The Magic of New Technologies: A Crisis of Digitization in the Solomon Islands?

Abstract : In the past decade the Solomon Islands experienced a period of rapid digitization. A telecommunications monopoly ended which increased the affordability of (smart) phones. They spread quickly throughout the urban centre of Honiara and the rural hinterlands. At the same time state-building projects have focused on introducing computerized systems for government information management, especially for financial, auditing and electoral purposes. In addition, digital citizens, netizens, have had a vibrant existence on Facebook for several years. This massive and multidimensional digitization of information in the Solomon has been surprising not only in how quickly many Solomon Islanders have become digitally literate but also in an emergent iteration of Kastom magic that accounts for the world of new technologies ranging from paper-based currencies to the operations of 'high-tech' machines. Digital information processes have made many Solomon Islanders feel more vulnerable to malevolent, supernatural threats. This paper explores the role of magic associated with new technologies in navigating this critical juncture of the adoption of digital technologies in the Solomon Islands.
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Contributor : Geoffrey Hobbis <>
Submitted on : Sunday, October 11, 2015 - 11:33:34 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 2:28:48 AM


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Geoffrey Hobbis. The Magic of New Technologies: A Crisis of Digitization in the Solomon Islands?. German Anthropological Association Conference 2015, Sep 2015, Marburg, Germany. ⟨halshs-01214266⟩



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