This paper will explore how mobile phone technologies can contribute to gendered identity formation. Eileen Green and Carrie Singleton in their article ‘Mobile Connections’, published in 2009, show how mobile phones, when paired with friendship and intimacy, help form gender identities. They show how mobiles can contribute to gendered identity formation firstly via understanding the historical use of landline phones. Secondly via exploring how the technology of the phone is used by the sample group of Young Pakistani-British people and how this social deterministic approach can show gendered identity is formed through ‘doing friendship’ on a mobile phone. Lastly how exploring the social contexts in which the phone is used, helping to understand how friendships and intimacy are displayed and reconfigured by the mobile phone to help form gendered identities.
Summary of the Article ‘Mobile Connections’:
Eileen Green and Carrie Singleton in their article ‘Mobile Connections’ aimed to make a contribution to the under-explored area of mobile phone use and gendered friendship. In order to do so they used data from a research in the North East of England; which offered insights on different cultures of masculinity and femininity amongst young Pakistani-British groups. Green and Singleton firstly discuss the over-explored area of friendship. Defining it to be a ‘…arena in which young people’s identities are constructed and negotiated around performance of different expressions of masculinity and femininity’ (Green and Singleton, 2009). Masculinity and femininity are defined as ‘…constructed, performed and contested aspects of identity…’ (Green and Singleton, 2009). Green and Singleton argue that new possibilities of feminine and masculinities will blend with more traditional representations of gendered identities. They do this firstly by exploring the traditional gendered practices of the landline phone. Then they go onto exploring the how mobiles have effected this sample with using different mechanisms. Such as domestication, social and technical deterministic approaches to understanding how the technology of the phone has reconfigured gender identities.
How Landline Telephone Research Contributes to the Mobile Phone: (??)
Green and Singleton argue that, viewing earlier research on the telephone would help to understand how current mobile technologies contribute to gendered identity formation. Richard Davis (2013) outlined how research in Western countries tends to focus on mobiles in relation to landlines. Such a comparison is made by Green and Singleton to better understand the formation of gendered identities with digital technologies. Previous research found that ‘social use of the telephone is gendered’ (Ling 1998). As Richard Ling’s (1998) data showed women’s use of the telephone to integral to their role as maintainers of the social network, and use of such a device as a form of social interaction. Other research mentioned by...