Abstract - The Information Society 24(3)

Reorienting the Mobile: Australasian Imaginaries

Gerard Goggin

In this paper, I approach the question of mobiles in Asian countries by considering the case of Australia. I do so by way of a preliminary inquiry that seeks to explore the intersection between the emergence of mobiles in Australia with transformations in that country¹s sense of its relationship with Asia. Firstly, I discuss the history of the mobile phone in Australia, noting some important uses and representations that formed part of its social shaping. Secondly, I explore mobiles and the paradoxes of multiculturalism, and also how digital technologies became central to political culture and identity debates in Australia in the early-to-mid-1990s. Thirdly, I look at some important moments in the social shaping of text messaging, in which questions of cultural difference were decisive. Finally, I offer concluding remarks about future research on mobiles in Australia and how they are tied into Asian identities.


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