Professor Judy Wajcman
Judy Wajcman is the Anthony Giddens Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
This workshop will bring together leading researchers on the mobile phone to assess the state of the art and to explore future research agendas. While research on the mobile phone is proliferating, it is not systematically linked with research on the Internet. Given the increasing overlap between cellular telephones and Internet delivery, this is an opportune time to consider the issues raised by wireless ICTs that afford continual availability and mobility. The workshop will explore the links as well as differences between the fields of Internet and mobile phone research, and ask whether the convergence of these technologies poses new issues for social theory.
As the relationship between different ICTs is being reconfigured, so too is the divide between the historically separate spheres of work and home life. Engaging with this important social trend, the workshop will consider how portable ICTs, such as the mobile phone, are affecting the way people negotiate everyday life. Key questions include: Does the mobile phone facilitate family and work micro coordination, by increasing the flexibility of arrangements, including between spouses and across generations? Or is it enabling work intensification and extended working hours? How are mobile technologies shaping people’s experience of time? Are they transforming the way time is perceived, used, managed, and disciplined?
The workshop reflects the OII’s distinctive focus on understanding the social dynamics shaping, and being shaped by, the ICTs. It will concentrate on two main themes:
To elaborate these themes, the workshop will explore questions such as:
Rather than necessarily seeking formal papers, we are asking the invitees to make a short presentation about their own research and how it might address the themes of the workshop. This is an opportunity to reflect on whether research on mobile or mediated communication practices constitutes a distinct research field, and how it relates to disciplinary boundaries between sociology, science and technology studies, and new media /cultural theory.