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Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life (MIT Press) Paperback – September 8, 2006
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"Geert Lovink taught me how to think critically about technology, and I always turn to him for thoughtful and humane analysis. Too few technology writers have any sense of social and cultural context, and too few technology critics have an appreciation of why people find technologies attractive and how they improve people's lives. I recommend Dark Fiber to those who haven't yet learned to think critically about Internet technology and the culture that has grown up around it, and to those critics who fail to see the real advantages afforded by the Internet."--Howard Rheingold, author of *The Virtual Community* and *Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution*
This is an important book. Through a range of well designed and intelligently contextualized case studies, it both locates and dislocates common assumptions about the singularities of technology and of culture in determining how the 'keitai' is finding its place in Japanese society. Reaching beyond Japan and beyond the mobile phone, the book provides a theortetically rich and empirically sophisticated template for all future work which seeks to understand the nature of sociotechnical change in personal communications.(Roger Silverstone, Professor of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science)
Lead users play a key role in determining the fate of both technological and industrial development in the digital era. The only way we can fully understand the astonishing development of 'keitai' services is through a multi-perspective analysis of Japan's youth, the cutting-edge lead users of mobile technology. This book is critical to thinking about technological advancement in the 21st century.(Ichiya Nakamura, Executive Director, Stanford Japan Center)
About the Author
Misa Matsuda is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Chuo University, Tokyo.
Daisuke Okabe is Lecturer at the Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University, Shonan Fujisawa Campus, Japan.
Mizuko Ito is Research Scientist at the University of California Humanities Research Institute.
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Top Customer Reviews
I first heard about this book from Trip Hawkins, during a mobile track of the Game Developer Conference. This was before the iPhone came out. While the iPhone may have changed how mobile apps are built and sold, this book remains a classic.
What I learned from PPP was how a teenage Japanese girl began to use her pager and ketai. I learned how she, and others like her, became the social nexus of a new phenomenon. Now, with carriers transitioning from SMS to data plans, this book helps me to ask the question: "who's the leading way" - in a way that might yield a useful answer.
On a business level, the book can be used for ideas into future usages, in Japan or elsewhere. If you are trying to find a novel business involving cellphones, it helps to study a society that has taken them further.
In the introduction to Personal, Portable, Pedestrian by Mizuko Ito, the audience is told to expect an explanation of keitai use, not just specifically to Japan but to a global stage as well. It states: “This introduction serves to locate the keitai as a particular sociocultural object in relation to the international state of mobile communications adoption and sociocultural research” (Ito 1). With this in mind, I read PPP through two lenses, one of a Japanese perspective and one of an international perspective. This global perspective was virtually absent however, a flaw I found to be overwhelming. The book allowed me to relate it as best I could to my own experiences and life but offered little expertise to assist me in doing so.
The amount of repetition within Personal, Portable, Pedestrian was unnecessary and consequentially distracting. For example, chapter one served as a helpful preview of many things later explained in the book, however, an introduction for that purpose precisely had already preceded it. Its section “from a business tool to a youth medium” is explained copiously in chapter three and four, its topic of family and gender is deeply illuminated in chapter eleven, and its explanation of the effect on interpersonal relationships is clarified in all of section three and much of section four.
With that said, "Personal Portable Pedestrian" is informative and a great source for discovering more about Keitai. The authors that are responsible for each section are qualified and educated about the topic. It is filled with visual aids that support the specific arguments that each author is making. It is safe to say that the authors weren't attempting to write a book that would be a captivating read. In the end, I recommend "Personal Portable Pedestrian" for those looking for information on the topic. It would be helpful for those doing research projects on modern Japanese society or even projects on technology’s increasing impact in the 21st century. However, I would hate to see anyone purchase the book for pleasure reading. You’ll find yourself struggling to keep your eyes on the text. It is simply too repetitive, too dry to enjoy reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Personal, Portable, and Pedestrian is a book that goes in depth about how the keitai is not a separate entity from Japanese culture. Read morePublished on April 6, 2014 by Lizelle Lucas
I would not recommend Personal, Portable, Pedestrian. The text defines Japanese mobile phone usage as keitai, which is a physical device, and as it has grown more deeply engrained... Read morePublished on April 6, 2014 by Carla Cardenas
I teach rhetoric at a University in San Francisco and one of my classes chose this book to read during the Spring 2014 semester. Read morePublished on April 6, 2014 by Michelle LaVigne
Keitai is defined as “a snug and intimate technological tethering, a personal device for supporting communication that are a constant, lightweight, and mundane presence in everyday... Read morePublished on April 6, 2014 by Michelle K.
Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life, edited by Mizuko Ito, Daisuke Okabe, and Misa Matsuda, was a valuable book that looked specifically at the mobile... Read morePublished on April 6, 2014 by Sarah A.
Personal, Portable, Pedestrian (PPP) is a collection of essays written by various authors concerning the topic of cell phone, or keitai, use and its influence on Japanese culture. Read morePublished on April 6, 2014 by CreamoftheCrop
The book, Personal, Portable Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life, proves to successfully identify the growth of a new technology in Japanese society that is both challenged... Read morePublished on April 5, 2014 by Jan F.
Personal, Portable, Pedestrian is a collective study of the Keitai within Japanese society. The book paints the Keitai, the Japanese mobile phone, as a pivotal piece of technology... Read morePublished on April 5, 2014 by Lucky Jackson
Personal, Portable, Pedestrian, a book edited by Mizuko Ito, Daisuke Okabe and Misa Matsuda, serves as an educational text about mobile phone usage in Japanese culture. Read morePublished on April 5, 2014 by Annie Toffoli