Ageing with Smartphones in Uganda is based on a 16-month ethnography about experiences of ageing in a neighbourhood in a diverse neighbourhood in Kampala, Uganda. It examines the impact of smartphones and mobile phones on older people’s health and everyday lives as part of the global 'Anthropology of Smartphones and Smart Ageing' project.
In taking the lens of the smartphone to understand experiences of ageing in this context, the monograph presents the articulation and practice of ‘togetherness in the dotcom age’. Taking a ‘convivial’ approach, which celebrates multiple ways of knowing about social life, Charlotte Hawkins draws from these expressions about cooperative morality and modernity to consider the everyday mitigation of profound social change. ‘Dotcom’ is understood to encompass everything from the influence of social media to urban migration and lifestyles in the city, to shifts in ways of knowing and relating. At the same time, dotcom tools such as mobile phones and smartphones facilitate elder care through, for example, regular mobile money remittances.
This book explores how dotcom relates to older people’s health, in particular their care norms, social standing, values of respect and relatedness, and intergenerational relationships – both political and personal. It also re-frames the youth-centricity of research on the city and work, new media and technology, politics and service provision in Uganda. Through ethnographic consideration of everyday life and self-formation in this context, the monograph seeks to contribute to an ever-incomplete understanding of how we relate to each other and to the world around us.
Praise for Ageing with Smartphones in Uganda
‘Offering a fresh perspective on the lives of older people in Kampala, this book critically explores the intersection between aging, urbanism and technology within the African context. In doing so, it calls for researchers to understand the everyday lives of older people and gives voice to those who are so often muted.’
Josiah Taru, Great Zimbabwe University
Charlotte Hawkins is Postdoctoral Researcher in Social Anthropology at UCL.
List of figures
1 Our book
2 Elders in the city
3 Age and work
4 Togetherness is strength
5 The dotcom wave
6 Health and care: who is responsible?
7 Co-operative morality
8 Conculsion: permanent questions
‘Offering a fresh perspective on the lives of older people in Kampala, this book critically explores the intersection between aging, urbanism and technology, and acts as a clarion call for scholars, policymakers and researchers to understand the everyday lives of older people in Africa.’ Josiah Taru, Great Zimbabwe University
Format: Open Access PDF
23 colour illustrations
Copyright: © 2023
Publication: September 25, 2023
Series: Ageing with Smartphones