CFP: Special Issue of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

From SMS to Smartphones: Tracing the Impact of the Mobile Phone in Asia

Deadline for abstracts: 30 June 2012

Decisions to authors: 15 July 2012

Full paper submission: 30 October 2012

Decisions: 30 January 2013

Revised paper submission: 30 April 2013

Final proofs: 30 June 2013

Issue publication: October 2013

The mobile phone has had a discernible impact on Asia, given its affordability, versatility and ubiquity as the key platform for computer-mediated communication. It has been widely deployed in virtually every aspect of everyday life, be it in commerce, politics, governance, education, religion, entertainment or recreation. The diversity and complexity of this fast-growing region has birthed innovative and ground-breaking applications of the mobile phone. While basic feature phones are already a mainstay in both rural and urban Asia, the smartphone is now rapidly diffusing through the region at a rate exceeding the rest of the world. Bringing the idea of the ubiquitous web to fruition, the smartphone’s heightened connectivity and thriving app market are enabling yet more revolutionary uses of the mobile phone. While the rising adoption of the smartphone burgeons with potential for civic action, commercial enterprise, employment and educational opportunities and social serviceprovision, challenges are also emerging for consumers, industries and governments alike.

The early phase of mobile communication research was influenced by studies and theorization from North America and Europe. Spurred on by the wide diffusion of mobiles globally, research is now very much seeking to understand the international underpinnings of this form of mediated communication, especially as it increasingly blurs the lines between computers, Internet, and phones. Over the past decade, Asian research has been important in addressing the rapid diffusion, transformation, and shift in mobiles. Such research is growing, but is still relatively incipient. Against this backdrop, this special issue seeks to bring together the latest research findings, regional understandings, conceptualizations, and theories of the mobile in Asia. Article proposals are sought for topics including but not limited to the following:

  • does a digital divide exist in Asia with regard to mobile phone penetration and usage trends and if so, how can and should they be remedied?
  • what are the implications of the development of mobiles – especially smartphones and mobile Internet – for contemporary media in Asia?
  • how is the growing proliferation of the smartphone facilitating unprecedented forms and scales of communication?
  • how do issues of broad infrastructure provisions and market pricing influence the behaviour of mobile phone users?
  • how are the location based services offered by smartphones altering user behaviour and lifestyles?
  • how does mobile Internet use complement and possibly complicate fixed location Internet use?
  • what implications does the growth of smartphone apps have for the cultural complexion of Asian countries?
  • how is the mobile phone serving the needs of marginalised communities in Asia?
  • to what extent do smartphones and the behaviour which they enable test the boundaries of existing regulatory frameworks?
  • how does the rising ubiquity of the smartphone and by implication, that of always-on, always-available Internet access challenge prevailing theoretical frameworks relating to inter alia, technology acceptance, mobility, communication, social influence and identity?

Please submit an 800 word abstract and a 100 word biographical note to both special issue editors as an e-mail attachment no later than 30 June 2012.  Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by 15 July 2012 and invited to submit a full paper. Manuscripts should be no more than 8,000 words, including notes and references, conform to APA style, and submitted by 30 October, 2012.  All papers will be subject to anonymous peer review following submission.

Special issue editors:

Sun Sun LIM, National University of Singapore, sunlim@nus.edu.sg

Gerard Goggin, University of Sydney, gerard.goggin@sydney.edu.au