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Title:The Top-Down Approach to Providing ICT Access to Rural Communities in China: Opportunities for Community Informatics
Author(s):Yu, Liangzhi; Yu, Binbin
Subject(s):Community informatics
Rural communities
Information communication technology (ICT)
Abstract:Community informatics (CI)—as practiced by Western academics and social activists—was introduced to China by a group of library and information science scholars in about 2010. But before this encounter, there was already a growing push in China to connect local communities with information communication technologies (ICTs). This work is generally known in China as community or rural “informatization.” Although the new, Western-origin community informatics efforts did not completely overlook existing Chinese endeavors, they have so far done little to relate to ongoing domestic projects. This article attempts to place community informatics in relation to Chinese rural informatization programs in general, and to public access projects in particular. In the process, it examines the opportunities and challenges facing the newly imported community informatics projects. It shows that while CI brings a new perspective to Chinese endeavors, it faces a very different political, institutional, and social environment from what it has known before—one which favors a top-down approach to providing community-based ICT. This calls for prudent assessment of the relationship between CI and both rural communities and government-led projects.
Issue Date:2013
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info:In Library trends 62(1) Summer 2013: 34-62
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-11-21

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