Impact of mobile phones on work and family to be studied under ARC research funding

Impact of mobile phones on work and family to be studied under ARC research funding

A research project to consider the contribution of the mobile phone to work/life balance has been awarded funding by the Australian Research Council (ARC).

The CEO of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), Graham Chalker, said the mobile phone industry was proud to partner a team of distinguished sociologists, headed by Professor Judy Wajcman of the Australian National University.

The ARC today announced 1214 successful projects to be funded by $370 million from the Australian Government over the next five years.

Other researchers for the project to study the role the mobile phone is playing in making the boundaries between work and home life increasingly permeable, are Professor Michael Bittman, University of New England, and Dr Paul Jones, University of New South Wales.

Mr Chalker said despite the mobile phone’s rapid adoption, too little is known about its impact on Australian society and institutions.

“As important as they are, economic measures do not capture all of the ways in which mobile phones contribute to the quality of people’s lives,” he said.

“The pervasive use of mobile devices in communities and enterprises has dramatically altered lifestyle, communication patterns and productivity, yet there is no systematic collection of quantitative and qualitative information of these changes. This project is set to change that.”

The Executive Director of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA), Dr John Beaton, said the collaboration between the mobile phone industry in Australia and some of Australia’s leading sociologists would throw new light on the social impact of the mobile phone.

“This will provide society, industry and government with a much more substantial perspective on which to develop effective and responsible uses of the mobile telephone in Australia,” he said.

AMTA, the peak body representing the mobile phone industry, joined with ASSA last year to launch a discussion paper into the impact of mobile phones on our society.

For more information contact Randal Markey, Manager, Communications, (02) 6239 6555 or 0421 240 550