Mar 10, 2011

Cell Phones more Dangerous than Kalashnikovs

Prof. Sirpa Tenhunen.
Picture source: Univ. of Helsinki.
A member of our project, Professor Sirpa Tenhunen, was interviewed by the Finnish Broadcasting Company about the significance of mobile phones in Africa and Asia, especially in the context of national revolt. "In the view of ruling elite, cell phones are more dangerous than Kalashnikovs", said Prof. Tenhunen in the inteview.

Tenhunen also described how cell phones are more common than TV, newspapers or computers in the developing countries. In Africa, for example, a third of the population have a cell phone whereas the internet is used by only six percent of Africans.
Cell phones speed up the practice of politics. In the past before cell phones it took one month to organize a general strike. Nowadays, using text messages it takes only ten minutes. The political power of the mobile phone is based on its invisibility. A revolt can be mobilized hidden from the ruling power. The ways for the state to fight back is to monitor citizens' mobile communication and, at times, even close down the supporting infrastructure.

Watch the interview (in Finnish) here.
Read the whole news article (in Finnish) here.

Mar 8, 2011

Hello world!

We are a group of five anthropologists doing research on mobile technology, gender and development. We are based in the Department of History and Ethnology of University of Jyväskylä, Finland but our field research areas are in South Asia and Africa.

You can see our project website for further infomation about our project. In this blog we will publish project updates such as abstracts, conference papers, articles, pictures and news related to our field of research. Shorter updates are published through our Twitter account. Please feel free to suggest any links and materials you feel should be published in this blog.

Moreover, all comments are welcome!