NCSU Department of Communication

COM547::Mobile Communication and Society
Instructor: Dr. Adriana de Souza e Silva







There will be weekly readings. This is a reading-intensive course in which you will be asked to deal with material that is often quite challenging in its language and theoretical positions. You should expect to read about 60-80 pages a week, and write a brief summary/comment on each text you read. You are excused from writing your comment if you are presenting to the class. You are responsible for not only reading all the material assigned to you, but engaging with it before class in a way that prepares you to participate in class discussion. In order to do this, you will need to take careful reading notes and review your notes before each class. The readings shall be used not only for class discussion, but also to support your arguments on the class discussions, presentations, and final paper.

All texts are available online as PDF document , at NCSU library online reserves. A few new ones may will be also available on the Web.

Note: All students must regurlary check e-mails, as well as the class Website, for messages and readings from this course.



Gordon, E., & de Souza e Silva, A. Net Locality: Why location matters in a networked world. New York: Routledge. 29.30 USD.

Dourish, P., & Bell, G. (2011). Divining a digital future: Mess and mithology in ubiquitous computing. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.


Required Readings:

Abrahamson, E. (2003). Hear me now: Competition, regulation and innovation in mobile telephony in the United States: 1945-1983. Von Gremp Workshop in Economic and Entrepreneurial History. University of California, Los Angeles.

Benford, S., & Giannachi, G. (2011). Hybrid Space: Between real and virtual, local and global. In Performing Mixed Reality (pp. 27-70). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Bimber, B., Flanagin, A., & Stohl, C. (2005). Reconceptualizing collective action in the contemporary media environment. Communication Theory, 15 (4), 365-388.

Buxton, B. (2007). The role of design. Sketching user Experiences: Getting the design right and the right design (pp. 73-81). San Francisco, CA: Morgan-Kaufmann.

Campbell, S. (2007). A cross-cultural comparison of perceptions and uses of mobile telephony. New Media & Society, 9 (2), pp. 343-363.

Castells, M., Fernandez-Ardevol, M., Qiu, J. L., & Sey, A. (2007). The mobile civil society. In The mobile communication society: A global perspective (pp. 185-214). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Cresswell T. (2010). "Towards a politics of mobility," Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 28(1), 17 – 31.

Cresswell, T. (2003). “Theorizing Place,” Thamyris/Intersecting: Place, Sex and Race, Mobilizing Place, Placing Mobility: The Politics of Representation in a Globalized World, 9(1), 11-31.

de Sá, M., & Carriço, L. (2008). Lessons from early stages design of mobile applications. In Proceedings of the 10th international conference on Human computer interaction with mobile devices and services (MobileHCI '08). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 127-136.

de Souza e Silva, A., Sutko, D. M., Salis, F., & de Souza e Silva, C. (2011). Mobile phone appropriation in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. New Media & Society, 13 (3), 363-374. 1461444810393901.

Donner, J., & Gitau, S. (2009). New Paths: Exploring mobile-centric internet use in South Africa. “Mobile 2.0: Beyond Voice?” Pre-conference workshop at the International Communication Association (ICA) Conference. Chicago, Illinois. 20 – 21 May 2009.

Dourish, P., & Bell, G. (2007). The infrastructure of experience and the experience of infrastructure: meaning and structure in everyday encounters with space. Environment & Planning B: Planning & Design, 34 (3), 414-430.

Dourish, P. (2006). Re-place-ing place: "Place" and "Space" ten years on. Proceedings of the 2006 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work (pp.299-308). Cambridge, MA: ACM.

Farley, T. (2005). Mobile telephone history. Telektronikk, 3 (4), 22-34.

Farman, J. (2011). Locative interfaces and social media. In: Mobile interface theory (pp. 56-75). New York: Routledge.

Fortunati, L., & Luca, F. (2010). Micro and macro spatial dimensions of new media in five European countries. In A. Esposito, A. M. Esposito, R. Martone, V. Müller, & G. Scarpetta (Eds.), Proceedings of the Third COST 2102 international training school conference on Toward autonomous, adaptive, and context-aware multimodal interfaces: theoretical and practical issues (190-206). Berlin: Springer-Verlag, March 2010.

