The local context of mobile phone use in Russia.
Research output: Contribution to conference - NOT published in proceeding or journal › Conference abstract for conference › Research › peer-review
Mobile telephony research has repeatedly shown that adoption of mobile phones plays a substantial role in the development of social cohesion and perceptions of social capital in personal networks (Ling, 2008). Moreover, mobile phones enable people to maintain broader networks of shallow and long-distance ties that can be useful for certain types of support (Horst & Miller, 2006). Although Russians were relatively late to broadly adopt mobile telephony, by 2005 Russia had the fourth largest number of mobile subscribers in the world (Gladarev, 2006). Despite such breadth of adoption, the social consequences of mobile phone use and the dynamics of use in social situations are relatively understudied.
This paper presents results from a study of the role of mobile telephony in the lives of adults (30-60 years old) in Russia. The analysis is based on 50 interviews collected in capital cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg and in three regional population centers in different parts of the country, focusing on users’ social networks in their cultural and local context. Results suggest that while mobile phones do allow respondents to maintain broader shallow networks useful for business transactions and information gathering, the majority of phone use is directed toward deepening existing strong ties to local family and friends. While people in capital cities cannot imagine life without their mobile phones, people in regional population centers are less attached to the technology, emphasizing in-person interaction with local contacts and occasional phone conversations with long distance ties. However, the very ability to maintain phone contact with long distance ties can result in perceptions of greater social capital for those whose friendship network had dispersed over the years.
|Publication status||Published - 2011|
|Event||Internet Research 12.0 - Performance and Participation : 12th annual conference of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) - Seattle, United States|
Duration: 10 Oct 2011 → 13 Oct 2011
Conference number: 12th
|Conference||Internet Research 12.0 - Performance and Participation|
|Period||10/10/2011 → 13/10/2011|