UCT CS Research Document Archive

A second look at the mobile-only internet: job seekers in Khayelitsha, South Africa describe their first 6 months of mobile internet use

Gitau, Shikoh, Jonathan Donner and Gary Marsden (2010) A second look at the mobile-only internet: job seekers in Khayelitsha, South Africa describe their first 6 months of mobile internet use. In Proceedings ICTs and Development: An International Workshop for Theory, Practice, & Policy, IIT Delhi., Dehli, India.

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Abstract

Using an ethnographic action research approach, the study explores the challenges, practices, and emergent framings of mobile-only Internet use in a resource-constrained setting. We trained eight women in a nongovernmental organization’s collective in South Africa, none of whom had used a personal computer, how to access the Internet on mobile handsets they already owned. Six months after training, most continued to use the mobile Internet for a combination of utility, entertainment, and connection, but they had encountered barriers, including affordability and difficulty of use. Participants’ assessments mingled aspirational and actual utility of the channel with and against a background of socioeconomic constraints. Discussion links the digital literacy perspective to the broader theoretical frameworks of domestication, adaptive structuration, and appropriation.

EPrint Type:Conference Paper
Subjects:H Information Systems: H.5 INFORMATION INTERFACES AND PRESENTATION
ID Code:686
Deposited By:Marsden, Gary
Deposited On:18 November 2011