BIDS IT Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies
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Mobile Lives: The Quotidian Use of Mobile Phone

This study examines how the disadvantaged youth—with little or no formal education, those from poor socio-economic backgrounds—use mobile phones in their everyday life in Bangladesh. It specifically explores the quotidian use of the digital device mainly in the lives of the youth involved in the informal sector. The originally unintended use of the device, e.g., collective ownership/use of the presumed private device, is one of the key focuses of the study. Using “creative social expression lens” (Wong and Ling 2011:285), this study seeks to understand what kind of “social animals” they have become “fueled by mobile use” (Wong and Ling 2011:286)? Simultaneously, how the mobile phone as a technical device has transformed, taken new meanings, a noble character in the dynamic interactive process, in the ways of being enmeshed in the lives of the “bokhate” or “the spoiled,” for example? How the social fabrics the users embody are (re)shaped by the widespread inclusion of a technological device? The findings will be analyzed to elaborate the diverse kinds of social conventions and moral obligations, the unconventional use of the mobile phone necessitates. Qualitative techniques will be employed to document the in-depth understanding of the users from all the divisions of the country.  

Name of the Researcher: Mohammad Golam Nabi Mozumder

Duration: May 1, 2022 to 30 November 2022 

Sponsor: The Research Endowment Fund, BIDS

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