Mobile Visuality and Everyday Life in Finland: An Ethnographic Approach to Social Uses of Mobile Image

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter or book articleProfessional


    In recent years, as camera phones and digital cameras have become more common, sending visual messages has become increasingly easy. Visual communication is used most importantly between members of the immediate circle: MMS creates closeness between friends and family members and adds emotion to the communication; messages are often humorous and they function to maintain and enforce relationships and social bonds. Mobile visual communication has become one means of communication to complement the more traditional ways of keeping contact. For instance the news about the arrival of a baby or a new pet is delivered immediately through MMS, whereas before sending photographs in a letter was perhaps the most commonly used method. The aim of this article is to observe the uses of visual mobile technology and the social meanings associated with it through an ethnographic research design. The research group at the University of Tampere in Finland has charted developments in the usage of mobile communication and the Internet since 1997. A longitudinal study of many years provides data for the observation of trends in technology use. Between 2002 and 2005 the University of Tampere has been analysing the wishes that users of various age groups have in relation to mobile media, data communication and value-added services. After 2002, the study of MMS communication has become an important aspect of the study. In 2005, field experiments have been carried out with key informants using 3G phones. The experiments are used to provide more detailed information on the usage situations of daily life and the special characteristics of the role of image in mobile data communication.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMobile communication in everyday life
    Subtitle of host publicationEthnographic views, observations and reflections
    EditorsJoachim R. Höflich, Maren Hartmann
    Place of PublicationBerlin, Germany
    PublisherFrank & Timme
    ISBN (Print)3-86596041-3, 978-386596041-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2006
    MoE publication typeD2 Article in professional manuals or guides or professional information systems or text book material


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