2 February 2007

Book: Mobile Communication in Everyday Life

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Mobile Communication in Everyday Life
Mobile Communication in Everyday Life – Ethnographic Views, Observations and Reflections
By: Joachim R. Höflich, Maren Hartmann (Eds.)
Frank & Timme, 2006, 325 pages

The mobile phone has become an integral part of our everyday life communication – in this sense a domestication of a ‘nomadic’ medium has taken place. For the very reason that the telephone has left its fixed home environment, it requires us to take an ‘ethnographic view’ in describing both this development and the changes taking place therein. Mobile Communication in Everyday Life takes a closer look at the mobile phone as an object of inquiry in the tradition of the so-called media ethnography. Consequently, the benefits and limitations of such research designs are the focus of the book. Some contributions focus on the tension between private and public communication, others on cultural dimensions. Overall, the book presents a range of the most up-to-date research in the field of mobile communication.

The authors

  • Joachim R. Höflich is a professor at the University of Erfurt, Germany. He is also a leading expert in the field of mobile technologies and interpersonal communication. Joachim has published several books on the topic in German as well as many articles in English.
  • Maren Hartmann joined the University of Erfurt in 2004 (and can soon be found at the University of Bremen). Her research interests include media ethnographies, cybercultures and the domestication concept. She has published books as well as several articles on these topics.


  • Introduction: the ethnographic view [Joachim R. Höflich & Maren Hartmann]
  • Places of life – places of communication: observations of mobile phone usage in public places [Joachim R. Höflich]
  • Photos and fieldwork: capturing norms for mobile phone use in the US [Lee Humphreys, University of Pennsylvania]
  • Everyday contexts of camera phone use: steps toward techno-social ethnographic frameworks [ Daisuke Okabe, Keio’s Keitai Lab and Yokohama University, and Mizuko Ito, University of Southern California]
  • Mobile visuality and everyday life in Finland: an ethnographic approach to social uses of mobile image [Virpi Oksman, University of Tampere]
  • Unfaithful: reflections of enchantment, disenchantment and the mobile phone [Bella Ellwood-Clayton]
  • “I have a free phone so I do not bother to send SMS, I call” – the gendered use of SMS among adults in intact and divorced families [Rich Ling, Telenor Research Institute]
  • Another kind of “mobility”: mobiles in terrorist attacks [Santiago Lorente, Polytechnic University of Madrid]
  • Fashion and technology in the presentation of the self [Leopoldina Fortunati, University of Udine, and Amalia Cianchi]
  • How to be in two places at the same time? – mobile phone use in public places [Amparo Lasen, University Complutense of Madrid]
  • Beyond talk, beyond sound: emotional expression and the future of mobile connectivity [Richard Harper and Steve Hodges of Microsoft Research]
  • A mobile ethnographic view on (mobile) media usage? [Maren Hartmann]
  • Ethnography, related research approaches and digital media [Friedrich Krotz, University of Erfurt]

The author bios can be found here.

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