Base station fears: the paradox of mobile geography

Alex Law*, Wallace McNeish, Linda Gray

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    This article discusses a central paradox behind mobile geography - mobile phones are ubiquitous and bodily intimate technologies, yet the public seems particularly fearful of any spatial proximity to mobile phone masts. Such fears are generally understood in terms of 'risk perception', an irrational consequence of media hype, faulty cognitive processing, or communication failure. This merely psychologises what is a deeply spatial paradox. The routine 'nomadic intimacy' of mobile phone use establishes place as a mere backdrop to being always 'on-call', too absorbed in the 'busy-ness' of everyday life to notice what is close at hand. In contrast, what we term 'place intimacy' becomes evident when public protest over the unwanted intrusion of phone masts helps refashion familiar places as meaningful, safe and worth protecting.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)320-330
    Number of pages11
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003


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