition in Our Understanding of the Mobile Phone, “A Weird Sense of Hope”: The Mobile Phone as a Social Tool, The Evolving Reification of Mobile Telephony View full abstract»

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      Digital Gemeinschaft in the Era of Cars, Clocks, and Mobile Phones

      Ling, R.
      Taken for Grantedness:The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society

      Page(s): 181 - 191
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The Car, the Clock, and the Phone as Social Mediation Technologies, The Synergies of the Clock, the Car, and the Mobile Phone, Digital Gemeinschaft View full abstract»

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      Notes

      Ling, R.
      Taken for Grantedness:The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society

      Page(s): 193 - 209
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: 1 The Forgotten Mobile Phone, 2 DeWitt Clinton's “Grand Salute” versus Technologies of Social Mediation, 3 “My Idea of Heaven Is a Daily Routine”: Coordination and the Development of Mechanical Timekeeping, 4 “Four-Wheeled Bugs with Detachable Brains”: The Constraining Freedom of the Automobile, 5 “If I Didn't Have a Mobile Phone Then I Would Be Stuck”: The Diffusion of Mobile Communication, 6 “We Are Either Abused or Spoiled by It-It Is Difficult to Say”: Constructing Legitimacy for the Mobile Phone, 7 Mobile Communication and Its Readjustment of the Social Ecology, 8 “It Is Not Your Desire That Decides”: The Reciprocal Expectations of Mobile Telephony, 9 Digital Gemeinschaft in the Era of Cars, Clocks, and Mobile Phones View full abstract»

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      References

      Ling, R.
      Taken for Grantedness:The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society

      Page(s): 211 - 231
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      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 View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Index

      Ling, R.
      Taken for Grantedness:The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society

      Page(s): 233 - 241
      Copyright Year: 2012

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      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 View full abstract»