By Richard Ling

Why can we believe insulted or exasperated whilst our family and friends do not resolution their cell phones? If the web has allowed us to develop our social international right into a digital friend-net, the cellular phone is an tool of a extra intimate social sphere. The cellular phone offers a taken-for-granted hyperlink to the folks to whom we're closest; once we are with out it, social and family disarray may end up. in precisely many years, the cellular phone has turn into valuable to the functioning of society. during this booklet, wealthy Ling explores the method wherein the cellular phone has develop into embedded in society, evaluating it to previous applied sciences that modified the nature of our social interplay and, alongside the way in which, turned taken without any consideration. Ling, drawing on learn, interviews, and quantitative fabric, exhibits how the cell phone (and the clock and the car prior to it) should be considered as a social mediation expertise, with a severe mass of clients, a aiding ideology, alterations within the social ecology, and an internet of mutual expectancies relating to use. by means of reading the similarities and synergies between those 3 applied sciences, Ling sheds a extra normal mild on how technical platforms turn into embedded in society and the way they aid social interplay in the closest sphere of associates and family

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Additional resources for Taken for Grantedness: The Embedding of Mobile Communication into Society

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This suggests that although it is possible to socially shape technologies, as time goes on, the technologies are less open to “tinkering” (Wallis, Qiu, and Ling 2012). At the point of departure, many (though not all) technologies are pliable. The internet and the PC and their many applications are examples of this. With time, however, our collective acceptance of a particular technology constrains its malleability. Beyond the shaping of technologies, it is important to think about how we shape our use practices and how the complex of technology and use practices become embedded in the very structure of social interaction (Star 20 Chapter 2 and Bowker 2006).

The rise of a viable alternative can awaken a counter-legitimation by supporters of the original technology in order to defend against the heretical alternative. The jousting between alternative systems and their legitimation can be engineered based on the inherent characteristics of one system versus another. Telegraphy operators at first dismissed, then disparaged, and later desperately competed with the telephone (Standage 1998). If a person begins to stray from an established ideological system, he/she becomes problematic—or in the words of Geoffrey Star and Susan Leigh Boker (2006), the heretic becomes a “reverse salient”—to those who hold the faith.

When we can collectively make these types of assumptions regarding a technology, it is indeed embedded in daily life (Berger and Luckmann 1967, 66). Further, for a person to claim a position in the group he or she has a responsibility to master and use a particular technology. We are coerced by others’ expectations. As suggested by the Katz principle, we are forced to work around our friends who are not a part of the system (Weiner 2007). The weight of reciprocity can be seen when a member of the group does not use the technology of social mediation.

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