August 12, 2005

personal, portable, pedestrian

Mizuko Ito's new book (edited with Daisuke Okabe & Misa Matsuda) , Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life, is a collection of research papers and chapters focused on social and cultural integration of keitai in Japan. Happily, the editors' work is well represented in the text.

From the introduction:

In contrast to “the cellular phone” of the US (defined by technical infrastructure), and “the mobile” of the UK (defined by the untethering from fixed location) (Kotamraju & Wakeford 2002), the Japanese term, “keitai” (roughly translated, "something you carry with you”), references a somewhat different set of dimensions. A keitai is not so much about a new technical capability or freedom of motion, but about a snug and intimate technosocial tethering, a personal device supporting communications that are a constant, lightweight, and mundane presence in everyday life.

Mimi's work in this field has been consistently insightful, and has strongly informed the way I think about social media technologies. Time to head over to amazon, folks.

Posted by Gene at August 12, 2005 09:45 AM

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