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“No Apple iPhone? You must be Canadian”: mobile technologies, participatory culture, and rhetorical transformation

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-05-21, 11:02 authored by Isabel Pedersen
Abstract: Participation with new mobile devices drives new social practices. This article engages in a close analysis of a so-called participatory culture surrounding iPods and iPhones. It offers close rhetorical readings of object phenomena including advertisements, Canadian news stories, and consumer reactions in electronic media. More specifically, this article reveals a rhetorical transformation between the iPod Silhouettes advertising campaign and the iPhone release campaign, causing a shift in subjectivity; iPod subjects are afforded a degree of freedom and play, while iPhone subjects are bound to regimes of work. It is also argued that news stories that emerged in the summer of 2007, when the iPhone was not released in Canada, structure a rhetoric of the “excluded Canadian.” Keywords: Mobile communication; Rhetoric; Visual communication