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Friday, 30 August 2013 16:43

Towards a Mobile Ethnography of Situated Globalities Featured

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Towards a Mobile Ethnography of Situated Globalities

Fay (2007) gives an account of his cyberethnographic research of the international women’s university Technology and culture. He also examines the network the participants have formed in the ifu’s virtual extension, Vifu.  The author has provided a description of the methodology and challenges he faced while conducting the research. In addition, the researcher examined the methodology of the study on a conceptual level. He also examined the importance of carrying out an online study   in order to understand the mobile nature.  The online study enabled him understand how the subjects negotiate belonging and mobility in their worlds and v (ifu) network.  The increase in technologically mediated communication has changed belonging as the physical location is not the only point for belonging.  The reference point for belonging can be in any other place. 

Technology has changed research as it has become internet research instead of focusing on the internet (Fay 2007).  The researcher dud research on Ifu and Vifu to understand how women experienced and reflected upon their mobility.  The researcher experienced numerous challenges when conducting research. He realized that every question needed a different investigator position and research tools.  Therefore, the author has shown the impact of technology on research, mobility and belonging. As a student researcher, I have experienced similar problems when doing research.  The technology development has led to use of different tools for research and research methods. Researchers do not research on the internet, but use the internet to carry out research. They use different research tools provided by the internet to carry out research. This has enabled them to study how the social network and technology have impacted people in the society (Fay 2007).

Mobile technology development has improved communication as many people communicate using mobile phones.   Mobile phone calls have increased for the past years due to technology growth. Also, traveling has improved as technology has overcome barriers such as distance. People can travel, move to other places and migrate and still remain connected with their families and friends back at their homes.  The researchers examined how the strong ties are spatially distributed and maintained via specific geographies of meetings, communications and travel.  The researchers determined how strong ties get together, communicate at a distance and write. Also, they examined to what extent distance determines regularity ( Larsen, Axhausen & Urry 2006).  Further, the researchers determined to what degree are communications improving or substituting physical travel. Lastly, the researchers determined to what extend far flung tie and emotional networking at a distance are features of most people other than the elites and poor migrants.  The researchers’ claim that social sciences gave ignored the importance of travel and distant communication to daily life. As a result, the researchers have developed mobile methods.  The methods highlight the 5 interdependent mobilities that constitute geographies of social networks in the world. They include physical travel of people, physical movement of objects, imaginative travel, virtual travel and communicative travel. Mobile technology has changed   how I communicate and interact with my friends and family members. Though I have moved away from my parents and friends, I communicate with them using the mobile technology. This has eliminated the distance between us and ensured we are connected ( Larsen, Axhausen & Urry  2006).

 Steinberg (2009) has examined boundaries. Theorists in different disciplines including geography have realized that boundaries are not lines that surround and define territories. Boundaries play a vital function as they regulate (Steinberg, 2009). Boundaries result from acts of movement. Movements away, across and within the territory being bounded result to the territory being bounded. In order to understand the history of a territory, one should go beyond tracing him spatial fixed   actions that happen within the territory. One should trace the acts of movement that happen within, outside and across the boundaries of the territory. Therefore, one cannot understand   the construction of the inside space without understanding the development of  outside space as a place for mobility considered unsuitable for  the control of the territory (Steinberg  2009). 

The researchers have applied this perspective to the sovereign state and World Ocean as the space of mobility outside the boundaries of the units that make up the modern world.  Hence, the researcher has helped people understand what constitutes a boundary and the importance of boundary in daily life.   The researchers have provided a clear description of territory and boundary in the modern world to enable the reader understand the modern territory.    Most readers like me have no knowledge on the modern territory. They do not understand what constitutes a modern territory and its significance in everyday life. Theorists have recognized the significance of modern territory and have examined the role of modern territory in the society. In habitant land is grouped into independent sovereign units that constitute a person’s identity and citizenship. Every territory I controlled by the government that secures the boundaries, plots the land inside, organizes and coordinates  production of value from the human and natural resources (Steinberg  2009).

 Researchers have examined global connections.  They have referred to Michael Burawoy’s and George Marcus global and multi sited ethnographies.  Tough the ethnographies have motivated transnational research; the methodologies have not adequately examined the social global dichotomy.  Therefore, the researcher has proposed a new framework to examine the local global dichotomy.  The researcher uses the actor network theory to study mobile ethnography. The researcher had developed an empirical approach to situated and plural globalities. He has used various metaphors including mobility, cartography and scale making (Blok 2010). 

The researcher has developed his argument well and provided evidence to support his claim.  He has used Japanese whaling practices to support his argument. He has managed to show how ethno-socio-cartography   can aid in the mapping of the global scale micro cosmoses.   The Japanese whaling has an instance of globality and hence suitable to examine the topic.  The researcher   examined   the number f whales in the world as different media gave different features. According to the information on the can of whales, there are a total of 760,000 whales in the world. He used information from the transnational science of cetology, international whaling commission   and Japanese fisheries Agency. The actor network theory is different from other methods used before to study local and global dichotomy.  The actor network theory examines the socio-geographical scale making issues.  Hence, the theory is essential in understanding the mapping of whales (Blok 2010).  


 Blok, A. Mapping the Super-Whale: Towards a Mobile Ethnography of Situated Globalities. Mobilities. (2010). 5(4):507-528

Fay, M. Mobile Subjects, Mobile Methods.  FQS. (2007). 8(3)

 Larsen, J., Axhausen, K.W., & Urry,J. Geographies of Social Networks: Meetings, Travel and Communications. Mobilities. (2006.1(2):261-283

 Steinberg, P.E. Sovereignty, Territory, and the Mapping of Mobility. Annals of the association of American geographers. (2009). 99(3):467-495


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