A political economy of mobile telecommunications in South Africa.
The thesis is in part a political economy of telecommunications in South Africa, in part a discourse analysis of the field. While the thesis investigates issues around ownership, control and regulation of the big telecoms companies in South Africa, it also considers some facets that do not really fit comfortably into traditional political economy approaches. The dominant discourse within telecommunications is a neoliberal technological determinism, despite the developing context. However, there are lesser known narratives of consumption, commodification and control, which demand a cultural studies approach. Together these form alternate, ignored yet important facets emerging from the sector. The thesis foregrounds these alternate discourses as they relate to wider systems of control in the modern empire’s hegemony.