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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Navigating (im)mobility: female entrepreneurship and social media in Khartoum
Author:Steel, GrietISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:women entrepreneurs
social media
social relations
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972016000930
Abstract:Through Facebook and other social media, a growing number of well-educated women in Khartoum are marketing and selling typically female personal care and beauty items online. These 'tajirat al-Facebook' (or Facebook traders) are the new entrepreneurs of Sudan who work from home to run their businesses and widen their social circles. Relying on the urban infrastructure of mobile phones, delivery boys, digital connectivity and online platforms, they navigate public life from the intimate sphere of the home or harem to become successful businesswomen who continuously transcend conventional gender norms and classic divisions between public and private, online and offline, and work and family. By addressing the day-to-day socio-economic practices of these traders, this article casts innovative light upon the broader discussions surrounding the role of women in economic life in Africa. It is argued that the mobile phone, and the smartphone in particular, has opened up a range of opportunities for women to enhance their social and economic manoeuvring space and to negotiate power within, and beyond, the domestic realm. New communications technologies have paved the way for a new kind of entrepreneurship in which the commercial goals of profit making are intimately entwined with the broader practices of sociality and diversion from boredom. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]