Technology-Culture Dialogue: Cultural and Sociotechnical Appropriation of Mobile Phones in Ethiopia

Technology-Culture Dialogue: Cultural and Sociotechnical Appropriation of Mobile Phones in Ethiopia

by Setargew Kenaw Fantaw

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Overview

Technology-Culture Dialogue: Cultural and Sociotechnical Appropriation of Mobile Phones in Ethiopia by Setargew Kenaw Fantaw

This dissertation explores the dialogical relation between technologies and societies with a focus on cultural and socio-technical appropriation of mobile phone use in Ethiopia. It dovetails mobile technology related issues: how and why mobile phones are shared among users; how relations are mediated between married couples; and what opportunities the mobile technology offers for repair men and women in the country. Informed by the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) approach, the study represents mobile phone users as "relevant social groups." It compares the meanings that come out of these groups and makes a critical examination of the notion of "co-construction" in SCOT.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783643907394
Publisher: Lit Verlag
Publication date: 06/30/2016
Series: Beitrage zur Afrikaforschung Series , #71
Pages: 190
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

List of Figures ix

Preface xi

1 General Introduction 1

1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 Conceptualizing Dialogue, Appropriation, and Translation 1

1.2.1 Technology Transfer and Technology-Culture Dialogue 1

1.2.2 Cultural Appropriation 5

1.2.3 Foreignizing and Domesticating Translations 9

1.3 Research Questions 11

1.4 Methodological Considerations 12

1.4.1 The Social Construction of Technology 12

1.4.2 Methods 16

Part I Background: Modernization and Technology Transfer 21

2 Modernization and Technology Transfer 23

2.1 Introduction 23

2.2 "Modernization" in Ethiopia 24

2.3 Cultural Reconstitution of Technologies 27

2.3.1 Menelik the Arch-Engineer 27

2.3.2 Cultural Reconstitution of Piped Water Project 30

2.3.3 Cultural Reconstitution of Telephone 33

2.3.4 Emperor Haile-Selassie and his Modernization Efforts 38

2.4 Conclusion 42

Part II Cultural Appropriation and Disclosure of New Worlds 45

3 An Encounter With Mobile Phones 47

3.1 Introduction 47

3.2 Studies on Mobile Phones 47

3.3 Introduction of Mobile Phones in Ethiopia 51

3.4 Narrativizingthe Encounter 55

3.5 Exegetical Meaning of the Encounter 57

3.5.1 Mobile Phones Mediating Collective Identities 58

3.5.2 Mobile Phones as Extension of the Self 61

3.6 Conclusion 67

4 Shared Mobile Phones and Social Ties 69

4.1 Introduction 69

4.2 Mobile, i.e. Personal, Phones 70

4.3 Private Commons? Mobile, but Shared, Phones 72

4.3.1 "What is the Time?" Instituting Public Ownership 73

4.3.2 Private Device and Communal Service: Modes of Expression 77

4.4 Shared Mobile Phones and Social Capital 81

4.4.1 Mobile Phones and Social Capital 81

4.4.2 Paging Practice and Social Capital 84

4.5 Conclusion 88

5 Mobile Phones and Married Couples 91

5.1 Introduction 91

5.2 Family Cohesion and Technologically Mediated Interaction 92

5.3 Beyond Family Cohesion 93

5.3.1 Description of Cases 94

5.3.2 Discussion of the Cases 108

5.4 Conclusion 111

Part III Sociotechnical Appropriation 113

6 Repair Shops For Mobile Phones 115

6.1 Introduction 115

6.2 Beyond Symbols and Meanings 116

6.3 Mobile Phone Repair and Maintenance 119

6.3.1 Context: Repair Shops of Consumer Goods 119

6.3.2 Mobile Phone Repair Shops and their Activities 122

6.4 Recurrent Narratives 130

6.4.1 Ignorance of Customers 131

6.4.2 Fraud 134

6.4.3 "Fake" vs. "Original" 138

6.4.4 Other Repair Shops, Other Technicians 141

6.5 Conclusion 145

7 Conclusion 147

7.1 Summary 147

7.2 Problematizing the Research 148

7.3 The Interpretative Flexibility of Mobile Phones 149

7.4 Dialogical Translation 156

References 161

Books and Articles 161

Newspapers and Internet Sources 171

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