Towards an ICT4D Geometry of Empowerment: Using Actor-Network Theory to Understand and Improve ICT4D

Towards an ICT4D Geometry of Empowerment: Using Actor-Network Theory to Understand and Improve ICT4D

Donna D. Rubinoff (University of Colorado – Boulder, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-654-9.ch007
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Abstract

This chapter introduces actor-network theory (ANT) as an approach to the analysis and improvement of the use of ICT for development (ICT4D). It argues that ANT helps to conceptualize ICT beyond the technological systems of the conventional “digital divide.” ANT supports thinking about the sociotechnical networks that incorporate humans, hardware, institutions, texts, and policies, etc. into ICT networks. It also supports the inclusion of marginal actors, helps to address development problems from the perspective of those populations, and traces the networks of power that supports their participation or exclusion. The author hopes that the ideas in this chapter will promote further discussion on the topic and the refinement of an analytical framework for ICT4D.

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