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Mobile media technologies and public space : a study of the effect of mobile, wireless and MP3 related technologies on human behaviour and interaction in shopping malls.

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This dissertation explores Mobile Media Technologies (MMT’s) namely, cellphones, laptops and MP3 players, and their prevalence in public space as well as how they are being used within the space. Much of my research analyses the impact of MMT’s on social behaviour and the extent to which they can be seen as the harbingers of a new “postmodern” form of social organisation. My research is predominantly an observational study which is conducted within the postmodern space of the shopping mall. Through my research I discuss the multiple spaces within the shopping mall environment and I explore how humans behave, interact and construct their identities within this space; these ideas are evaluated in terms of the “modern” and the “postmodern” paradigms. “Postmodernity” and “modernity” are not mutually exclusive and as a result there are ambivalences in terms of how individuals relate to how MMT’s are being used in public space.


Thesis (M.A.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2008.


Mobile communication systems--Social aspects., Wireless communication systems--Social aspects., Communication--Technological innovations--Social aspects., MP3 (Audio coding standard)--Social aspects., Technology--Social aspects--South Africa., Cell phones--Social aspects., Internet--Social aspects., Theses--Media and cultural studies.