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Friday, October 12 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
Revisiting Perpetual Contact: Global Voices On The Connective Potentials And Constraints Of Mobile Media

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The theory of “perpetual contact” was initially developed in the age of feature phones to discuss how the availability and portability afforded by mobile phones brings opportunities and risks. Since then, the rapid development of social media, alongside the popularization of smartphones, commercial platforms, media convergence, and wireless connectivity across the globe, has expanded the scope of perpetual contact. Now, more than ever, people can be constantly connected with distant others around the globe. This panel brings together a group of international researchers who examine perpetual contact in light of today’s mobile media. Four contributions, together with a notable area scholar serving as the respondent, raise critical debates and ask the following questions: What are the consequences when perpetual contact intervenes in maintaining relationships with family, friends, and colleagues, as well as the wider local and national community? How do diverse global social and cultural contexts affect experiences of perpetual contact? How does perpetual contact inform social change at personal, interpersonal, economic, political, and industrial levels? The four empirical contributions cover topics as diverse as long-distance nationalism, weak-bond friend maintenance, migrant-workers’ personal network and their mental health, and algorithmic management in the gig economy. Diverse contexts (the Philippines, US, China, Europe, and Taiwan) and methodological approaches (questionnaire survey, in-depth interview, ethnography, and online ethnography) are presented. The panel thus amplifies the voices of individuals with a range of subjectivities while also demonstrating the agency that people across geographies implement when determining how to initiate, sustain, and negotiate perpetual contact.


Friday October 12, 2018 11:00am - 12:30pm
Sheraton - Salon 6

Attendees (10)