søndag, april 26, 2009

How does everyday life change when electricity becomes available to people?

Interesting stuff from an anthropologist who did research in Zanzibar:

So what has changed after the introduction of electricity?

What was most striking to me was the tremendous effect electricity has had on people’s time management. With electric light the day in theory has 24 hours instead of 12. People must make new choices as to what to do when. In consequence, time is speeding up and practices change: Women cook only two meals each day and not three as they used to (they now serve leftovers for the third meal). This is also linked to their wish to watch television in the evening and their opportunity to earn money during daytime.

Relations change in the process; the man has ‘entered the home’ in a new way. In the evenings, men and women now sit together in the same room, together with neighbours and the extended family. The electric light provide transparency and purity and the television programme is in focus. The paradox, although a phenomenon also observed in many other places, is that the spouses new opportunity to spend more time together actually provides less time for marital (?) intimacy. Sexual patterns change due to electricity. Because of this and also electricity’s high cost and rapid normalisation, there are signs that the birth rate is on the decrease. This was exemplified when men complained to me that due to the need for electricity, it is becoming too expensive to have more than one wife, or even get married at all.

...read the rest of it HERE.

2 kommentarer:

Syd sa...

That is truly fascinating shit.

HB sa...

I thought so too! Never thought of it like that before.