ISBN 9789956550395
Pages 164
Dimensions 216 x 140mm
Published 2018
Publisher Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon
Format Paperback

The 'Glocalization' of Mobile Telephony in West and Central Africa

Consumer Appropriation and Corporate Acculturation: A Case Study in Cameroon and Guinea-Conakry

by Max A. Smith

This book examines the ‘glocalization’ – the adaptation of a global telecommunication technology to local particularities – in West and Central Africa. Through case studies in Cameroon and Guinea, the research presented evinces how local agency leads to the appropriation of mobile telephony, and the extent to which telecommunication companies acculturate their marketing strategies to consumer preferences and local realities. The book interrogates the presumptive neutrality of technology and presents evidence of agency superseding supposedly fixed limitations of use for mobile phones. In opposition to the notion of an Africa ‘lagging’ behind, the book also nuances the development discourse so often associated with the ‘leapfrog’ and spread of mobile telephony south of the Sahara. Overall, this study highlights ways in which agency leads to modernity being refracted locally in West and Central Africa and reflects on the tension at play between ‘globalizers’ and ‘globalized’.

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About the Author

Max A. Smith

Max A. Smith was born in Paris, France, in 1996. He moved to the United States in 2007. After a study abroad semester in Cameroon and field research in Guinea, he obtained a BA from Kenyon College in 2018, double majoring in International Studies and French Area Studies with a concentration on sub-Saharan Africa. The same year he was granted a Research Fulbright to study the impact of mobile phones on the 'rural-urban divide' in Togo. 

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