Book ID: CBB047203108

The city electric: infrastructure and ingenuity in postsocialist Tanzania (October 2023)


Michael Degani (Author)

Duke University Press

Publication Date: October 2023
Physical Details: 254
Language: English

Over the last twenty years of neoliberal reform, the power supply in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's metropolis, has become less reliable even as its importance has increased. Though mobile phones, televisions, and refrigerators have flooded the city, the electricity required to run these devices is still supplied by the socialist-era energy company Tanesco, which is characterized by increased fees, aging infrastructure, and a sluggish bureaucracy. While some residents contemplate off-grid solutions, others repair, extend, or tap into the state network with the assistance of freelance electricians or moonlighting utility employees. In The City Electric Michael Degani explores how electricity and its piracy has become a key site for urban Tanzanians to enact, experience, and debate their social contract with the state. Moving from the politics of generation contracts down to the street level experience of blackouts and disconnection patrols, he reveals the logics of infrastructural modification and their effects on everyday life. As politicians, residents, electricians, and utility inspectors all redistribute flows of payment and power, they reframe the energy grid as both a technical system and an ongoing experiment in collective interdependence. (Publisher)

Reviewed By

Review Frank Edward (October 2023) Review of "The city electric: infrastructure and ingenuity in postsocialist Tanzania". Technology and Culture (pp. 1329-1331). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Edward, Frank
Brownell, Emily
Coleman, Leo Charles
Hård, Mikael
Jensen, Casper Bruun
McGarity, Thomas O.
The Bridge: Journal of the National Academy of Engineering
HOST: Journal of History of Science and Technology
Ethics, Place and Environment
Technology and Culture
Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society
University of Pittsburgh Press
Cornell University Press
Harvard University Press
MIT Press
Oxford University Press
Princeton University Press
Electric utilities
Electric power industry
Electric Power Transmission
Users of technology
Rawls, John
Time Periods
21st century
20th century, late
20th century
20th century, early
United States
Tanzania (Tanganyika, Zanzibar)
Dar Es Salaam
Minnesota (U.S.)
Eskom (South Africa Electric supply commission

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