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Community and mobility: living with the technologies of remote communication

Date & Time:
09:30:00 - 17:30:00,
Thursday 2 October, 2003


The uses of mobile phones, email and chat rooms help strengthen relationships and give people unprecedented access to communities of interest. But what will be the effect on face-to-face relationships at neighbourhood level? If the technologies stimulate connections between people who have something in common, does this imply fewer serendipitous encounters, less diversity, and less social capital? Do we retreat in cliques within the virtual equivalent of gated houses and condominiums – the contact lists on our mobiles functioning as electronic barriers to new encounters and cross-cultural experience? Or do these new technologies provide new opportunities for the creation of links at the local level? Does this mean the ‘loss of community’, and if so, does it matter?

This Community Development Foundation (CDF) / OII conference will draw on academic and practitioner expertise to explore such issues in a policy context.

This conference has been organised with the Community Development Foundation (CDF)

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  • Name: Dr Nina Wakeford|John Urry
  • Affiliation: Director of INCITE, University of Surrey|Professor of Sociology, University of Lancaster
  • Role: |Keynote Speaker
  • URL:|
  • Bio: |