Frattasi, S., Fathi, H., Fitzek,F., & Prasad, R. (2006). Defining 4G Technology from the
User’s Perspective, IEEE Network, 35-41.

Gergen, K. (2011). Mobile communicaiton and the transformation of the democratic process. In Katz, J. E. (Ed.) Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies (pp. 297-310). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Goggin, G. (2006). Making voice portable: The early history of the cell phone. In Cell phone culture: Mobile technology in everyday life (pp. 19-40). New York: Routledge.

Goggin, G. (2006). Next gen mobile: 3G, 4G, and the return of location. In Cell phone culture: Mobile technology in everyday life (pp. 187-204). New York: Routledge.

Horst, H. (2011). Free, Social, and Inclusive: Appropriation and Resistance of New Media Technologies in Brazil. International Journal of Communication, 5, 437–462.

Humpheys, L., & Liao, T. (2011)." Mobile Geotagging: Reexamining Our Interactions with Urban Space,” Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 16(3), 401-423.

James, J, & Verteeg, M. (2007). Mobile phones in Africa: How much do we really know? Social Indicators Research, 84 (1), 117-126.

Javaid, U., Rasheed, T., Meddour, D. E., Ahmed, T., & Prasad, N. R. (2008). A novel dimension of cooperation in 4G. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 27 (1), 29-40.

Jensen, O. (2009). Flows of meaning, cultures of movement: Urban mobility as meaningful everyday life practice. Mobilities, 4 (1), 139-158.

Kellerman, A. (2009). The End of Spatial Reorganization? Urban Landscapes of Personal Mobilities in the Information Age. Journal of Urban Technology, 16(1), 47-61.

Kuhn, S. (1998). The software design studio: An exploration. IEEE Software, 15, 2, 65-71.

Lai, O. (2011). Locating the missing link of mobile communication in Japan: Sociocultural influences on usage by children and the Elderly. In Katz, J. E. (Ed.) Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies (pp. 273-284). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. 0262113120

Law, P., & Peng, Y. (2011). Mobile Networks: Migrant workers in Southern China. In Katz, J. E. (Ed.) Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies (pp. 55-64). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Madianou, M., & Miller, D. (2011). Mobile phone parenting: Reconfiguring relationships between Filipina migrant mothers and their left-behind children, New Media & Society, May 2011 13: 457-470, first published on March 23, 2011 doi:10.1177/1461444810393903

Massey, D. (1993). Power-geometry and a progressive sense of place. In J. Bird, B. Curtis, T. Putnam, G. Robertson & L. Tickner (Ed.). Mapping the futures: Local cultures, global change (pp. 60-70). New York: Routledge.

Norman, D. (2010). Design thinking: A useful myth. Core 77: Design Magazine & Resource.

Pacioni, C. (2010). Evolution of the mind: a case for design literacy. Magazine interactions, 17 (2), 6-11. New York, NY, USA: ACM.

Rheingold, H. (2011). Mobile Media and Political Collective Action. In In Katz, J. E. (Ed.) Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies (pp.225-240). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Sey, A. (2011). ‘We use it different, different’: Making sense of trends in mobile phone use in Ghana.
New Media & Society, May 2011 13: 375-390, first published on March 31, 2011 doi:10.1177/1461444810393907

Sheller, M., & Urry, J. (2006). “The new mobilities paradigm,” Environment and Planning A, 38 (2), 207-226.

Sutko, D. M., & de Souza e Silva, A. (2011). Location aware mobile media and urban sociability. New Media & Society, 13 (5), 807-823. 1461444810385202.

Tuters, & Varnelis, K. (2006). Beyond Locative Media: Giving shape to the internet of things. Leonardo, 39 (4), 357-363.

Wallis, C. (2011). Mobile phones without guarantees: The promises of technology and the contingencies of culture. New Media & Society May 2011 13: 471-485, first published on March 25, 2011 doi:10.1177/1461444810393904

Weiser, M. (1991). The computer for the 21st century. Scientific American (pp. 94-104), September.

Wilson, J. (2006). 3G to Web 2.0? Can mobile telephony become an architecture of participation? Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 12 (2), 229–242.

Zainudeen, A., Iqbal, T., Samarajiva, R. (2010). Who's got the phone? Gender and the use of the telephone at the bottom of the pyramid. New Media and Society, 12 (4), 549-566.