Information technologies, social ties and marginalisation in Sudanese job market

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Information about Information technologies, social ties and marginalisation in Sudanese...

Published on March 12, 2014

Author: elno127



This case study is about Sudanese job market which involves social ties and ICTs in recruitment and job searching process.

In Sudan, like other Arab societies, Wasta plays a crucial role. Wasta is a sort of tradition in Arab world, which refers to using personal connections to get things done including government transactions, getting hired and getting promotion. Thus, the majority of information about job vacancies is shared through strong ties such as family and close friends. This is one example of DAL group which is the biggest conglomerate in Sudan. 80% of employees got into the company through a social contact – Wasta.

This also has to do with the privatisation of opportunities by employers in the process of liberalisation. Also, during Education Evolution in the early 90s, even though the number of universities increased, it failed to produce qualified graduates. It made the employers tend to rely on their own social network to recruit people. They provided opportunities those in groups over marginalized out groups.
So, Sudanese strong ties not only came from the traditional social structure, but can also be seen as modern phenomenon.

The Internet and other ICTs are expected to challenge the situation by democratizing the information about jobs.
The study shows that job seekers generally rely on weak ties. Yet that’s not the case in Sudan. People don’t want to share information about jobs on the Internet because it is so precious. Even though ICTs have capacity to reach people widely and quickly, information about jobs is not likely shared through such weak ties.

These are major channels that job seekers and HR mangers can use. The job seekers from marginalized areas like Karthum, heavily rely on public channels, because they don’t have private channels-Wasta. But companies are not putting advertisement in public. Instead, they use internal networks. So, if you don’t have personal connections inside the company, you are not able to get in.

Even though the information advertised online, it is only available for those who have access to the Internet. And they are wealthier, speak better English and have transnational experiences. So, ICTs actually work for filtering the applicants and can also provide mechanisms for information to be kept more secret and for access to be restricted.

Case study 2 Information technologies and social ties in Sudanese job market Based on Mann (2013), Oxford Internet Institute Media culture and neoliberlism in the global South. March 2014 Presented by El No,

Sayga employees 80% of employees found out about their jobs through a social contact (2010) Wasta (Arabic) A person of influence. Using one’s connections and/or influence to get things done.

Liberalisation of economy Distrust of national domestic education - ‘Education Revolution’ in the early 1990s The Privatisation of opportunities  Job opportunities goes to ‘in groups’ Sayga employees 80% of employees found out about their jobs through a social contact (2010)

Social ties and the Internet The majority of American professionals rely on ‘weak ties’ for information about jobs (Granovetter, 1973; 1995) But, Khartoum survey revealed strong and strengthening ‘social ties’ among job contacts (Mann, 2013) Job information is so precious, so it goes through strong ties and not widely shared through weak ties by ICTs

Public advertisement State agencies Marginalised job seekers Internal advertisement Recruitment channels Networked job seekers Job markets get exclusive and segregated Universities

For people who can access to the Internet - wealthier - speak better English - have transnational experiences Filter the applicants Public advertisement State agencies Internal advertisement Recruitment channels Universities Online Ads.

References Mann, Laura (2013) "We do our bit in our own space": DAL Group and the Development of a Curiously Sudanese Enclave Economy. Journal of Modern African Studies 51 (2). Mann, Laura (2012) Information Technologies and Marginalization in African Market Economies (Society and the Internet Lecture Series, Part 9) Mark Granovetter (1973) ‘The Strength of Weak Ties’ American Journal of Sociology. 78,5. Mark Granovetter (1995) Getting a Job: a Study of Contacts and Careers Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

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