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“The war phone”: mobile communication on the frontline in Eastern Ukraine
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Media and Communication Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4808-7670
2022 (English)In: Digital War, ISSN 2662-1975, Vol. 3, no 1-3, p. 9-24Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

One of the problems in the growing subfield of mediatization of war is evidence on how exactly civilian communication devices become integrated with warfare. In this article, I focus on patterns of use of mobile phones on the frontline in Eastern Ukraine. Based on qualitative in-depth interviews with Ukrainian servicemen and women, this article presents a typology for the frontline use of mobiles in the spirit of actor–network theory. The omnipresence of mobiles on the battlefield creates a set of unique participatory media practices. A variety of personal purposes, such as private communication and entertainment, are combined in the same device with wiretapping, fire targeting, minefield mapping and combat communication. Mobiles supplant old or unavailable equipment and fill gaps in military infrastructure, becoming weaponized and contributing to the hybridization of the military and the intimate, and of war and peace. These results imply the role of mobiles as a mediated extension of battlefield and question the very definition of what constitutes weapon as tool of combat.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan, 2022. Vol. 3, no 1-3, p. 9-24
National Category
Communication Studies
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-52379DOI: 10.1057/s42984-022-00049-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-52379DiVA, id: diva2:1799627
Part of project
Connecting soldiers: Media ecologies and materialities on the East Ukrainian frontline (a postdoc project), The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 7/2019Available from: 2023-09-22 Created: 2023-09-22 Last updated: 2023-09-22Bibliographically approved

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Horbyk, Roman

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-harvard.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-oxford.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf