An article I co-authored with Jo Ellen Fair, Melissa Tully and Rabiu Asante was just published in Africa Today, an interdisciplinary journal of African Studies. The article, titled “Crafting lifestyles in urban Africa: Young Ghanaians in the world of online friendship” examines young, urban Ghanaians who use the internet to form relationships. Here’s the abstract:
The Internet in Africa has generated a lively debate in the popular press and among commentators about what its growth will mean for Africa and its people. Through in-depth interviews and observations, we consider one aspect of Internet practice in Africa: how use of the Internet for making friends and dating allows young, urban Ghanaians to craft lifestyles, incorporating globally circulating cultural and symbolic forms into their identities. We suggest that when young, urban Ghanaians go online to meet, chat, and form relationships with strangers near and far, they are devising, testing out, and sharing sensibilities; they are bringing situation, mood, and new knowledge to bear on the self or selves that they are exploring and tentatively projecting.