MOBILE PHONES AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE INFORMAL ECONOMY - STORIES FROM MARKET WOMEN IN KAMPALA
MOBILE PHONES AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE INFORMAL ECONOMY
- STORIES FROM MARKET WOMEN IN KAMPALA
This research project is situated within the area M4D (mobile technologies for development), i.e. that mobile technologies play a vital role in the livelihood of people in developing regions. Out of a larger explorative study of how market women in Kampala use their mobile phone(s), this article focuses on the transformation of the so-called informal economy, here in the form of markets. Departing from stories of the women themselves we argue that the mobile phone, not the least through mobile money, changes the street market to also include non-street transactions in interesting and hybridized ways. Furthermore the women included in the study also bear witness on attempts – from city officials as well as local loan sharks – to formalize and control these women and their business, processes in which mobile telephony plays an important role. On basis of the changing media and communication landscape we argue that the celebration of the informality of these economies with its promise of empowering women financially needs to be nuanced.
Location: Seminar room 5A415 Karlstad University