Mobile Communication in Myanmar

Authored by: Rich Ling , Chitra Panchapakesan , Rajiv Aricat , Elisa Oreglia , May O. Lwin

The Routledge Companion to Global Internet Histories

Print publication date:  February  2017
Online publication date:  February  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138812161
eBook ISBN: 9781315748962
Adobe ISBN: 9781317607656


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To contextualize the development of the Internet in the Global South, it is useful to examine the adoption and use of mobile communication. Indeed, this communication form is often people’s first meeting with mediated communication and digital information access. Mobile communication has affected both business processes and social life across the world. Mobile communication has reconfigured the work processes in a range of business sectors while bringing in economic benefits to the stakeholders (Cáceres et al. 2012; Donner and Escobari 2010; Ling et al. 2015). Mobile phones have helped achieve new spatio-temporalities in everyday experiences, connections, and relationships (Haddon 2013; Kraemer 2015). Mobile phones in post-colonial societies are at the nexus of the negotiation between modernity and traditional customs (Ling and Horst 2011). Mobile phones have challenged, but not replaced, the myths and folk beliefs surrounding morality, friendship, and socially acceptable relationships (Andersen 2013; Archambault 2013; Lipset 2013; Tenhunen 2008). Mobile phones have mediated gift exchanges in Papua New Guinea (Andersen 2013) and have helped arrange sexual liaisons in Jamaica (Horst and Miller 2005). Migrants have appropriated them to gain social support (Qiu 2008) and to communicate with family and loved ones in faraway homes (Madianou and Miller 2011). Indeed, the social and the professional overlap in the day-today use of mobile phones (Donner 2009).

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