The Cellphone-in-the-Countryside: On Some of the Ironic Spatialities of Technonature

Michael, Mike. 2009. The Cellphone-in-the-Countryside: On Some of the Ironic Spatialities of Technonature. In: Damian F White and Chris Wilbert, eds. Technonatures: Environments, Technologies, Spaces, and Places in the Twenty-first Century. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, pp. 85-104. ISBN 978-1554581504 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

A central theme of this book is how the purifying rhetoric of much environmentalist discourse increasingly fails to capture the complex entanglements and constructions of technologies, natures, and social life. In this chapter I develop this theme by exploring some of the complexities that surround the cellphone when considered in the seemingly alien context of the countryside. I begin with the assumption that neither "cellphone" nor "countryside" is a priori distinct: rather, my focus is on the "cellphone-in-the-countryside" - the hyphenation indicating that cellphone and countryside are partly co-constituted through their relations to each other (as well as through other relations). This co-constitution is both material and semiotic and entails a straddling and muddling of numerous dichotomies that have characterized Western modernist modes of thought (e.g., Latour 1993). As we shall see, these dichotomies include technology and nature, rural and urban, public and private, domesticated and wild, local and global, the qualitative and the quantitative, and safe and risky.

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Date Deposited:

23 Apr 2010 13:14

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 11:12


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