Linguistic and Material Intimacies of Cell Phones offers a detailed ethnographic and anthropological examination of the social, cultural, linguistic and material aspects of cell phones. With contributions from an international range of established and emerging scholars, this is a truly global collection with rural and urban examples from communities across the Global North and South. Linking the use of cell phones to contemporary discussions about representation, mediation and subjectivity, the book investigates how this increasingly ubiquitous technology challenges the boundaries of privacy and selfhood, raising new questions about how we communicate.

chapter |30 pages


Linguistic and material intimacies of cell phone communication

part I|68 pages


chapter 1|19 pages

The slow road to Tartarus

Technological fetishism, materiality, and the trafficking in “conflict minerals” in the eastern DR Congo

chapter 2|17 pages

Objects of mobility

The role of the mobile phone on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic

chapter 3|30 pages

‘Bridges to cash’

Channelling agency in mobile money

part II|134 pages


chapter 4|27 pages

Medialects in the creation of Mayan peer cultures

Romantic texting as a new literacy practice

chapter 5|20 pages

Phone-made poiesis

Towards an ethnography of call and response

chapter 6|19 pages

Technologically mediated sociality

Negotiating culture, communication, and access

chapter 7|21 pages

Safety, sensemaking, and solidarity

Mobile communication in the immediate aftermath of the July 22, 2011, Oslo bombing

chapter 8|21 pages

Piracy, cloning, and criminal cats

The discomforts of cellularity in Brazil

part III|47 pages

Ends of life

chapter 10|29 pages

Intimate materialities in cell phone repair

Performance, anxiety, and trust in DC repair shops

chapter 11|16 pages

Cell phone antinomies

A commentary