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.
About the Authors
Manuel Castells is Professor of Communication and the Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication Technology and Society at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California, as well as Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, Research Professor at the Open University of Catalonia, and Marvin and Joanne Grossman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Technology and Society at MIT. He is the author of, among other books, the three-volume work The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture.
Jack Linchuan Qiu is Assistant Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is a coauthor (with Manuel Castells, Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol, and Araba Sey) of Mobile Communication and Society: A Global Perspective (MIT Press, 2006).
"The book should be required reading for researchers in all aspects of communication and information and students in sociology, media studies, geography, and politics." Scott Lash Times Higher Education Supplement"—