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Ito / Matsuda / Okabe

Personal, Portable, Pedestrian

Mobile Phones in Japanese Life

MIT Press

The Japanese term for mobile phone, keitai (roughly translated as
"something you carry with you"), evokes not technical capability or freedom of
movement but intimacy and portability, defining a personal accessory that allows
constant social connection. Japan's enthusiastic engagement with mobile technology
has become -- along with anime, manga, and sushi -- part of its trendsetting popular
culture. Personal, Portable, Pedestrian, the first book-length English-language
treatment of mobile communication use in Japan, covers the transformation of keitai
from business tool to personal device for communication and play.The essays in this
groundbreaking collection document the emergence, incorporation, and domestication
of mobile communications in a wide range of social practices and institutions. The
book first considers the social, cultural, and historical context of keitai
development, including its beginnings in youth pager use in the early 1990s. It then
discusses the virtually seamless integration of keitai use into everyday life,
contrasting it to the more escapist character of Internet use on the PC. Other
essays suggest that the use of mobile communication reinforces ties between close
friends and family, producing "tele-cocooning" by tight-knit social groups. The book
also discusses mobile phone manners and examines keitai use by copier technicians,
multitasking housewives, and school children. Personal, Portable, Pedestrian
describes a mobile universe in which networked relations are a pervasive and
persistent fixture of everyday life.
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Weitere Infos & Material

Ito, Mizuko
Mizuko Ito is a cultural anthropologist who studies new media use, particularly
among young people, in Japan and the United States, and a Professor in Residence at
the University of California Humanities Research Institute.

Matsuda, Misa
Misa Matsuda is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Chuo University, Tokyo.

Okabe, Daisuke
Daisuke Okabe is Lecturer at the Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio
University, Shonan Fujisawa Campus, Japan.

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