>"Connected Isolation: Screens, Mobility, and Globalized Media Culture" is an analysis of the implications of individualized media forms that increasingly constitute and encroach upon what was previously regarded as public space. I argue that the role of screens in non-theatrical contexts requires that we reassess the importance of media distribution and flows. The reconfiguration of social spaces caused by the proliferation of screens leads to new aesthetic modes and new forms of sociality. The push and pull of those media forms results in a social order I call "connected isolation," a predicament in which subjects must isolate themselves in order to connect to the world through media technologies. These technologies compel separation from the local in order to achieve immediacy with the global, thereby reconfiguring long-standing categories of space. The unresolved tensions between public and private produced by these devices (the use of cellular phones in public areas, for example) express the emergent social order of connected isolation. My dissertation provides a deeper understanding of a larger cultural problematic - the role of communication technologies in structuring social belonging - through a focus on the tensions between community and technological innovation in a social milieu structured by mass media.
To describe the emergence of connected isolation as a new social order, I engage four theoretical constructs: distraction, the "space of flows," "mobile-privatization," and the aesthetic of liveness. As specific objects of analysis, I examine corporate training films from the silent era, in-flight entertainment, cellular phones, and television screens in public spaces. This dissertation, then, moves between the sociology of culture, economic geography and social theory to arrive at some conclusions regarding electronic communications technologies and the proliferation of screens.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2008. Major: Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society. Advisor: Keya Ganguly. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 204 pages.
Groening, Stephen Francis.
Connected isolation: screens, mobility, and globalized media culture.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.