Wednesday, 17 September 2014, 3pm
CNM Meeting room, AS6, #03-33
This talk will cover several areas of research with the common thread being mobile communication. In one way or another, the mobile phone or mobile communication is involved in all the work. That said, the talk will move in several different directions. These range from fine grained ethnographic analysis of the mobile phone’s introduction in Myanmar, to survey analysis of the transition to digital news (consumed on mobile devices), to the examination of large databases to understand diffusion of contagious diseases, to using large databases to examine the structure of our closest social sphere. These different research activities will help policy makers and business leaders to understand how mobile communication affects traditional culture (the work in Myanmar); how it is in the process of restructuring news organizations; how to approach the management of disease; and how to conceptualize the core social networks. In a broader sense, the work is motivated in some cases, by the urge to capture the transition of society as it confronts new technological solutions. In other cases, it is motivated by the desire to use the mobile phone as a probe that can help to illuminate fundamental social structures.
Rich Ling (PhD, University of Colorado, Sociology) is the Shaw Foundation Professor of Media Technology at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He also works at Telenor Research and has an adjunct position at the University of Michigan. Prof. Ling has studied the social consequences of mobile communication for the past two decades. He has written The Mobile Connection (Morgan Kaufmann, 2004), New Tech, New Ties (MIT, 2008) and most recently Taken for Grantedness (MIT, 2012). He is a founding co-editor of Mobile Media and Communication (Sage) and the Oxford University Press series Studies in Mobile Communication.