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Type: Journal article
Title: Before the call: mobile phones, exchange relations, and social change in South-western Uganda
Author: Vokes, R.
Citation: Ethnos: journal of anthropology, 2016; 83(2):274-290
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 0014-1844
Statement of
Richard Vokes
Abstract: This article contributes to recent attempts to provide ethnographically and historically nuanced accounts of Africa's mobile phone ‘revolution’. It does so by examining the coming of mobile phones in one particular place and time: Bugamba Sub-County, in rural Mbarara District, South-western Uganda, between the years 2000 and 2012. In so doing, it extends recent anthropological scepticism regarding the transformative potential of mobile communication per se, by showing how in this case, the most notable effects generated by mobile telephony were in fact those produced by a series of exchanges of phone-related objects, which took place in a sense ‘prior’ to communication. These circulations effected a kind of ‘time–space expansion’, which allowed for new imaginaries of physical and social mobility. The article illustrates these arguments through a detailed examination of the mobile spaces of taxis, and through a discussion of changing burial practices.
Keywords: Mobile phones; social transformations; public transport; media anthropology; funerary rites/burial practices
Rights: © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
DOI: 10.1080/00141844.2015.1133689
Appears in Collections:Anthropology & Development Studies publications
Aurora harvest 3

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