Anastasia Rivera

By William & Mary

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Keitai Shosetsu, the Media Creation of the Modern Identity

A cell-phone novel is a serialized story, delivered through e-mail or text, to those who subscribe through distribution companies. In Japan, these are called keitai shōsetsu. The keitai shōsetsu is an example of communication technology shaping the way we as people form our identities, communicate with others, and find solace in crowds of likeminded peers. It is a very statement on social development, the intersections of machine and human experience. Then, it passed, intermittently present long after its explosive popularity early this century. Why? Why would something so explosively popular, so fundamental to the psyche of a young generation of women, suddenly disappear? What could this mean for other media trends such as the Twitter and Facebook communities? Further research into the rise and fall of the keitai shōsetsu can reveal much about current virtual society, questioning the very essence of what makes interaction through media real. In summary, the purpose of my research is to uncover the generative connection between communication technology and our public, self-devised identity through study of its manifestation in keitai shōsetsu.

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