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What is Community Informatics in Japan? A look at 12 cases

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Title: What is Community Informatics in Japan? A look at 12 cases
Author(s): Takazawa, Aiko; Williams, Kate
Subject(s): Community citizens ICT social implication of ICT use
Abstract: In this paper, we are concerned with the applicability of the concept of Community Informatics (CI) rooted in North American studies to a different context, Japan. Despite the fact that CI is a relatively new filed of study, and Japan’s intensive use of mobile information and communication technologies (ICT) are a common area to find in articles, Japanese CI practices are little known. Among major academic journals that CI scholars appear, there have none of CI articles by Japanese scholars published so far. These draw our attention. We review cases in Japan that apply and adapt information and communications technology (ICT) to local community settings. Applying Williams and Durrance’s framework encompassing community informatics practices, twelve community projects and groups were identified in the study (2007). The projects are categorized into four types based on different conceptions of ICT use in fulfilling community needs and objectives (Williams and Durrance, 2007). These are community groups, organizations, and projects that rely on (1) actual places, i.e., public computing places and cyber cafes, (2) virtual spaces, i.e. , community networks and online resources, (3) some combination of those two, and (4) organic, that is, borne out of community efforts not particularly concerned with technology but which now involve ICT. We chose an opportunistic sampling technique in order to find cases that fit in those four types of CI models. For the very first step, we draw on a small number of articles by Japanese scholars on the utilization of social network service developed by municipal offices using open source software for community development (Toyama, 2007; Shoji, 2007).
Issue Date: 2009-02-08
Genre: Conference Poster
Type: Text
Language: English
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-03-29

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