Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

1-1-2013

Publication Source

Mobile Media & Communication

Volume

1

Issue

1

Start Page

153

Last Page

159

DOI

10.1177/2050157912464491

Abstract

A key guarantor of social trust and a necessary feature of democratic societies is a stable sense of social distance. Social distance is the cultural imaginary within which an individual’s coordinates of social status and contingent social location allow or inhibit contact with similarly and dissimilarly located others. The rearrangement of customary social distances by new communication technologies is a source of considerable social anxiety. In mobile communication, this context collapse is instigated by a distinctive combination of affordances: deep connectivity, the accelerated speed and volume of communicative exchange, enhanced social legibility and asymmetric communicative transparency. Robust and effective levels of social trust depend on a political will to build strong democratic accountability and civil rights guarantees into emerging mobile architectures. Identifying specific recalibrations of familiar social distances by regimes of mobile communication and assessing the effects of these recalibrations in democratic terms is a central task of mobile research.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Marvin, C., Your smart phones are hot pockets to us: Context collapse in a mobilized age, Mobile Media & Communication, 1(1), pp. 153-159. [2013]. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications

Keywords

asymmetric transparency, connectivity, context collapse, legibility, mobile communication, social distance, social trust

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Date Posted: 22 April 2019