Rivka Ribak, Media and Spaces: The Mobile Phone in the Geographies of Young People

Ribak, R. (2013). Media and spaces: the mobile phone in the geographies of young people. In D. Lemish (ed.) The Routledge International Handbook of Children, Adolescents and Media (pp.307-314), Routledge.


The control of spatiality is implicated in processes of maturation. Young people are defined by the spaces they are allowed and are not allowed to occupy, whereas parents are required to "know where their child is" but let go. The media in general and mobile telephones in particular play a growing role in constructing these spaces. The paper explores the ways in which mobile phones are used by parents and children to maintain and expand the distance between them, and how mobile phone use is involved in practices of being outside the home, in the city street or the school. The paper suggests that studies vary to the extent that they interpret distance as a threat or as a challenge, and construct the mobile phone as a medium for control or sociality. These representations of space and media may be important objects for future research.