Mobile Phones in the Transformation of the Informal Economy : Stories from market women in Kampala

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Mobile Phones in the Transformation of the Informal Economy : Stories from market women in Kampala

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Title Mobile Phones in the Transformation of the Informal Economy : Stories from market women in Kampala
Author Svensson, Jakob
Date 2017
English abstract
This research project is situated within the area M4D (mobile technologies for development), i.e. that mobile technologies play a vital role in the livelihood of people in developing regions. Out of a larger explorative study of how market women use their mobile phone(s), this article focuses on the transformation of the so-called informal economy, here in the form of street markets. Departing from stories of the women themselves we argue that the mobile phone, not the least through mobile money, changes the street market to also include non-street transactions in interesting and hybridized ways. We turn to Science, Technology and Society studies (STS) in articulating this hybridity. STS usefully makes visible the co-production of mobile phone practices and the transformation of the street markets particularly as mobile phones operate in data rich environments opening up opportunities for state control. Furthermore the women included in the study also bear witness on attempts – from city officials as well as local loan sharks – to formalize and control these women and their businesses, processes in which mobile telephony play an important role. On basis of these stories we argue that the celebration of the informality of these economies with its promise of empowering women financially needs to be reconsidered.
Conference
SANORD Conference (28 nov - 1 dec 2017 : Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe)
Language eng (iso)
Subject Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/23874 Permalink to this page
Link http://www.nust.ac.zw/sanord2017/... (external link to related web page)
Link to publication in DiVA Find this research publication in DiVA (n/a for student publ.)
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