Sex, social reproduction, and mobile telephony as responses to precarity in urban Tanzania
Stark, L. (2019). Sex, social reproduction, and mobile telephony as responses to precarity in urban Tanzania. In C. Wamala Larsson, & L. Stark (Eds.), Gendered Power and Mobile Technology : Intersections in the Global South (pp. 48-69). Routledge. Routledge Advances in Feminist Studies and Intersectionality. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315175904-3
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The gendered effects of neoliberal economic restructuring around the world are usually studied in their most dramatic forms: cross-border migration, exploitation, resistance, and violence. This chapter examines significant transformations arising from economic restructuring in the nexus between gender, labour, and urban space — transformations in which mobile technologies are deeply implicated. It explores how mobile phones are used by the poor for day-to-day survival in Tanzania’s largest city. The chapter shows how gendered economic bargains are negotiated at the very bottom of a survival economy located within the dynamics of a globalized economic system. An important characteristic of mobile telephony in Tanzania is its broad and efficient network of mobile money services. Mobile telephony alters the experiential effect of distance in a densely populated city with insufficient transportation infrastructure. Prior to sexual intimacy, mobile telephony and m-money provide the physical and temporal distances between the participants needed to help women evaluate their potential sexual partners through conversation. ...
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