"MXing it up": how African adolescents may affect social change through mobile phone use.

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This chapter outlines mobile phone use among African (particularly South African) adolescents. With an estimated 350 million active mobile phone subscriptions, improving network infrastructure, low-cost Internet-ready handsets, innovative programs and applications, mobiles in Africa, and their increasingly younger, increasingly poorer, and increasingly savvy users have the potential to act as conduits for local and regional socially just change. This broad-based connectedness not only provides access to information, but also, and crucially, connects individuals and their social, intellectual, and financial capital. It may represent a powerful, transformative shift in a region where access to similar technologies was historically limited to a privileged few. In order to best leverage these developments and opportunities to promote socially just change, I argue that future mobile-based programs or initiatives in the region should be based in both contemporary developmental systems theory as well as current, popular mobile applications and services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
JournalNew directions for youth development
Issue number128
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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