© 2016

Mobile Communication and the Family

  • Sun Sun Lim

About this book


This volume captures the domestication of mobile communication technologies by families in Asia, and its implications for family interactions and relationships. It showcases research on families across a spectrum of socio-economic profiles, from both rural and urban areas, offering insights on children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly. While mobile communication diffuses through Asia at a blistering pace, families in the region are also experiencing significant changes in light of unprecedented economic growth, globalisation, urbanisation and demographic shifts. Asia is therefore at the crossroads of technological transformation and social change. This book analyses the interactions of these two contemporaneous trends from the perspective of the family, covering a range of family types including nuclear, multi-generational, transnational, and multi-local, spanning the continuum from the media-rich to the media have-less.

“Too long the subject of myths and stereotypes, Asian families’ lives are here sensitively analyzed in all their diversity in order to grasp how culture shapes and is shaped by the meaningful appropriation of new digital technologies within the home. In this welcome volume, authors expert across a range of countries and cultures unpack the emerging practices of technology domestication and use that matter to children and their families. Gender, religion, tradition and migration emerge as striking sources of asymmet

ry, while emotional and relational bonds are often enhanced rather than undermined by families’ uses of technology.”

Sonia Livingstone, Professor, Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics

“Ranging from the dilemmas of Filipino mothers who are trying to manage their families while overseas, to the struggle for control between Indonesian children and their parents over cell phone use – and most everything in between – this savvy collection of insightful studies from Asia lends new depth and insight concerning the paradoxes of mobile communication. As such, it is an important, nuanced addition to the understanding of the way communication technology challenges and re-creates social relationships.”

Professor James Katz, Feld Family Professor of Emerging Media & Executive Director, Center for Mobile Communication Studies, Boston University


Family communication in asia Growing portability of media devices in asia Internet and mobile phone trends in asia Media have-less families in asia Media-rich families in asia Mobile communication in asia Mobile communication technologies in asia Mobile communication technology Multi-generational families in asia Nuclear families in asia Shifts in communication practices in asia Single-parent families in asia Social change in asia Social shaping of technology in asia Technological transformation in asia Technology adoption in asia Technology domestication practices in asia Transnational families in asia

Editors and affiliations

  • Sun Sun Lim
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept of Communications and New MediNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

About the editors

Sun Sun Lim (PhD, LSE) is Associate Professor at the Department of Communications and New Media and Assistant Dean at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore. She studies the social implications of technology domestication by young people and families, charting the ethnographies of their Internet and mobile phone use. Her recent research has focused attention on understudied and marginalised populations including young children, youths-at-risk and migrants. She also conducts research on new media literacies, with a special focus on literacy challenges in parental mediation and young people’s Internet skills. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in Asia including in China, Indonesia, Singapore and South Korea. She has  published more than 50 articles and book chapters in notable edited volumes and leading international journals including the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media and New Media & Society. She is an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Children and Media, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, Social Media + Society and Mobile Media & Communication. Her other book Asian Perspectives on Digital Culture: Emerging Phenomena, Enduring Concepts (Routledge) is forthcoming in 2016.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Mobile Communication and the Family
  • Editors Sun Sun Lim
  • Series Title Mobile Communication in Asia: Local Insights, Global Implications
  • Series Abbreviated Title Mobile Communication in Asia: Local Insights, Global Implications
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-94-017-7439-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-024-1350-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-017-7441-3
  • Series ISSN 2468-2403
  • Series E-ISSN 2468-2411
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIII, 187
  • Number of Illustrations 4 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Communication Studies
    Quality of Life Research
    Cultural Studies
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“The book clarifies the importance of mobile connectivity among a variety of immigrant groups, making the book relevant well beyond Asia. … The book’s greatest strengths are that it extends the focus of migration and mobile communication research from North America and Europe to Asia, and that it takes seriously the understudied groups of migrants. … the book aids understanding why people who cross borders and leave their families behind … have a firm grip on their smartphones.” (Sakari Taipale, Asian Journal of Communication, June, 2016)