Site specific mobility and connection in Korea : bangs (rooms) between public and private spaces
Choi, Jaz Hee-jeong, Foth, Marcus, & Hearn, Gregory N. (2009) Site specific mobility and connection in Korea : bangs (rooms) between public and private spaces. Technology in Society, 31(2), pp. 133-138.
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Although social and cultural research on mobile communication is exploding, many studies tend to take a technical view on the mobile phone as a personal networking device that connects people 'anywhere anytime.' Little cultural research has examined the uptake of mobile applications that are anchored to specific sites, especially outside Euro-Americo localities. To address this, we analyse media experience in the lived spaces of the Korean 'bang' (room) culture. These rooms provide various social spaces such as DVD-, jjimjil- (sauna), norae (karaoke)-, and PC-bangs. We position mobile technology along a blurring border between work and leisure and conceptualise the use of mobile phones for the symbolic creation, demarcation, and integration of public and private spaces in a digitally connected urban environment. This analysis helps us gain an understanding of the socio-culturally specific rationales and desires behind technology design and adoption in the South Korean context.
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