The Cell Phone : An Anthropology of Communication book cover
1st Edition

The Cell Phone
An Anthropology of Communication

ISBN 9781845204013
Published August 1, 2020 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

Few modern innovations have spread quite so quickly as the cell phone. This technology has transformed communication throughout the world. Mobile telecommunications have had a dramatic effect in many regions, but perhaps nowhere more than for low-income populations in countries such as Jamaica, where in the last few years many people have moved from no phone to cell phone. This book reveals the central role of communication in helping low-income households cope with poverty. The book traces the impact of the cell phone from personal issues of loneliness and depression to the global concerns of the modern economy and the transnational family. As the technology of social networking, the cell phone has become central to establishing and maintaining relationships in areas from religion to love. The Cell Phone presents the first detailed ethnography of the impact of this new technology through the exploration of the cell phone's role in everyday lives.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Introduction Chapter Two: Infrastructure Chapter Three: Locations Chapter Four: Possession Chapter Five: Link-Up Chapter Six: Coping Chapter Seven: Pressure Chapter Eight: Welfare Chapter Nine: Evaluation

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Daniel Miller teaches in the Department of Anthropology, University College London. Heather A Horst is Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for New Media, University of California Berkeley.


A landmark in mobile phone studies that will appeal to a wide audience and that is likely to frame debates in this field for some time to come. - Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute