Mobile telephones as public sphere in peri-urban Papua New Guinea

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In urban Papua New Guinea (PNG), attitudes about and uses of mobile phones may be construed as a kind of a Habermasian public sphere, albeit one whose moral space and discourse is characteristically Melanesian. That is to say, the notion of public" is not sharply differentiated eitherfrom the state or the private domain. In png, the citizenry assess mobile phone use not to only criticize the legitimacy of the postcolonial state, but also complain about the moral failings of the nation. Meanwhile, as they do so, they make calls for legitimate purposes, purposes that help them attain particularistic goals and assert particularistic values, both old and new.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-208
Number of pages14
JournalJournal de la Societe des Oceanistes
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 22 2017


  • Habermas
  • Mobile phones
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Public sphere
  • Wewak


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