Society for the Social Study of Mobile Communications

The Society for the Social Study of Mobile Communication (SSSMC) is intended to facilitate the international advancement of cross-disciplinary mobile communication studies. It is intended to serve as a resource and to support a network of scholarly research as to the social consequences of mobile communication.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

CFP: Work on the Move

Work on the Move
Monday 16th March 2015
Lancaster House Hotel, Lancaster, UK

Position statements due 26th January 2015 (see below)

It is widely recognised that non-formal learning or tacit knowledge is associated with the context of the workplace but what happens when this workplace is not static? What happens when workers go on the move? What are the rhetorics and material practices that bond work to place and how are these disrupted (and hence accounted for) when work goes on the move?

Mobile work has been widely studied within the field of mobilities research (Ferguson, 2011, Hislop, 2012, Nóvoa, 2012). Following the pervasive use of mobile technologies in both work and private lives, highly complex technological environments have been established around Work on the Move. Yet, as Kesselring (2014) stated in a recent issue of Mobilities, "There are many mobile jobs that do without mobile devices but are highly mobile." These work practices are frequently those, not driven by a compulsion to proximity, but a necessity of proximity, the obligation for face-to-face, body-to-body contact, such as paramedic work, emergency response or cosmetic practices.

But what ties these work practices back to organisational bases or places? Corporate Mobilities Regimes, as conceptualised by Kesselring (2014), govern the mobility practice of its members within and on behalf of a company. They discipline mobile subjects by means of a framework for action that dictates who is allowed to move, how and under which terms. But there are other elements within these regimes that need to be considered when looking at Work on the Move: specifically the ways in which principles, norms and rules emerge to form work practices on the move. Such 'technologies of control' can take the form of plans or protocols (physical or virtual) that shape, influence and control but also facilitate, enable and authorize mobile work to take place. In one example of mobile work, that of paramedic practice, protocols can be seen to provide a framework for implementing medical oversight of care (Anantharaman, 2012), legitimizing the paramedic work as they travel between organisational bases and their sites of implementation. It is hypothesised that the introduction of technologies allows for increased remoteness, on one hand, and forms of proximate control and direction on the other.

Inspired by recent mobilities scholarship in both crisis response and mobile work, this one-day workshop aims to bring together relevant participants including academics, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, technology producers and users to discuss Work on the Move. Specifically the aim is to discuss the transference of work from 'organisational bases' to other arenas and what it means when work practices, protocols, people and technologies move from outside of organisational bases.

Position statements are invited on (but are not limited to) the following workshop areas:
  • Organisational identities on the move;
  • Protocols on the move;
  • Cultural imaginaries on the move;
  • Technoscientific interventions on the move;
  • The role of corporate mobility regimes in maintaining social ties on the move.

Position statements should be no longer than one side of A4. These will be reviewed by the workshop organisers and, in the event of over-subscription, statements will be accepted to give the broadest coverage of workshop topics. Attendees will be required to give a short presentation outlining their position. The workshop will aim to balance presentations with plenary sessions and opportunities for networking.

Please send you position statements to: by 26th January 2015.

Deadline for submission of position statements: 26th January 2015.
Notification of acceptance: 2nd February 2015.
Workshop: Monday 16th March 2015.