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Title:Connectivity and Empowerment: A Case Study of Cell Phone Technology in Rural Congo
Author(s):Cibangu, Sylvain
Hyperconnected societies
Information science
Abstract:Hyperconnectedness, hyperconnectivity, or plainly put, connectivity, cannot be effectively/fully addressed without a sustained look into global connectivity since entire populations remain unconnected and unempowered. Indeed, despite claimed global growth, inequalities have increased within and between countries. More particularly, while a number of countries have made steady economic advances, the gap between the rich and the poor has widened. Connectivity with and access to information (technology) alone cannot make the world a better place nor eradicate poverty. As cell phones have increasingly come to be the privileged portal of connectivity and empowerment among the world’s poorest, the present study focused on cell phone uses among concerned individuals. To this effect, unlike quantitative research with large-scale figures and top-down, predetermined data about investigated populations, the present study conducted semistructured interviews with 32 parents in the rural Congo with the aim to give voice to them to capture their own accounts or lived experiences on ways in which cell phones produced development among them. One key contribution of this study was to advocate for broader and synergistic capabilities of the world’s poorest beyond the mere commodification of cell phone connectivities and technologies.
Issue Date:2017
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press. The School of Information Sciences at Illinois. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:Cibangu, Sylvain K."Connectivity and Empowerment: A Case Study of Cell Phone Technology in Rural Congo." Library Trends, vol. 66 no. 2, 2017, pp. 119-154. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/lib.2017.0032
Series/Report:Library Trends 66 (2). Fall 2017
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-14

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