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Mobile work and mobile lives: a roundtable discussion of emerging concepts and themes toward a research agenda
Conferences & Talks
15 October 2008 - 18 October 2008
The mobile or remote work trends that have generated transformations in the global economy have also created major shifts in conventional workscapes and lifescapes. Technologies have increasingly divorced task from place and have made possible the de-territorialization of work and created the virtual workplace and the virtual organization with social and cultural consequences. Technological advances have allowed production facilities to expand into new territories, so that it is not just knowledge work that has become elusive, but the work that produces the items we use day-to-day has also become mobile, unbounded, and independent of particular localities. The format of the Mobile Work and Mobile Lives workshop will be loosely structured to facilitate open conversation and debate about mobile work and mobile lives, so that themes and issues will emerge to spark research ideas that can be developed in academic, corporate, or other organizational settings. The co-organizers' previous investigations suggest that the topic of mobile work and lives has not been widely researched by ethnographers (with some notable exceptions), and often gets dismissed as obvious. The goal of this roundtable is to discuss, debate, and reflect upon the far-reaching and often invisible effects these trends have on workers' lives, lifestyles, and life options and to envision future trends that can guide the work of ethnographic practice and research.
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