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Technology and Communication

Robin Mansell

Subject Communication and Media Studies » Communication Studies
Media System » Communication Technology

Key-Topics technology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


As users we will come to rely on our handset as a single device to manage not just communications but much of our lives. It will truly become a “remote control for life,” with massively enhanced capabilities, advanced methods of user interaction and in-built tools … The substantial change that end users are going to witness has become possible more because the underlying infrastructure has become stable than because it is rapidly evolving. ( Webb 2007 , 35) This quotation offers a technologist's view of the potential of technological advance for new modes of communicative interaction based, in this instance, on innovations in handset technology. In this view, by the early part of the twenty-first century technological innovation in the fields of engineering concerned with the underlying communication infrastructure had stabilized, offering a foundation for current and yet to be imagined applications ( Gilder 2000 ). This observation echoes many of the technologically deterministic views that are frequently criticized in the humanities and social science literature that considers the relationship between technology and communication. In the humanities and the social sciences it is generally understood that research and theory building in this area must be historically situated. Thus Smythe argued, for example, that technology and its relationship to communication are dynamically ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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