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Bridging Mobilities
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This is a study on the creative appropriation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) by mobile Africans and the communities to which they belong, home and away. With a focus on Cameroonian migrants from Pinyin and Mankon who are currently living in Cape Town and the Netherlands, this book examines the workings of the social fabric of mobile communities. It sheds light on how these communities are crafting lives for themselves in the host country and simultaneously linking up with the home country thanks to advances in ICTs and road and air transport. ICTs and mobilities have complemented social relational interaction and provide migrants today with opportunities to partake in cultural practices that express their Pinyin-ness and Mankon-ness. Pinyin and Mankon migrants are still as rooted in the past as they are in the present. They were born into a community with its own sense of home, moral ethos and cultural pride but live in a context of accelerated ICTs and mobility that is fast changing the way they live their lives. Drawing on this detailed ethnographic case study and related literature, Henrietta Nyamnjoh argues that while ICTs continue to enhance mobility for those who move and for those who stay put, they have become inextricably linked in forging networks and reconfiguring existing ones. Contrary to earlier studies that predicted radical social change and the passing of traditional societies in the face of new technologies, ICTs have been appropriated to enhance the workings of existing social relations and ways of life while simultaneously pointing to new directions in ever more creative and innovative ways.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vii
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  1. List of photographs, maps and diagrams
  2. pp. viii-ix
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. x-xiv
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  1. 1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-24
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  1. 2. Methodological considerations and data collection
  2. pp. 25-49
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  1. 3. Mobility and migration at the crossroads: Mobile communities
  2. pp. 50-78
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  1. 4. A new form of madness in the village: The arrival of information and communications technologies (ICTs)
  2. pp. 79-107
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  1. 5. Networks and shifting relations: Social and kinship networks and the formation of a network society
  2. pp. 108-135
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  1. 6. ‘Going to the field’: Pitching and migrants’ economic activities
  2. pp. 136-167
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  1. 7. ‘Your mami and papa for this country na meeting’: PIFAM and MACUDA as agency in a transnational world
  2. pp. 168-204
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  1. 8. A mobile community as a fortress: Reinforcing the notion of belonging through ‘life crisis’
  2. pp. 205-234
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  1. 9. ‘I di beep na for beep, them di call’: Straddling relationships between the home and host country amongst kin and kith
  2. pp. 235-269
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  1. 10. Conclusion: Mobilities, transcultural communities and transcultural habitus
  2. pp. 270-284
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  1. References
  2. pp. 285-303
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  1. Back Cover
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