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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Cell phones and alienation among Bulsa of Ghana's Upper East Region: 'the call calls you away'
Authors:Watson, Marcus D.
Atuick, Evans A.
Year:2015
Periodical:African Studies Review (ISSN 1555-2462)
Volume:58
Issue:1
Pages:113-132
Language:English
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:mobile telephone
interpersonal relations
social change
Link:https://doi.org/10.1017/asr.2015.6
Abstract:Many scholars have concluded, perhaps prematurely, that information and communication technologies (ICTs) are inherently empowering for Africans. In order to look more closely at the impact of ICTs on relationships and society, this article focuses on everyday life. Specifically, it uses ethnographic methods and the theory of 'affordances' to illuminate the use of cell phones among Bulsa of Ghana's Upper East Region. While cell phones help users connect with distant loved ones, they also plant seeds of alienation between users and those who remain physically present. These changes are evident in new body habits and in social behaviors that would be culturally unacceptable in face-to-face interactions but are largely excused in the interventions of the virtual world. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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