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Title: Connections@Cape Verde : postcolonial globalisation through the Internet
Author: Melo, Sónia A. S.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3393 1141
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examines how a particular technology, the Internet, is entangled with globalisation and postcolonial phenomena in the specific case of Cape Verde (a group of islands in West Africa). Globalisation and postcoloniahsm are here examined as historical macro-processes. The thesis links these macro-processes with the micro-practices of everyday life in relation to the production, circulation and consumption of the Internet. Drawing on ethnographic data collected in three different locations (in Cape Verde and among diasporic groups in the United States and Portugal), it inspects the materiality of postcolonial relationships as they are played out through and alongside the Internet from the Cape Verdean standpoint. One of the most prominent ideas about the Internet is that it allows unprecedented connectivity. This thesis argues that connectivity has a history and particular dynamics of spatialisation. Both history and spatialisation always entail power relations and exchanges built through thick layers of time and various social and political arrangements. In Cape Verde, the Internet as a communication and information technology draws upon the infrastructures of previous colonial arrangements (structural communications layouts, dynamics of ownership, the making of the state and of professional group identities, racial and class relations) together with the links and routes that have followed (Cape Verdean contact, movement and exchange, namely through migration, with other people and places). Internet usage also reflects and embodies connections (political, economic, and familial) with certain spheres of language and culture. The thesis goes on to argue that the Internet embodies a web of actors, meanings, ideas, digital objects and capital that has helped to shape and transform the postcolonial transnational links that Cape Verde and Cape Verdeans have maintained throughout their colonial and recent postcolonial condition. In this way, it analyses the postcolonial political economy of communications of the Internet in Cape Verde by exploring the identities and subjectivities of the human actors involved in it. It explores the importance of the migratory and diasporic phenomenon in the spread of the Internet in Cape Verde and in the constitution of the Cape Verdean Internet space, as well as the Internet engagement, practices and agendas of diasporic groups both in the United States and in Portugal. When focusing on Cape Verdean Internet users in Cape Verde, the thesis scrutinizes the politics of Internet connectivity and usage in the postcolonial world. It argues that Internet usage is framed according to particular geocultural, geolinguistic and geodiasporic formations. The thesis contributes not only to debates on globalisation and technology, but also to versions of postcolonial studies that seek a closer articulation between political economy and subjectivities, through the examination of everyday life practices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available