NCSU Department of Communication

COM598M::Mobile Technologies and Social Practices
Instructor: Dr. Adriana de Souza e Silva



Class schedule



Readings & resources




Week Day Topic Videos Readings due Assignments




Course overview


The concept of interfaces.


  Howard Rheingold, "Introduction" (pp. xi - xxii)


Wed. 08.30 Cell phones and social spaces.


Denise Calls Up (P) Mark Poster, "Digitally local communications" (pp. 1-12, by Dan Sutko

(P) Moores, "The doubling of place" (pp. 21-36), by Dan Sutko

(P) de Souza e Silva, "From cyber to hybrid" (pp. 261-278), by Nick Temple

Castells, Fernandez-Ardevol, Qiu, & Sey, "Space and time in the mobile communication society " (pp. 231-236)


Blog posts

Wed. 09.06 Denise calls up discussion

History of wireless and cell phones

  Eric Abrahamson, "Hear Me Now"

Richard Ling, "Introduction" (pp. 11-17)

Brown, "Studying the use of mobile technology" (pp. 3-11)

Farley, "Mobile telephone history" (pp. 22-34)


Blog posts

-- define work groups for final project


Part I: Defining the mobile interface


Defining the mobile interface
Wed. 09.13 Ubiquitous and Wearable Computing

Cyberman (+ articles about interface of the future) Howard Rheingold, "The era of sentient things" (pp. 83-112)

de Souza e Silva, "Interfaces of hybrid spaces" (pp. 19-44)

Mark Weiser, "Designing calm technology"

Mark Weiser, "The world is not a desktop"



Blog posts
Defining the mobile interface
Wed. 09.20 SMS and location awareness

(+ articles about Digital Graffito, ImaHima) (P) Richard Ling, "Texting and the Growth of Asynchronous Discourse" (pp. 145-167), by Chris Berg

(P) Kasesniemi & Rautiainen, "Mobile culture of children and teenagers in Finland" (pp. 170-192), by John Martin

Rao & Minakakis, "Evolution of location-based services" (pp. 61-65)

Barkus and Dey, "Location-based services for mobile telephone" (pp. 3-5)


Blog posts
Defining the mobile interface
Wed. 09.27 Camera-phones



(P) Fumitoshi Kato et. al., "Uses and possibilities of the ketai camera" (pp. 300-310), by Dennis Porch

(P) Koskinen, "Seeing with mobile Images" (pp. 1-27), by Chad O'Neil

Daisuko Okabe, "Emergent social practices" (pp. 1-19), by Chad O'Neil

Mizuko Ito, "Intimate visual co-presence" (pp. 1-4)


Blog posts

-- proposals for final project due


Defining the mobile interface


Wed. 10.04 Mobile Internet (WAP vs. I-mode).

Cell phone generations


  (P) Kakuko Miyata et. al., "The mobile-izing Japanese" (pp. 143-164), by Nick Temple

(P) Howard Rheingold, "Wireless Quilts" (pp. 133-156), by Dan Sutko

Howard Rheingold, "Always-on panopticon" (pp. 183-216)

Helyar, "Usability of portable devices" (pp. 195-206)


Blog posts

-- proposals for final paper due

Part II: Current issues on the mobile interface


Current issues on the mobile interface


Wed. 10.11 Micro- and macro-coordination   (P) Richard Ling, "The coordination of everyday life" ( pp. 57-82), by John Martin

(P) Howard Rheingold, "Smart Mobs: The power of the mobile many" (pp. 157-182), by Chris Berg

Howard Rheingold, "Technologies of cooperation" (pp. 29-62)

Manuel Castells, "Section 5: Wireless communication and social political organization" (pp. 196-224)


-- storyboard for final project due

Current issues on the mobile interface


Wed. 10.18 Public / private
Safety / Security

  (P) Richard Ling, "The intrusive nature of mobile telephony" (pp. 123-144), by Adam Gutschmidt

(P) Sadie Plant, "On the Mobile" (pp. 1-45), by Christin Gulick

Richard Ling, "Safety and Security" (pp. 35-56)

Gant & Kisler, "Blurring the boundaries" (pp. 121-131)


Blog posts

-- paper sources due


Current issues on the mobile interface
Wed. 10.25 Identity   (P) Richard Ling, “The mobile phone and the teens” (pp. 83-122), by Adam Gutschmidt

(P) Leopoldina Fortunati, “Italy: Stereotypes, true and false” (42-62), by Elaine Brown

Leopoldina Fortunati, "Mobile phone: and identity on the move" (pp. 85-98)

Haruhiro Kato, "Japanese Youth and the imagining of keitai" (pp. 103-122)


Blog posts

-- paper outline due

Part III: Site-specific factors

Site-specific factors
Wed. 11.01 Japan   (P) Misa Matsuda, "Discourses of Keitai in Japan" (pp. 19-40)

(P) Okabe and Ito, "Keitai and public transportation" (pp. 205-218), by Chad O'Neil

Ichiyo Habuchi, "Accelerating reflexivity" (pp. 165-182)

Misa Matsuda, "Mobile communication and selective sociality" (pp. 123-142)


Blog posts



Site-specific factors
Wed. 11.08 Scandinavian countries   (P) Howard Rheingold, "Shibuya Ephiphany" (pp. 1-28), by Elaine Brown

(P) Juka-Pekka Puro, "Finland: a mobile culture" (pp. 19-29), by Christin Gulick

Ling and Yttri, "Hyper-coordination via mobile phones in Norway" (pp. 139-192)

Berit Skog, "Mobiles and the Norwegian teen" (pp. 255-283)


Blog posts
Site-specific factors
Wed. 11.15 Developing countries (Brazil and Latin America, Africa, India) (+ articles NYT) (P) Leonardi, Leonardi & Hudson, "Culture, organization and contradiction in the social construction of technology" (pp. 205-226), by Ruffin Bailey

(P) Kavoori and Chadha, "The cell phone as a cultural technology" (pp. 227-240)

de Souza e Silva, "Cell phones and places" (pp. xx - xx)

Georg Strom, "The telephone comes to a Filipino village (p. 274-283)


Blog posts

-- help with final paper / final project

no class


Wed. 11.22 Thanksgiving (no class)
Beyond the cell phone
Wed. 11.29 Hybrid reality games Blast Theory, “Can You See Me Now?”

Blast Theory, “Uncle Roy All Around You”

Chaos Computer Club, “Blinkenlights”


(P) Licoppe and Inada, "Emergent uses of a multiplayer location-aware mobile game" (pp. 39-61), by Dennis Porch

(P) Benford et. al. "Uncle Roy All Around You" (pp. 1-10), by Ruffin Bailey

(P) Benford et. al., "Coping with uncertainty in a locaton-based game" (pp. 34-41), by Ruffin Bailey

de Souza e Silva, "Alien Revolt"

de Souza e Silva, "Hybrid reality games reframed" (pp. 231-251)


Blog posts

Wed. 12.06 final presentations  


-- final paper due
Finals Week