Review of Communication Research

COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY                                                                                                 

Title & Authors

Mobile Communication and Network Privatism: A Literature Review of the Implications for Diverse, Weak, and New Ties

Scott W. Campbell (University of Michigan, USA)

Highlights

• Research on the implications of mobile communication for social network connectivity has emphasized its role in strengthening core ties by tightening the flows of network connectivity.

• Some theorists argue that mobile communication may constrain contact with diverse, weak, and new ties when time and attention is drawn (socially) inward toward close personal ties.

• Synthesizing the literature, this article offers the concept of “Network Privatism” to characterize theoretical propositions that mobile communication constrains contact with diverse, weak, and new ties.

• Review and analysis of available empirical findings resulted in notably limited support for perspectives that mobile communication constrains diverse, weak, and new tie contact.

• Additionally, the review helps map out the conceptual and methodological terrain as this line of inquiry develops along with evolutions in technological affordances and social practices.

Abstract

Most of the research on the implications of mobile communication for social networks has focused on its uses and consequences in the intimate realm of close friends, family, and loved ones. A number of scholars have also become interested in ways that mobile communication helps and hinders the broader realm of network connectivity, including diverse, weak, and new ties. A collection of theoretical perspectives on mobile communication and diverse, weak, and new ties proposes that heightened connectivity in the intimate realm can come at the expense of being engaged more broadly – a scenario I characterize as network privatism. At the same time, the available empirical research in the literature tends to tell a different story, or rather stories. This analysis brings theory and empirical findings into closer conversation with one another by reviewing and synthesizing the literature in this area. Observed patterns in the literature offer new insight into questions of mobile communication and network privatism, while also pointing to opportunities for refinement of theory, analysis, and measurement as this line of inquiry further develops.

Content

THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES ON MOBILE COMMUNICATION AND NETWORK PRIVATISM

Connected Presence through the Connected Mode of Mobile Communication

From Connected Presence to Bounded Solidarity

Telecocooning

Monadic Clusters

CONFRONTING THEORY WITH EMPIRICAL FINDINGS

Mobile Communication and Network Diversity

Constraint

Overshadowed

Support

Mobile Communication and Weak Ties

Constraint

Overshadowed

Supportive

Mobile Communication and New Ties

Constraint

Overshadowed

Supportive

DISCUSSION

Table 1. Sources of Empirical Findings by Category

Concluding Remarks

REFERENCES

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Mobile communication and network privatism: A literature review of the implications for diverse, weak, and new ties

Scott W. Campbell

 

Keywords: Mobile Communication; Mobile Phone; Cell Phone; Network Privatism; Diversity; Weak Ties; New Ties; Social Networks

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How to cite

Campbell, S. W. (2015). Mobile communication and network privatism: A literature review of the implications for diverse, weak, and new ties. Review of Communication Research, 3 (1), 1-21. doi: 10.12840/issn.2255-4165.2015.03.01.006

Keywords

Mobile Communication; Mobile Phone; Cell Phone; Network Privatism; Diversity; Weak Ties; New Ties; Social Networks.

Repositories

Permanent repositories where you can find this article:

Internet Archive (Community Texts) @ https://archive.org/details/texts

Academia.edu @ http://independent.academia.edu/ReviewofCommunicationResearch

Social Science Open Access Repository @ http://www.ssoar.info/en/home.html

About the Author

Scott W. Campbell, PhD is Pohs Professor of Telecommunications and Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan. His research helps explain mobile communication behaviors and consequences. Campbell’s work is published in Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, Communication Monographs, Communication Research, New Media & Society, Mobile Media & Communication, and other venues. He has also co-edited two books (with Rich Ling) for the Mobile Communication Research Series and collaborated with the Pew Internet & American Life Project on a national study of teens and mobile communication. Campbell is an associate editor of Human Communication Research and serves on the editorial boards for Journal of Communication, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. New Media & Society, Mobile Media & Communication, Communication Reports, and Revista Chilena de Communicación. More at: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/comm/facultystaff/faculty/campbellscott_ci

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