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The Wonder Phone in the Land of Miracles. Mobile Telephony in Israel

TitleThe Wonder Phone in the Land of Miracles. Mobile Telephony in Israel
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsCohen, A, Lemish, D, Schejter, A
PublisherHampton Press, Inc
CityCresskill, NJ
KeywordsIsrael, mobile, technology, Telephone

Studies conducted over several years in Israel explored social aspects of the developing mobile phone phenomenon. Using a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods the research examined the place that the "Wonder Phone" has been occupying in many facets of life. It was concluded that the mobile is "not only talk"--as a recent campaign slogan of one of Israel's mobile providers suggests. Rather, it is a medium through which Israelis define their gendered and national identities; it offers an experience of "being there" and a security net holding family members and loved ones together, especially in terms of terror and war; and it provides a lifeline during existential crises around which rituals of mourning are crystallized. In analyzing the mobile phone as it is contextualized in Israeli society, two opposing social forces can clearly be seen: on the one hand, the mobile is an expression of late modernity and globalization; but on the other hand it is recruited as a tool--as well as a symbol--for the expression of locality and patriotic sentiments.