Being Available and Reachable
New Media and Cameroonian Transnational Sociality
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: African Books Collective
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I am deeply indebted to several people who have supported my studies in one way or the other. I sincerely thank the following people: My advisors Prof. Dr. Judith Schlehe and Prof. Dr. Till Förster, my parents and siblings Francis Fuanyi Tazanu, Beatrice Anyinkeng, Felicity Foanyi, Adolf Atabongafac, ...
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The book investigates what it means to be directly available and reachable for Cameroonians who use mobile phones and to a lesser extent, the internet, to keep in touch with friends and families across borders. Most theoretical literature states that these tools of sociality cement transnational social ties ...
List of Acronyms
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Location of Field Sites
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List of figures
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Introduction to Being Available and Reachable
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Chapter I: Ethnographic Background
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The ethnographic chapter describes social relationships within a historical context of recorded migration and the history of the telephone and internet in Cameroon. This migration background pays detailed attention on social ties between people who stayed behind and those who left the hinterlands to work in western ...
Chapter II: Theoretical and Conceptual Framework
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Migrants and non-migrants have always kept ties through letters, recorded tapes, hand mails, verbal messages, the telephone and the internet (see Pelican 2011:170; Ardener et al. 1960:241-242; Schiller et al 1995:51; Mahler 2001). Unlike letters, tapes and hand mails, the new media especially the mobile phone ...
Chapter III: Methodology
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This chapter presents the methodology of the study and my experiences as a researcher. The first five months (mid November 2008 to late March 2009) of my studies in the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Freiburg, were devoted to gathering relevant literature on transnational ties mediated ...
Chapter IV: Sensory Experiences and Selected Practices of Cross-Border Sociality
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Being instantly available and reachable across borders was generally seen as a positive development in relationships both in Buea and Freiburg. Such appreciation of the new media confirms similar studies that have focused on the instrumentality of new ICTs in easing communication between migrants and non-migrants ...
Chapter V: New Media Technology and Sociality
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It is true only to a certain extent when participants claimed that their preference of the mobile phone in maintaining the relationships is influenced by feelings of instantaneity facilitated by this medium. There is also the media technology aspect which has implications on the choice of the media, the spaces of sociality, ...
Chapter VI: Visual Imagery, Virtuality and Trans-border Imaginations
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Even though the study aims at revealing Cameroonian relationships mediated by the mobile phone and internet, people’s experiences and impressions might not be fully understood if taken out of the context of other media sources and the ongoing processes of imaginations. Field accounts revealed that visual imagery, ...
Chapter VII: Social Closeness, Distance and Discontent
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Fundamental to the understanding of this chapter is the assumption that the new communication media foster social closeness. More precisely, does being easily available and reachable through the new ICT guarantee social closeness or that relationships between migrants and non-migrants are easily maintained? ...
Chapter VIII: New Media and Material Expression of Transnational Social Ties
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The material dimension of Cameroonian mediated transnational social relationships expressed in the form of remittances is not an ignorable topic considering the centrality of these remittances in binding, neutralising or distancing ties. I pay particular attention on the financial aspect of remittances, ...
Chapter IX: Conclusion and Suggestions
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Earlier migration theories assumed that migrants are destined for uncompromising integration into the host societies and would cut all ties with their places of origin (Handlin 1973; Takaki 1993. Quoted in Schiller et al 1995:48). Put differently, migration was misconceived as “a one-way journey from one place to another” ...
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Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2012