Mobile Secrets: Youth, Intimacy, And The Politics Of Pretense In Mozambique by Julie Soleil Archambault

Mobile Secrets: Youth, Intimacy, And The Politics Of Pretense In Mozambique

byJulie Soleil Archambault

Paperback | May 26, 2017

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Now part and parcel of everyday life almost everywhere, mobile phones have radically transformed how we acquire and exchange information. Many anticipated that in Africa, where most have gone from no phone to mobile phone, improved access to telecommunication would enhance everything from entrepreneurialism to democratization to service delivery, ushering in socio-economic development.
 
With Mobile Secrets, Julie Soleil Archambault offers a complete rethinking of how we understand uncertainty, truth, and ignorance by revealing how better access to information may in fact be anything but desirable. By engaging with young adults in a Mozambique suburb, Archambault shows how, in their efforts to create fulfilling lives, young men and women rely on mobile communication not only to mitigate everyday uncertainty but also to juggle the demands of intimacy by courting, producing, and sustaining uncertainty. In their hands, the phone has become a necessary tool in a wider arsenal of pretense—a means of creating the open-endedness on which harmonious social relations depend in postwar postsocialist Mozambique. As Mobile Secrets shows, Mozambicans have harnessed the technology not only to acquire information but also to subvert regimes of truth and preserve public secrets, allowing everyone to feign ignorance about the workings of the postwar intimate economy.

About The Author

Julie Soleil Archambault is assistant professor of anthropology at Concordia University, in Canada.   

Details & Specs

Title:Mobile Secrets: Youth, Intimacy, And The Politics Of Pretense In MozambiqueFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:May 26, 2017Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022644757X

ISBN - 13:9780226447575

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Acknowledgments
Prologue
Introduction: Living, Not Merely Surviving
1          The Communication Landscape
2          Display and Disguise
3          Crime and Carelessness
4          Love and Deceit
5          Sex and Money
6          Truth and Willful Blindness
Conclusion: Mobile Phones and the Demands of Intimacy
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Cellphones are devices that are globally available, but this rich and original study shows the profound role they play in the intimate politics of Mozambican youth. Archambault demonstrates how the small act of ‘biping’ can signal love or secrecy, uphold or challenge masculinities, and provide an avenue to aspirations for social and geographical mobility. Mobile Secrets will offer an unparalleled contribution to the literature on youth and intimacy in Africa—nearly all recent African ethnographies of youth touch on cell phones, but none give them the closely researched central focus that Archambault provides here.”