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Mobile Secrets : Youth, Intimacy, and the Politics of Pretense in Mozambique (Paperback) (Julie Soleil
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For technology enthusiasts, the story of Africa’s adoption of the cell phone has been a clear success. The idea that access to technology and information will itself spark improvement?in everything from health services to electoral participation to engagement with the global economy--is certainly alluring, but anthropologist Julie Archambault reveals a more complex story. In Cruising through Uncertainty, Archambault paints a lively portrait of young adults from the city of Inhambane, Mozambique, who have eagerly adopted mobile communication during their struggle to become adults. Contrary to common assumptions about the effect of new technologies in developing countries, she finds that the cell phone has become a tool for pretense and falsification, a means of creating the appearance of security or luxury. In Archambault’s estimation, no one is oblivious to what is going on through the phone--the wife knows that her husband cheats on her, the father realizes that his daughter is involved with older men, and the sister is aware that her brother hustles every now and then?but the discretion granted by mobile communication has profound personal and political implications amid growing socioeconomic disparity and a widening gap between ideals and reality. Performing success?economic, romantic, etc.?is not the same as actually improving one’s situation, however, and the Mozambican case makes clear that these new technologies have not so much enabled development but rather have muted and masked persistent social contradictions.
Number of Pages: 224
Genre: Social Science, History, Technology
Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
Author: Julie Soleil Archambault
Street Date: May 8, 2017
Item Number (DPCI): 248-36-3436
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