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Mobile Phone Talk in Context

Journal article
Authors Alexandra Weilenmann
Mattias Esbjörnsson
Published in Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Volume 3554
Pages 140-154
Publication year 2005
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 140-154
Language en
Keywords mobile phones, context, context awareness, mobile technology, design, ethnography, conversation analysis.
Subject categories Communication Studies, Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified, Technology and social change


In light of recent attempts to design context-aware mobile phones, this paper contributes by providing findings from a study of mobile phone talk in context. We argue the benefits of investigating empirically the ways in which a place is interactionally constituted as appropriate, or not, for a mobile phone conversation. Based on a study of naturally occurring mobile phone talk, we show how people handle calls in potentially difficult situations. Availability is negotiated, and it is not always agreed on whether a situation is appropriate. These findings pose challenges to the design of context-aware telephony.

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