ICTs and the reconfiguration of 'marginality' in Langa Township: A study of migration and belonging

 

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Nyamnjoh, Francis en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Powell, Crystal en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2014-11-11T06:53:54Z
dc.date.available 2014-11-11T06:53:54Z
dc.date.issued 2014 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Powell, C. 2014. ICTs and the reconfiguration of 'marginality' in Langa Township: A study of migration and belonging. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/9526
dc.description Includes bibliographical references. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract Mobility and migration are survival tactics for long-term security and sustainability within Africa and South Africa is perceived as offering opportunities to those seeking greener pastures. South Africa's history of 'selective immigration' has made many local South Africans, particularly the disadvantaged black population, reluctant to welcome African immigrants or 'outsiders' seeking to integrate. This poses considerable difficulties for many migrants attempting to negotiate acceptance. African migrants often end up living on the margins of South Africa, ultimately disconnected from mainstream populations. Langa Township in Cape Town, South Africa, the site of this study, is located at the margins of the city. Its residents, local South Africans and African immigrants, are considered a marginalized population and therefore face multiple challenges of belonging within and outside the township. Such challenges are intertwined with and complicated by the complex realities of marginality. In exploring the role of new Information and Communication Technologies in negotiating migration and belonging, this study focuses on the mobile population of Langa Township. As a settlement initially established by migrants from other South African provinces, Langa residents are able to historicize the significance of communication technologies in the lives of migrants. Ethnographic approaches were used to investigate the role of new communication technologies in Langa, exploring the ways that technology has provided opportunities for development, facilitated the negotiation of various marginalities, and offered new ways of belonging for residents. Fieldwork included extensive participant observation and informal interviews. Concluding that Langa's marginality is not as obvious fixed as generally assumed, the study shows that new communication technologies have both mitigated and exacerbated some complexities of marginality for residents within and outside the township. It reveals that mobile phones (1) manipulate residents – to the extent the residents allow – as much as residents manipulate mobile phones; (2) provide new ways of belonging inside and outside the township; (3) mitigate distance for some residents while burdening others with meeting social obligations against their wishes; (4) provide opportunities for development; and (5) are not used to redefine socio-political relations among residents. These findings are significant for (a) assessing the impact of mobile phones for social, economic and political development, while (b) cautioning against undue euphoria associated with the presumed benefit of mobile phones for underprivileged populations, and (c) challenging stereotypical representations of townships and marginality. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.title ICTs and the reconfiguration of 'marginality' in Langa Township: A study of migration and belonging en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Social Anthropology en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record