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Displacing Place: Mobile Communication in the Twenty-First Century

Editor: Sharon Kleinman
Publisher: New York: Peter Lang, 2007
Review Published: November 2009

 REVIEW 1: Kevin Douglas Kuswa
 REVIEW 2: Katheryn Wright
 AUTHOR RESPONSE: Sharon Kleinman

First, I thank David Silver for his herculean efforts with the Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies (RCCS). All of us who are interested in social and technological trends have benefited tremendously from his work.

In our time-pressed culture, it is not a small thing -- it is a big deal -- to dedicate personal time and energy to reading and responding to other people's work. I am tremendously grateful to the reviewers, Kevin Douglas Kuswa and Katheryn Wright, for sharing their excellent comments about Displacing Place: Mobile Communication in the Twenty-first Century. I always learn from reviews; earlier reviews of Displacing Place helped me as I edited the newly-released follow-up volume, The Culture of Efficiency: Technology in Everyday Life (Peter Lang, August 2009).

Displacing Place focuses on the portable technologies that connect us to people, information, and entertainment anytime and anywhere -- mobile phones, global positioning systems, laptop and handheld computers, digital media players, and so forth -- addressing some of their extensive and often unforeseen uses and impacts. The Culture of Efficiency, in comparison, examines a broader array of efficiency-oriented technologies and practices and their implications for individuals, organizations, society, and the environment. The 21 chapters in this new volume explore radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, bicycle and car sharing programs, smart homes, electronic medical records, food delivery innovations, reproductive technologies, mindfulness training regimens, technology sabbaticals, and more.

Displacing Place brings together 14 essays about mobile communication by leading-edge scholars and practitioners from communication, psychology, medicine, environmental studies, law, international relations, journalism, criminology, cultural studies, and education. Drawing on their own disciplinary perspectives and extensive expertise, the authors grapple with these vital and timely questions:

  • How are mobile information and communication technologies altering the way people work, play, learn, teach, and relate to one another?

  • How are they impacting interpersonal relationships, communities, and the environment?

  • How are they changing urban life?

  • How are they contributing to democratic discourse, social activism, and awareness and understanding of current events?

  • How can they be employed to narrow the knowledge and socioeconomic status divides?

  • How are people using, modifying, and resisting them to meet changing needs, desires, and values?

  • How can we promote environmental and human health in all places as we continue to imaginatively devise and adopt technologies for displacing place?
Displacing Place: Mobile Communication in the Twenty-first Century offers valuable insights about the complex and, of course, still evolving ways that mobile communication is affecting how we live, work, play, learn, teach, relate to one another, and love in the twenty-first century. I hope that readers find Displacing Place as well as the new volume, The Culture of Efficiency, enjoyable and informative. It was a pleasure to work with the contributing authors on these projects.

Sharon Kleinman


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