Urban Ghana and Privacy in the Digital Age : An Ethnographic Exploration book cover
1st Edition

Urban Ghana and Privacy in the Digital Age
An Ethnographic Exploration

ISBN 9781032017334
Published April 21, 2022 by Routledge
180 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $170.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This book explores privacy practices and the role of digital technologies in the lives of urban Ghanaians, considering how they use language, materiality, and culture to maintain sharp boundaries between the private and public. Focusing on the harbour town of Tema, it offers rich ethnographic portraits that cover topics such as nightlife, domestic architecture, religion, and social media. The volume demonstrates how transformations across Africa such as Pentecostal reformation, neoliberal reforms, and rapid digitisation all raise the need for privacy among middle-class urbanites who use brand new (and very traditional) strategies to uphold an image of their economic or religious state. Overall the book highlights how digital technologies intertwine with local cultures and histories, and how digital anthropology enhances our understanding of the offline as much as the online. It makes a valuable contribution to discourse about the right for privacy and surveillance in the digital age, and will be of interest to scholars from anthropology and African studies.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: studying privacy, digital anthropology, and Pentecostalism

2 Method and reflection

3 Setting the field: people, place, language, and technology

4 Treasures of darkness: nightlife & surveillance

5 Hidden and incomplete: Middle-Class houses

6 In a relationship with God: the discretness of Social Media

7 Conclusions: towards an ethnography of privacy

View More



Elad Ben Elul is an anthropologist who lectures at Tel Aviv University and specializes in digital cultures and modern African studies.