Wireless networks are the fastest growing communications
technology in history. Are mobile phones expressions of identity,
fashionable gadgets, tools for life--or all of the above? Mobile
Communication and Society looks at how the possibility of
multimodal communication from anywhere to anywhere at any time
affects everyday life at home, at work, and at school, and raises
broader concerns about politics and culture both global and
local.Drawing on data gathered from around the world, the authors
explore who has access to wireless technology, and why, and analyze
the patterns of social differentiation seen in unequal access. They
explore the social effects of wireless communication--what it means
for family life, for example, when everyone is constantly in touch,
or for the idea of an office when workers can work anywhere. Is the
technological ability to multitask further compressing time in our
already hurried existence?The authors consider the rise of a mobile
youth culture based on peer-to-peer networks, with its own language
of texting, and its own values. They examine the phenomenon of
flash mobs, and the possible political implications. And they look
at the relationship between communication and development and the
possibility that developing countries could "leapfrog" directly to
wireless and satellite technology. This sweeping book--moving
easily in its analysis from the United States to China, from Europe
to Latin America and Africa--answers the key questions about our
transformation into a mobile network society.
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