The system of remittance/mobile money in Kenya shows the intimate blending of many different social spheres of life in light on new technologies and economic systems. The remittance payments bring together old traditions (such as circumcision ceremonies) and new phenomena (such as increased emphasis on education). What I found particularly interesting in this study was the different ways that people used and viewed remittance payments. On the one hand they were used as tools for empowerment, providing individuals or groups with income that they might not normally be able to acquire. The polygamous nature of many families seemed to be a driving factor in this need for redistribution.
Conversely, the redistribution seemed that it quickly became excessive and an annoyance to many individuals, whether by the shear scale of remittance requests or requests from individuals who the “request-ies” deemed unworthy of remittance. It was in this part of the article that I felt the most personally connected with. Though I have no experience with mobile money or remittance, I can relate to constant technological barrage of social and media demands. In the United States, this barrage is usually divided between the social (messages, requests, posts) and the monetary (advertisements). These spheres can be exhausting enough separately, it is hard to imagine them combined, and especially with the monetary having a personal/obligatory twist.
The implications of mobility are also particularly interesting with these types of transactions. Traditionally, reciprocity and collusion has been increasingly difficult when dealing with longer distances. Now, money can easily be exchanged by people of varying economic backgrounds across countries with very low risks of being lost or stolen and at a very low cost. This has incredible implications from a development, business and personal perspective.