New book on mobile communication
March 31st, 2008

Today marks the publication of a new book by sociologist Rich Ling, titled New Tech, New Ties: How Mobile Communication Is Reshaping Social Cohesion. In it, Ling explores the complex implications of mobile communication for long-distance and local relationships. He argues that although it helps strengthen social ties with friends and family, it often does so at the expense of those who are physically present, a phenomenon he refers to as “bounded solidarity.” He incorporates the work of sociologists, such as Emile Durkheim and Erving Goffman, he examines how mobile communication affects face-to-face rituals, and engenders its own. Using findings from around the world, Ling articulates mobile communication’s potential to both enable and degrade social cohesion in small groups.

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