"A human being without cell phones is akin to being lifeless". Mobile phones, social capital and solidarities in the central Moungo region (Cameroon).

Abstract : Mobile phones, social capital and solidarities in the central Moungo region (Cameroon) 1 Jérémy PASINI 2 (Ph.D. Student in geography, Summary. One of the most significant trends in Cameroon over the past two decades has been the rapid diffusion of the cellular telephony. The number of mobile phones' has risen from a few thousands in the early 2000s to more than seventeen million in 2014. How should we explain this unpreceded diffusion of cell phones? Why is it so crucial to be able to make phone calls and send short text messages, especially in coun-trysides and medium towns? This work starts from the hypothesis that Moungo's inhabitants can no longer build a resilient livelihood only from village resources (like the monetary salary arisen from the plantation) and are therefore always on the look-out for external unexplored occasions. Wireless phones are here seen as tools that enables individuals to make the most of diversified and spatially scattered social networks, thereby opening new areas of solidarity (that is conceived not only in the common sense of being helped in case of accident, but also in the meaning of being informed about accumulation opportunities) between rural and urban spaces. The analysis of individuals' telephone use leaves no doubt that wireless telecommunications have become an essential requisite and an object of success. For instance, the ethnographic material gleaned over the past three years sheds light on the positive role of handheld devices in money and social remittances (ideas, values, beliefs, new ways of designing and organizing activities, etc.) within families that function more and more like "domestic diasporas". The paper concludes that each person articulates a network of people (of places) that is materialized by mobilities and mobiles' uses. This reticular structure spans the rural urban divide to the extent that it indifferently includes components from both spaces. It is, furthermore, a transient form of organization that is modified according to (unexpected) economic possibilities and personal desires. Such a model cannot be properly described using a somewhat rigid territorial framework.
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Jérémy Pasini. "A human being without cell phones is akin to being lifeless". Mobile phones, social capital and solidarities in the central Moungo region (Cameroon).. 2018. ⟨hal-01898381⟩

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