The Models and Politics of Mobile Media

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Abstract
In this paper I seek to critically evaluate the models at play in an important area of new media cultures -- mobile media. By 'mobile', I mean the new technologies, cultural practices, and arrangements of production, consumption, and exchange, associated with hand-held, networked devices, especially those based on mobile cellular networks. These mobile phone technologies are now commonly being framed as media (May & Hearn, 2005; Nilsson et al., 2001; Goggin & Hjorth, 2007) -- and so we see the appearance of objects such as mobile television, mobile film, mobile games, and mobile Internet. With its large cultural and commercial claims, this much-heralded move raises important theoretical and political questions. There is an extensive literature on various aspects of convergence, including mobiles, however systematic consideration has not been given to mobile media as a development centring on cellular mobile network technologies. Perhaps one of the difficulties in doing so is the shift of concepts that underlies these changes. While it is easier to isolate and establish the kinds of models used to imagine the mobile phone, there is a complex and dynamic interplay of various models shaping mobile media. To zero on what is at stake in the shift from mobile phone to mobile media, I want to focus upon three distinct, if related, models. Analysis of these models is helpful to understand the transformations in mobile media. It also helps to cast light on the scene of new media in general. Respectively these three models revolve around: phones; commons; publics.
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Goggin, Gerard
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2008
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Journal Article
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