New Technologies

Authored by: Jennie Germann Molz

The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415667715
eBook ISBN: 9781315857572
Adobe ISBN: 9781317934134

10.4324/9781315857572.ch53

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Abstract

The ‘new’ in ‘new technologies’ has a surprisingly long shelf life. After all, most of the technologies encompassed in the term ‘new technologies’ – phones, cameras, wireless communications, computers, global positioning systems and the Internet – can hardly be considered new anymore. When we talk about new technologies, then, we are in many cases referring not to the technology itself, but rather to the disruptive effects of technological innovation on the social landscape. As Hesse-Biber (2011: 4) explains, new or emergent technologies are those technologies that ‘introduce a significant break in the way individuals, groups and society as a whole conduct their everyday activities, as well as add new dimensions to our understanding of the social world.’ Telephony, photography and computing may not be new, strictly speaking, but three related and relatively recent technological innovations have renewed these old technologies in ways that have significant practical and epistemological implications for mobile methods.

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