Ganesh, S. & Barber, K. F. (2009). The silent community: Organizing zones in the digital divide. Human Relations, 62(6), 851-874.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2758
This article is a critical interrogation of scholarship on digital divides as it pertains to development in the so-called `Third World'. The article proceeds by identifying three problematic assumptions of extant research on digital divides in the context of development: the discursive binarization between `haves' and `have-nots'; the normatization of the digital divide; and the unproblematic representation of local community interests. The article then uses a longitudinal case study of one particular Non-Government Organization (NGO) that attempted to develop a system of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) over a 10-year period. Three phases of ICT development are identified: an initial phase, a growth phase, and a consolidation phase. The historical development of ICT in the NGO is used to interrogate the three assumptions of digital divide literature, highlighting its role in organizing digital zones. Implications for understanding digital divide and development issues are discussed.
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