Jenna Burrell: Invisible Users: Youth in the Internet Cafés of Urban Ghana (2012)

11 December 2012, dusan

“The urban youth frequenting the Internet cafés of Accra, Ghana, who are decidedly not members of their country’s elite, use the Internet largely as a way to orchestrate encounters across distance and amass foreign ties–activities once limited to the wealthy, university-educated classes. The Internet, accessed on second-hand computers (castoffs from the United States and Europe), has become for these youths a means of enacting a more cosmopolitan self. In Invisible Users, Jenna Burrell offers a richly observed account of how these Internet enthusiasts have adopted, and adapted to their own priorities, a technological system that was not designed with them in mind.

Burrell describes the material space of the urban Internet café and the virtual space of push and pull between young Ghanaians and the foreigners they encounter online; the region’s famous 419 scam strategies and the rumors of “big gains” that fuel them; the influential role of churches and theories about how the supernatural operates through the network; and development rhetoric about digital technologies and the future viability of African Internet cafés in the region.

Burrell, integrating concepts from science and technology studies and African studies with empirical findings from her own field work in Ghana, captures the interpretive flexibility of technology by users in the margins but also highlights how their invisibility puts limits on their full inclusion into a global network society.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2012
ISBN 0262017369, 9780262017367
Acting With Technology series
236 pages

interview with the author



querelles-net, Rezensionszeitschrift für Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung (2000-2011-) [German]

13 August 2011, dusan

querelles-net erschließt die Vielzahl fachspezifischer, inter- und transdisziplinärer Veröffentlichungen im Bereich der Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung/Gender Studies. Wissenschaftliche Rezensionen geben einen Überblick über wichtige Publikationen und aktuelle Forschungsschwerpunkte. Die fortlaufend aktualisierte Bibliographie informiert über die Neuerscheinungen des Feldes.

querelles-net erscheint seit 2000 in Ergänzung zu Querelles. Jahrbuch für Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung (1996 ff.).

querelles-net ist Teil des Publikationsförderprogramms zur Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung an der Freien Universität Berlin.

Redaktionsleitung: Marco Tullney
Redaktion: Valeria Raupach, Anita Runge, Marco Tullney
Published by Freien Universität Berlin
ISSN 1862-054X
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Germany License (from Issue 2009 / 1)

PDF (Vol 12 Issue 2; 2011; EPUB)
View online (all issues; HTML articles)

Theodore Roszak: The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition (1969)

5 June 2010, dusan

When it was published, this book captured a huge audience of Vietnam War protesters, dropouts, and rebels – and their baffled elders. Theodore Roszak found common ground between 1960s student radicals and hippie dropouts in their mutual rejection of what he calls the technocracy – the regime of corporate and technological expertise that dominates industrial society. He traces the intellectual underpinnings of the two groups in the writings of Herbert Marcuse and Norman O. Brown, Allen Ginsberg and Paul Goodman. Alan Watts wrote of The Making of a Counter Culture in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1969, “If you want to know what is happening among your intelligent and mysteriously rebellious children, this is the book. The generation gap, the student uproar, the New Left, the beats and hippies, the psychedelic movement, rock music, the revival of occultism and mysticism, the protest against our involvement in Vietnam, and the seemingly odd reluctance of the young to buy the affluent technological society – all these matters are here discussed, with sympathy and constructive criticism, by a most articulate, wise, and humane historian.”

Publisher Anchor Books, Doubleday, New York, 1969
303 pages

google books

The Making of a Counter Culture (English)
El nacimiento de una contracultura (Spanish, trans. Angel Abad, 1970/1981, added on 2013-7-2)