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Desiring mobiles, desiring education: mobile phones and families in a rural Chinese Town

McDonald, T; (2016) Desiring mobiles, desiring education: mobile phones and families in a rural Chinese Town. In: Lim, SS, (ed.) Mobile Communication and the Family. (pp. 13-32). Springer: Dordrecht. Green open access

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Abstract

This chapter draws on ethnographic data to examine the relationship between mobile communication technologies (especially mobile phones) and learning in a small rural town in north China. Building on a wide body of literature that emphasises the enduring importance of education within Chinese culture, this chapter demonstrates how contemporary attitudes towards learning become constructed and expressed through mobile phone use. The chapter illustrates how most rural parents regard mobile phones as having an adverse impact on their offspring’s educational achievement, and are keen to limit such use. Young people nevertheless continue to find ways of accessing and using mobile phones, including creatively appropriating such devices for their own (formal and informal) learning. The chapter calls for greater consideration of the multiple domains of society that such technologies cut across – including school, family, and elsewhere – in order to expose the specific instances where mobile telecommunications interact with educational ideals.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Desiring mobiles, desiring education: mobile phones and families in a rural Chinese Town
ISBN-13: 9789401774390
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-7441-3_2
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-7441-3_2
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > VP International
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1462888
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