Paper Youth and Mobile

Page 1 of 19

Paper Youth and Mobile

By | September 2010
Page 1 of 19
YOUTH AND MOBILE PHONES: SOMETHING MORE THAN A FASHION
Santiago Lorente Universidad Politécnica de Madrid slorente40@telefónica.net

This paper is a summary of the issue number 57 (June 2002) of the Spanish Journal "Revista de Estudios de Juventud" (Journal of Studies on Youth), entitled "Juventud y Teléfonos Móviles" (Youth and Mobile Phones), issued four times a year by the "Instituto de la Juventud" (Youth Institute), a governmental body belonging to the Ministry of Work and Social Affairs. The original idea of this issue took place in mid 2001 and it consisted in gathering a number of important contributions from scholars from all over the world in order to see what is going on regarding the use of mobile phones by youth. Two basic hypotheses underlying this were in my mind: one was that most scholars are thinking only in terms of his (her) country without realizing that, due to globalization processes and even to deeper sociological rationales, the behaviour of youth might be fairly the same all across the world. All in all, this hypothesis has come true. Most, if not all, people read literature written in English besides the literature written in their own language, but very few, if any, read other literature which may not be either in English or in his(her) own native language. And those who have English as their own language are generally the ones who read only English literature. So, if a certain amount of candidness is permitted, one may be tempted to believe that social scientists are still fundamentally "provincial" in the sense that they still look at the world and analyze it only in terms of their own country. So it seems that we are not as globalized as we are told, especially those who have English as their native language for whom the only existing world is the one where English is spoken. And second, it appears that mobile telephony is, like any other technological innovation, a true killer application, and more so insofar as young people are...