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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Cultural translation of mobile telephones: mediation of strained communication among Ethiopian married couples
Author:Kenaw, SetargewISNI
Year:2012
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies (ISSN 0022-278X)
Volume:50
Issue:1
Pages:131-155
Language:English
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:mobile telephone
communication
spouses
Abstract:Primarily aiming to highlight and exemplify how a technology can be socially and culturally appropriated, this article draws attention to the role of mobile phone communication in straining relations between married couples on the basis of material from Ethiopia. Much of the material is based on interviews conducted in Addis Ababa between June and November 2009 with forty married women and ten married men, as well as observations and some additional interviews in 2011. The findings show that mobile phone-mediated interactions between spouses are filled with monitoring and controlling activities, expressed in such forms as checking call logs, text messages, making casual calls, and switching-off phones, leading to highly strained relations that may result in the marital relation as a whole falling apart. These findings show how a technology can actively shape or influence interactions, and reveal interactions that might otherwise be concealed. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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