Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Cell Phones & Society

Rich Ling's new book, New Tech, New Ties: How Mobile Communication is Reshaping Social Cohesion (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008) will be of interest to some SIS faculty. Ling, a Senior researcher at the Norwegian telecommunications company Telenor and Adjunct Research Scientists at the University of Michigan, attempts to provide a balanced of the positive and negative implications of the mobile communications technologies. From my vantage the book is more useful in considering various theories about communications -- such as social capital, individualization, ritual, totems, ritual interaction chains, and so forth -- than it is in providing any in-depth analysis of the social impact of the technologies. It is worth a quick reading.

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