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Mobile Snapshots and Private/Public Boundaries

Abstract

This study attempts to focus on how the boundaries of both the private and the public domain are lived out in people's practices of taking mobile snapshots via camera phones and sharing them on the Web. From private photo-taking practices in public places to online disclosure of camera phone pictures, private/public boundaries are no longer firmly fixed. Based on qualitative interview data collected from 20 Korean camera phone users in their early twenties, this study takes a closer look at how private/public boundaries are blurred or rearranged in people's everyday camera phone usage in a public space, as well as in their sharing of camera phone photos on the Web. By examining the concrete cases of “displaced moments” captured by camera phones and their circulation on the Web as a form of self-presentation, it discusses how mobile snapshots have served as a medium that is shaping the dynamic reconfiguration of private/public boundaries.

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Acknowledgement

This work was supported by the University of Incheon Research Grant in 2008.

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Correspondence to Dong-Hoo Lee.

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Lee, DH. Mobile Snapshots and Private/Public Boundaries. Know Techn Pol 22, 161–171 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12130-009-9081-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12130-009-9081-0

Keywords

  • Camera phones
  • Mobile snapshots
  • Public/private boundaries
  • Public space
  • Photo-sharing