Cell Phones and Their Technosocial Sites of Engagement

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This paper provides examination of the effects of widespread mobile telephony on the social and spatial relations of individuals in the postmodern state. This is the realm of cyborg anthropology, which, according to co-developer Donna Haraway, “explores the production of humanness through machines” (Gray 1993:342). The widespread adoption of the cell phone has morphed five aspects that Zygmunt Bauman (2000) considered to be the basis of share human life: emancipation, individuality, time/space, community, and work.

Changes to individuality and community can be described through an analysis of the constructions of public and private space. When the public sphere becomes completely private the social sphere will become public again, but the field of interaction will be global instead of local.

The conclusions gathered from an analysis of these spaces will be used to show how cell phones have changed the construction time/space and emancipation of the human in the postmodern state.

This paper discusses the effects of mobile telephony on emancipation, individuality, time/space and community through the theoretical lenses of Erving Goffman, Victor Turner, Marc Augé, Donna Haraway, and Bruno Latour.


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