Professor Judy Wajcman (ANU)

'Intimate Connections: The Impact of the Mobile Phone on Work Life Boundaries'

This paper reports on a research project that examines the social impact of the mobile phone on the shifting boundaries between work and home life. Wireless technologies are said to be transforming public/private boundaries by making location irrelevant, and the pace of events instantaneous and simultaneous. But how are social relationships being
transformed through mobile modalities? Does the constant connection and ubiquity afforded by wireless ICTs foster a mobile privatisation, reconfiguring the boundaries between work and everyday life? In practice, much of the contemporary debates is about how to manage time in everyday life – time for work, time for families and time for
leisure. This paper will therefore investigate how mobile devices are transforming the way time is experienced, managed, used and disciplined. The overall theme is the affect of mobile technologies on the temporal dimensions of contemporary society.

Judy Wajcman is Professor of Sociology at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. She has been a Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics, and is an Associate Fellow of the Oxford Internet Institute. Recent books include /TechnoFeminism/ and /The Politics of Working Life.

Her current research, with Michael Bittman and Paul Jones, explores the impact of the mobile phone on working time and work life balance.