The role of mobile telephony in the renewal of the public sphere and the extension of democratic processes

Mobile phone use has become ubiquitous (fig. 1), especially among the young and wealthy with more than five billion uses worldwide (Pew Research, 2019). Smartphones herald the arrival of convergence bringing together the formally ‘separate business of media, telecommunications, and computing/information technology into interdependent services’ via digital networks (Cinque, 2012, p,14).  The speed of change in technology has garnered much discussion as to the social-political and economic effects creating debates between dystopian sceptics and … Read More

The Democratising Potential of Celebrity and Cosmopolitan Solidarity

The role celebrities play in promoting cosmopolitan values over communitarian tribalism was highlighted in the recent presidential inauguration of Donald Trump which was shunned by many A-list celebrities. This was contrasted with the widespread support for anti-Trump rallies like Alec Baldwin’s. Trump’s communitarian, tribal and divisive America first campaign strategy which was an affront to outsiders didn’t vibe well with many celebrities cosmopolitan sensibilities. This othering of outsiders struck an empathetic chord with those … Read More

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