chapter  5
15 Pages

Being connected

Mobile phones in the lives of domestic workers in Mexico City
WithCarmen Bueno, Sandra Alarcón

This chapter examines entangled assemblages of heterogeneous aspects, including translocal family ties, community bonds, urban networks, patron–client relations and advertising and marketing strategies. In Mexico City it is a common practice that apartments and private homes of the middle- and upper-class population have a service room to house at least one in-house domestic worker who has migrated from agricultural communities where the work opportunities are minimal. Domestic workers recognize other advantages to the use of ‘celulares,’ such as gossip, which is enhanced through these technologies. Marketing and publicity are facilitators that intervene in purchasing habits. It takes place in specific sites imbued with the extensification of messages that incorporate desires and lifestyles. The chapter describes the mobile phones’ advertising messages circulating in Mexico. An employee of an advertising agency that provides this service to one of the most prestigious mobile telephone firms in the country mentioned that they have to attend to the message the client wants to communicate.