Base station fears

the paradox of mobile geography

Alex Law*, Wallace McNeish, Linda Gray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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
JournalGeography
Volume88
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003

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intimacy
geography
anxiety
protest
everyday life
risk perception
communication
station
mobile phone
public

Cite this

Law, Alex ; McNeish, Wallace ; Gray, Linda. / Base station fears : the paradox of mobile geography. In: Geography. 2003 ; Vol. 88, No. 4. pp. 320-330.
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Base station fears : the paradox of mobile geography. / Law, Alex; McNeish, Wallace; Gray, Linda.

In: Geography, Vol. 88, No. 4, 10.2003, p. 320-330.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T2 - the paradox of mobile geography

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AU - McNeish, Wallace

AU - Gray, Linda

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AB - 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.

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