This edited volume is the first book-length study focusing entirely on mobile phone use in China. Drawing on examples from a wide range of contemporary situations in China and beyond, the contributors argue that the mobile phone is in fact an important means by which one can understand a rapidly changing China, and the developing culture of mobile phone usage reflects both the cultural norms and struggle of the people.
Through a theoretical comparison of usage in the West and in China, the editors assert the uniqueness of China’s experience, highlighting that Chinese society is being exposed simultaneously to a rapid process of industrialization and cyberization. The contributors maintain that such density of experience under a compressed period combined with a thick cultural heritage and a country still under a dictating rule provides a unique situation and offers deep insights into Chinese culture in general.
This work will be of great interest to all students and scholars of Asian communication studies, ICT and Chinese culture and society.
Table of Contents
1. The Great Mobile Revolution and the Chinese Encounter: An Introduction Rodney Wai-Chi CHU Part I Overview: From Global to China 2. From West to East and Beyond: Main Tenets in the Studies of the Mobile Phone Leopoldina FORTUNATI 3. Riding the Double Juggernaut: Depicting the Chinese Mobile Communication Context Rodney Wai-Chi CHU Part II Theory, History and Comparison 4. Mobile Communication and the Fourth Communicative Revolution Leopoldina FORTUNATI 5. The History of the Mobile Phone in China Jing WANG and Chung-Tai CHENG 6. Comparative Development of the Mobile Phone in China and Japan Eric HARWIT 7. Mobile Communication and Individualization in Europe and in China, Leopoldina FORTUNATI and Pui-lam LAW Part III Techno-social Interplay: Culture and Identity Tension 8. Mobile Networks and Civil Society: Philosophical Reflections on Organizing Social Participation in the Context of Chinese Society Silvia ELALUF-CALDERWOOD 9. Social Networks and Individualism: Some Issues on the Role of the Mobile Phone in Urban China, Boxu YANG 10. The Identity and Sociability of the Mobile Phone in China, Leopoldina FORTUNATI and Shanhua YANG Part IV Exploring Chineseness of Mobile Phone Use 11. College Students’ Self-positioning and the Cell Phone Consumption Jing SONG and Shanhua YANG 12. Romance and Sexual Ideologies in SMS Manuals Circulating among Migrant Workers in Southern China Mei-Lee Angel LIN 13. Mobile Phone Usage in Chinese Society Yinni PENG and Rodney Wai-Chi CHU 14. Privatizing Public Spaces and Personalizing Private Spaces: The Challenge of Mobile Communication in Beijing, Boxu YANG with Gai BO & Li LI
Rodney Wai-chi Chu is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. His research interest is focusing on China’s modernization, with particular reference to the socio-cultural dimension of ICTs on contemporary Chinese.
Leopoldina Fortunati is Professor of Sociology of Communication and Sociology of Cultural Processes in the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Udine. She has conducted several researches in the field of gender studies, cultural processes and communication technologies.
Pui-lam Law is currently assistant professor in the Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and visiting research fellow at the Centre for Creative Industries Studies of Peking University. His research interest is on modernity and social development in China.
Shanhua Yang is Professor in the Department of Sociology at Peking University. He conducts field research in various areas of China, including Shanxi, Zhejiang, Hebei, Sichuan, Guangdong, and Shanghai, and has published extensively on rural Chinese society and the lives of rural Chinese, including migrant workers.