Abstract

Abstract:

To organize passenger and car logistics, bus and taxi stations across Africa use bureaucratic assemblages consisting of waiting lists, tickets, license-plate numbers, and various infrastructural control mechanisms. The material organization of these logistical systems reflects the historical, infrastructural, and social specificities of each station. Drawing on an ethnography of the waiting-list technology (called carnet) at the taxi station of Dakar's Léopold Sédar Senghor airport, this article argues that, rather than being the result of a global proliferation of bureaucratic norms and techniques, such technologies are vernacular in that they result from local creative efforts, driven by socially embedded interests and material affordances. As a sociomaterial entanglement, the carnet at Dakar's airport, this article argues, is an expression of the social construction of technology, whose purpose exceeds a merely logistical and economic rationality by instigating a particular ethic of work and sociability.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-1978
Print ISSN
0001-9887
Pages
pp. 50-70
Launched on MUSE
2019-05-04
Open Access
No
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