In The Mobile Phone Revolution in Morocco, Hsain Ilahiane examines how Moroccans use the mobile phone to redefine core notions of gender and space, honor and shame, placemaking, and surveillance and control. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with urban street vendors, urban micro-entrepreneurs, urban female domestic workers, and smallholder farmers in urban and rural Morocco, Ilahiane illustrates how the mobile phone has the endowed capacity to inform, rearrange, and transform almost every aspect of Moroccan society.
Hsain Ilahiane is professor of anthropology and head of the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures at Mississippi State University.
Introduction The Mobile Phone is the Total Social Artifact
Chapter 1 Street Vendors: The Mobile Phone is a Cleaner Occupation
Chapter 2 Urban Micro-Entrepreneurs: The Mobile Phone is the Sixth Pillar of Islam
Chapter 3 Female Domestic Workers: The Mobile Phone is like a Saint
Chapter 4 Smallholder Farmers: The Mobile Phone is neither a Snowmobile nor a Truck
Chapter 5 The Makings of Shame, Gender, and Place: The Mobile Phone is Satan Number 71
Hsain Ilahiane’s book is an ethnographic tour de force. Not only does he show us how a complex multitude of forces and activities all converge upon the cell phones Moroccan people hold in their hands, but also how the phones themselves, as ‘total social artifacts,’ are subjects in their own right. Henceforth, anyone writing about the role of cell phones in social and cultural life will have to take this fascinating, and well-argued, book into account.
This vivid and engaging ethnography shows how the mobile phone has profoundly affected almost every aspect of life and work in the urban shantytowns and rural hamlets of Morocco. Playfully written and theoretically inspired, The Mobile Phone Revolution is a pathbreaking contribution to modern Middle East studies, as well as a must-read for those interested in economy, labor, and gender relations in a technological era.
Ilahiane brings together a multitude of brilliant observations about the impact of the mobile phone within a text that can be read profitably by grads and undergrads in the social sciences as well as by anyone interested in the impact of modern technology in the Islamic world. The Mobile Phone Revolution in Morocco is as original and insightful as it is concise and will astonish and delight the reader. The light but deft theoretical touches will help readers understand the ways in which the examples may be generalized to other areas of the world.