1st Edition

Women’s Agency and Mobile Communication Under the Radar

Edited By Xin Pei, Pranav Malhotra, Rich Ling Copyright 2024
    274 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume maps the role of mobile communication in the daily lives of women around the globe, shedding light on “under-the-radar” use of mobile communication to display a nuanced understanding of social impacts that may affect the gender construction processes of women at the individual, institutional, and societal levels.

    A global team of authors focus on the use of mobile communication by women in the lower rungs of their respective societies, as well as those who migrate with marginalized statuses within and across the national borders, to demonstrate how “under-the-radar” use of mobile communication is deeply inscribed within diversified social, cultural, historical, and political milieus. Illuminating the social structural constraints faced by women under their dynamic negotiation of agentic mobile phone use for self-empowerment, the chapters cover women’s economic activities, health care, well-being, migration, gendered identity, and the practices of different gender roles.

    This comprehensive and interdisciplinary volume will be of interest to scholars and students of media and communication, new and digital media, mobile communication, gender studies, sociology, anthropology, political science, and cultural studies.

    Part I Introduction

    Chapter 1. Introduction

    Xin Pei, Pranav Malhotra, and Rich Ling 

    Part II Gendered mobile (ex)inclusion across sociocultural milieux 

    Chapter 2.  Chores, mores, and digital doors: computer and mobile pathways to digital skills

    Araba Sey, Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh, and Marcia Abonie

    Chapter 3. The hidden colonialities of mobile communication: phone uses by women in a South African rural community

    Lorenzo Dalvit

    Chapter 4. The digital divides in Hong Kong: a small stories analysis of older women’s use of smartphones and mobile technologies

    Margo Turnbull and Alice H.Y. Yau

    Chapter 5. Mobile telephony and identity expression of the Senufo women farmers in Côte d'Ivoire: a socio-anthropological reflection on the production and marketing chain of néré

    Kabran Aristide Djane, Portia Mureille Kone, and Aminata Bamba

    Part III Economic (dis)empowerment and mobile communication 

    Chapter 6 Economic potentials of gendered mobile communication: digitization communication and financial independence in East Africa

    Leah Jerop Komen

    Chapter 7. Gender and the social impacts of rural mobile finance

    Erin B. Taylor, Isaac Lyne, and Rida Akzar

    Chapter 8. Secrets in the marketplace of intimacy: heterosexuality and mobile phones in Dar es Salaam

    Laura Stark

    Part IV Migration of women and mobile-mediated mobility 

    Chapter 9. Bonding, bridging, and belonging: smartphone practices of migrant women from the Global South resettling in Rural-Norway

    Wenche Nag

    Chapter 10. Smartphones, shopping, and the technomobility of migrant mothers

    Tom McDonald and Holy Shum

    Chapter 11. Expectation asymmetries in mobile communication of Chinese "study mothers (Peidu Mama)": long-distance intimacy, gender positionality, and emotion work

    Yang Wang

    Chapter 12. At the intersection of multiple systems of power: a systematic review of gender, migrants, and mobiles

    Gabrielle C. Ibasco, Mengxuan Cai, and Arul Chib

    Chapter 13. Climate change-induced displacement, gender, and mobile telephony in West Bengal, India

    Sirpa Tenhunen

    Part V (C)overt resistance and self-expression in negotiated mobile spaces

    Chapter 14. “Invisible people have no politics”: becoming middle-class working women with rural roots in a mobile assemblage

    Troy Zhen Chen and La-Mei Chen

    Chapter 15. Mobile Kasambahay: digital inclusion and the transformation of everyday life of live-in domestic workers in the Philippines

    Cecilia S. Uy-Tioco and Hannah Faith P. Saab

    Chapter 16. An Instagram of one’s own: young Indian women’s use of mobile technologies for skilling and work

    Nayana Dhavan, Elisa Oreglia, and Anushri Israni

    Chapter 17. Lower-class women and their use of mobile communication in Italy

    Leopoldina Fortunati

    Chapter 18. Imagining and performing the agentic self: an ethnographic exploration of Muslim teenage girls’ mobile youth culture in Flanders

    Tom De Leyn, Mariek Vanden Abeele, and Ralf De Wolf

    Chapter 19. Feminist resistance on Chinese social media: guerrilla warfare under the hashtag

    Aizi Chang



    Xin Pei is Lecturer in Media and Communications at the School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne. Her research focus lies in examining the social consequences of adopting information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the context of marginalization.

    Pranav Malhotra is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Media at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on how the affordances of social and mobile media intersect with relational and cultural norms to influence how people engage with information and each other in mediated spaces.

    Rich Ling recently retired from the Shaw Foundation Professorship of Media Technology, at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. For more than three decades, he has studied the social consequences of mobile communication.