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A Companion to New Media Dynamics by Axel Bruns, Jean Burgess, John Hartley

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Chapter 11

Changing Media with Mobiles

Gerard Goggin

Introduction: The Emergence of Moving Media

Things and people have always moved (Braudel 1972–1973). A much noticed feature of the modern world is that mobility has become prominent in how societies are constituted—whether in the great, ceaseless global migration of people; the new necessities and possibilities for travel; the patterns of settlements; the spatial relations of cities, regions, and countries; the relationships between work and home (indeed, all points in the life cycle and the institutions relevant to them, whether of education, leisure, health, or ageing); the technologies of transportation and communication; the distribution and portability of goods, services, and objects; or the fluid nature of places themselves (Urry 2000; Sheller and Urry 2004; Canzler et al., 2008). Media has been affected by these mobilities—and, in turn, has been a condition of their possibility. Indeed, in the past three decades, mobility has been a distinctive feature of new media and the dynamics of change that shape them. To explore this mobility, this chapter focuses upon mobile phones, mobile media, and the wireless technologies combining with them (often indistinguishably).

By “mobiles,” I mean mobile phones and other devices that use SIM cards, which mostly operate still on the cellular mobile telecommunications networks that underpinned their commercial availability from the late 1970s onwards. Mobiles are often called “wireless,” ...

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