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The art of connection

Descriptive

TypeOfResource
Text
TitleInfo (ID = T-1)
Title
The art of connection
SubTitle
negotiating the digital divide in Kenya's curio industry
NonSort
The
TitleInfo (ID = T-2); (type = alternative)
Title
Negotiating the digital divide in Kenya's curio industry
Identifier
ETD_1633
Identifier (type = hdl)
http://hdl.rutgers.edu/1782.2/rucore10001600001.ETD.000051371
Language
LanguageTerm (authority = ISO639-2); (type = code)
eng
Genre (authority = marcgt)
theses
Subject (ID = SBJ-1); (authority = RUETD)
Topic
Anthropology
Subject (ID = SBJ-1); (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Retail trade--Kenya
Subject (ID = SBJ-1); (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Technology transfer--Kenya
Abstract
How does the social and economic context in which new communication technologies are introduced shape the ways small-scale traders understand, gain access to, and use them? How does the digital divide in access to communication technologies reproduce or counter pre-existing inequalities? This dissertation is based on 26 months of participant observation in Kenya since 2001, when I investigated the competition and economic precariousness found among art traders, exporters, and art-producing organizations and cooperatives. In this dissertation I focus on the recent effects of cell phones and the internet. To clarify the contemporary importance of mobile communication technologies for Kenyans working in the shadow of the coastal tourism industry, I discuss the history of social inequality in Mombasa, the consolidation of curio art traders and cooperatives in the port city, and Kenya's political economy of ICT access. Following the removal of the roadside kiosks housing my initial sample of 2001, I investigated the strategies of small-scale art vendors as they struggled to survive economic change. This dissertation captures the story of the rise of the cell phone entrepreneur and the related decline of the cooperative societies around which Kenya's curio industry had long been structured. For economically disadvantaged actors, cell phones and email have become important for negotiating disparities in access not only to technologies, but also to jobs, capital, personal networks, and political representation. I argue that when state policy is not conducive to the formalization, legalization, and development of small-scale traders, ICTs can heighten social insecurity and economic precariousness among these businesspeople. Because the responsibility to manage risk has been abandoned by the Kenyan state and left to individual citizens and informal social and ethnic networks, the story of the digital divide among my research participants became one of ups and downs, repeated connection and disconnection, and intense competition. I demonstrate how the use of ICTs has left its mark on the individual men and women who drive Mombasa's curio industry, as well as the art itself.
PhysicalDescription
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electronic resource
Extent
xii, 380 p. : ill.
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text/xml
Note (type = degree)
Ph.D.
Note (type = bibliography)
Includes bibliographical references (p. 351-379)
Note (type = statement of responsibility)
by Dillon Mahoney
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Mahoney
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Dillon
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1980
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author
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Dillon Mahoney
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Haugerud
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Angelique
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chair
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Advisory Committee
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Angelique Haugerud
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Hodgson
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Dorothy
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Dorothy Hodgson
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Hughes
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David
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Advisory Committee
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David Hughes
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Schein
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Louisa
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internal member
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Advisory Committee
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Louisa Schein
Name (ID = NAME-6); (type = personal)
NamePart (type = family)
Steiner
NamePart (type = given)
Christopher
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outside member
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Advisory Committee
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Christopher Steiner
Name (ID = NAME-1); (type = corporate)
NamePart
Rutgers University
Role
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degree grantor
Name (ID = NAME-2); (type = corporate)
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Graduate School - New Brunswick
Role
RoleTerm (authority = RULIB); (type = )
school
OriginInfo
DateCreated (point = ); (qualifier = exact)
2009
DateOther (qualifier = exact); (type = degree)
2009-05
Place
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xx
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TitleInfo
Title
Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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ETD
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TitleInfo
Title
Graduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Identifier (type = local)
rucore19991600001
Location
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NjNbRU
Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/T34F1QZF
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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Rights

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The author owns the copyright to this work.
Copyright
Status
Copyright protected
Availability
Status
Open
RightsEvent (AUTHORITY = rulib); (ID = 1)
Type
Permission or license
Detail
Non-exclusive ETD license
AssociatedObject (AUTHORITY = rulib); (ID = 1)
Type
License
Name
Author Agreement License
Detail
I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
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Technical

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application/pdf
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application/x-tar
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