Advances in Technology in Developing Nations

An anthropologist named Tanja Winther describes in her dissertation how bringing electricity to the people of east Africa for the first time brought about changes in their daily lives. These changes ranged from increased leisure time, to easier ways to prepare meals. The increase of leisure time changed the social dynamic completely. Within the families it meant that men and women spent less time engaging in sexual activity and therefore the birth rare declined. Also, high costs of electricity meant that there was less money for the men to marry with. Some men could only afford to take one wife and others could not afford marriage at all. Women went from cooking three meals a day to only preparing two and using leftovers as the third meal. This decline in time cooking was obviously a positive effect as it freed up time for other things that needed to be done. The amount of sleep that people got decreased as  well. There was speculation by the villagers that more time spent watching TV meant the later people were up and so it led to bad performance in school, and fighting among neighbors.

This article made me think about the impact cell phones were having on southeast Asia when I was there. They totally changed the way people communicated with one another. There were some positives like increases in small business profits which allowed families to have things the never had before. However, there were also a lot of negatives. Thai people in particular ,are very close to their families and communities in which they live. Cell phones put a gap between people in a sense because life started to move faster once new technology was introduced. I saw a lot of the beauty of that culture be lost due to increasing technology. But culture is not stagnant. It grows with the people and each new generation comes plenty of changes and problems needing to be addressed. Perhaps technology is just one way to address the problems of today for many developing nations.

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One Response

  1. Outstanding post.. i will definitely come back again soon.

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