- 白山人類学 = Hakusan Review of Anthropology (ISSN:13415980)
- vol.20, pp.57-78, 2017-03
This paper looks into two interrelated processes staged in a rural community in West Timor, Indonesia, a community that has been largely left behind by development projects. One is the process of rapid spread of mobile phones and expansion of their use. Another is the process of development (involving many twists and turns) of enterprises trying to create the electric infrastructure needed to charge mobile phones, a process that has recently suffered a serious setback. The author describes the two processes and analyzes how villagers proactively purchase new products, incorporate them into their daily lives, and master the ways to use them to fit their environment, at the same time letting the chances of "development", chances that are right there in front of their eyes, slip by. The purpose of the analysis is to highlight the "electroscape", an indispensable condition expected to just be there for the processes of development and modernization, a condition, without which everyday lives of us, researchers, and the countries we come from, would not have been possible, but one which still goes unnoticed by those whose very lives depend on it. This analysis of a rural community in Indonesia shall help us see how consumption and the desire to consume operate on a deeper level, a level unseen with such simple classifications as the "(pseudo-)middle class" and the "poor."