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Unlimited or disrupted communication? How does the development of the mobile phone effect our ability of social action?

Listed author(s):
  • Marie-Sophie Löhlein


    (IET, FCT-Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

The aim of this essay is to discuss the thesis of the German Sociologist Günter Burkhart that in modern societies a phenomenon appeared which he calls “handymania”, an excessive and nearly addictive use of the mobile phones especially from adolescents. After a short overview about the history of the cell phone, I will relate this development to Jürgen Habermas “theory of communicative action”, more precisely to his diagnosis of a pathological society (“lifeworld”) to find out if the “handymania” could be one expression of it. Adjacent I will present social-psychological theories from E.H.Erikson and Tilmann Habermas to ascertain whether juveniles could really be a high-risk group for this kind of addiction. I will focus on the ability to communicate in an Habermasian way that could be seriously harmed by the unregulated usage of cell phones.

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File Function: First version, 2009
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Paper provided by Universidade Nova de Lisboa, IET/CICS.NOVA-Interdisciplinary Centre on Social Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology in its series IET Working Papers Series with number 04/2009.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Handle: RePEc:ieu:wpaper:13
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