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Mobile Media and Social Intimacies in Asia

Reconfiguring Local Ties and Enacting Global Relationships

  • Book
  • © 2020


  • Features contemporary works of emerging scholars on mobile media and social intimacies in Asia
  • Provides culturally specific ways in which social intimacies in Asia are enacted in mobile media
  • Enhances the global conversation on social intimacies in mobile media through Asian case studies

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About this book

This edited volume brings together cutting-edge studies from emerging scholars of East/Southeast Asia who explore the role of mobile media in the contemporary transformation of the region’s social intimacies, from the romantic to the familial to the communal. By providing a regional and transnational overview of such studies, it affords new insights into how these mobile technologies have contributed to the rise of ‘glocal intimacies’. This pertains to the normalisation and intensification of how people’s relationships of closeness are entangled in the ever-shifting and constantly negotiated flows between global modernity and local everyday life. In providing case studies of mobile media and glocal intimacies, the chapters in the volume attend to a broad range of countries that include China, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and Taiwan. This illustrates the differing ways in which mobile media might be embedded in the region’s divergent articulations of social intimacies, which reflect the ongoing tensions between Western and Asian imaginaries of modernity. The chapters also discuss a wide array of mobile media that people use, from social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, to messaging apps like KakaoTalk and WhatsApp, to dating apps like Tinder and Blued. This allows for a mapping out of the different levels of impact that mobile media might have on social intimacies in a region that contains some of the most technologically advanced as well as the most technologically behind societies in the world. In summary, this book allows readers to take a comparative approach to understanding the complexity of the glocal intimacies that are emerging from the ways people in Asia use mobile media to reconfigure their local ties and to enact global relationships. This volume will benefit students, academics, and researchers who are keen in media and communication, cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, and Asian studies.

“This exciting and much-needed book will greatly advance our efforts to decolonise media and communications research. The chapters offer empirically rich and nuanced accounts that challenge the dominant paradigms about mediated intimacy.”

Mirca Madianou, Goldsmiths, University of London


“This collection develops the original concept of ‘glocal intimacies’ to describe how mobile media have become a crucial site where new social intimacies are enacted, reinforced and transformed in Asia. It introduces fresh empirical research from emerging scholars to furnish deep theoretical insights into these imaginaries and practices.” 

Audrey Yue, National University of Singapore

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Table of contents (12 chapters)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Communication, De La Salle University—Manila, Manila, Philippines

    Jason Vincent A. Cabañes

  • Department of Communication, California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, USA

    Cecilia S. Uy-Tioco

About the editors

Jason Vincent A. Cabañes is an Associate Professor in Communication and a Research Fellow at De La Salle University—Manila, Philippines. He has a PhD in Communications Studies from the University of Leeds, UK. He researches primarily on the mediation of cross-cultural intimacies and solidarities, with a particular focus on postcolonial multiculturalism. He also does work on digital labor in the Global South. His publications have appeared in top-tier journals such as New Media & Society, the International Journal of Cultural Studies, and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies as well as in edited collections in the field of media and communications studies.

Cecilia S. Uy-Tioco is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at California State University San Marcos, USA. She holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from George Mason University, USA. As an interdisciplinary scholar, her research is primarily engaged in interrogating the relationships between media, culture, and globalization. In particular, she studies the Philippine telecom industry, digital inequality, and the reproduction of power and digital media and transnational Filipino migrants. Her work has been published in Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Communication Research and Practice, and various edited books. 

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