A Netnographic Approach on Digital Emerging Literacies in the Digital Inclusion Program AcessaSP - Brazil

A Netnographic Approach on Digital Emerging Literacies in the Digital Inclusion Program AcessaSP - Brazil

Rodrigo Eduardo Botelho-Francisco (Federal University of Paraná, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8740-0.ch015


This chapter presents survey made in one of the largest programs of Brazilian digital inclusion, AcessaSP, responsible for the provision of spaces for access and interact with information and communication technologies in virtually every city in the State of São Paulo. It is reported netnographic qualitative research with actors in network of telecentres and infocenters goers. The text is organized to discuss the digital inclusion from the perspective of interactivity and emergent literacies, affiliate concept of this work, we consider important to the understanding of skills, abilities and skills in appropriating digital. Completion of some topics considered vectors of digital inclusion for its apparent ability to conduct important experiments in the development of literacies of an autonomous process, can be inferred from including social networking, games, mobile, interpersonal communication, production multimedia and work and entrepreneurship.
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This chapter presents a research which took place within one of the biggest and most important Brazilian digital inclusion experiences. The work was concluded in 2014 in the “Observatório da Cultura Digital” (Observatory of Digital Culture), placed in the “Núcleo de Apoio à Pesquisa Escola do Futuro” at Universidade de São Paulo (USP). It aims to improve a qualitative perspective furthermore than the measurement of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) acquisition, as is assured that there is an emphasis in data and statistics reflecting just computing ownership and Internet access. A Netnographic study was promoted, in order to identify, map and characterise the net actor’s emergent literacies, involved in digital inclusion contexts, as well as comprehend them from the perspective of the interactive processes, established for these actors over the projects they take part in.

As it will be shown in this chapter, there are several aspects of inclusion, some of them out of people’s control. Otherwise, being included and having net access to more complex levels also means to dominate the sense of configuration space, a space of expression, freedom and creation, important to the contemporary society. Not being allowed to it has it consequences.

For studying digital inclusion and the Internet in this context, we use the concept of literacies, approach which addresses the skills and competencies of citizens in the use of information and media to a conscious appropriation of cyberspace in a posture of dynamic, collaborative and constant learning. When talking about emerging literacies in the context of this work, conjures up the field of emergency of this concept, as well as the emergence of their own literacies of networked actors in processes of interaction.

The locus of the study is AcessaSP, a program that operates in digital inclusion and social role of the availability of equipment, infrastructure and free Internet access. Its actions occur in telecentres and local infocenters, held in partnership with local governments and often deployed in public places of popular frequent access. In addition, the program is dedicated to the production of educational materials (digital and non-digital) and promoting actions of common interest with the use of ICT, contributing to the information of the population served and to the training for citizen use of computers, infrastructure and Internet.

From the understanding of AcessaSP as a community with expressions and own experiences on the Internet, the study found the convenience of employing Netnography as a methodological approach to the study of Digital Culture. Thus, we tried to set up a qualitative research with the possibility of acting in a natural environment and through which it is possible to develop concepts, ideas and understandings of possible interaction patterns in a digital inclusion program.

It is also necessary to point the choice by the use of terminology such as “actors in network” used to refer to AcessaSP goers, as well as to refer to those citizens of appropriation of contemporary ICT process. This choice refutes the understanding of people as “users” of technological artefacts and is part of the theoretical attempt to overcome the linear models of communication and any description that assume a passive posture of the interactors in technological mediation. The expression is used in the context of theoretical branches of the Observatory of Digital Culture, has inspirations in understandings of actor networks and Latour (2005) and carries the experience of its use in works such as those of Passarelli (2009), Passarelli, Guzzi and Dimantas (2009) and Passarelli and Azevedo (2010), which include social networks, as well as Latour, from movements, spaces and fills that can be caused or arising, in a posture that comprises the expression as a tool to describe something, not what is described, but the readings that can take the relay of the actors as mediators of the actions (Latour, 2005, pp. 131).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital inclusion: Political and social estrategy used for a provide access to computers, ICT tools and Internet.

Information and Communication Technologies: The term is used to refer to communications systems, telecommunications, hardware, software and other technologies that enable access, store, transmit and manipulate information.

Netnography: A methodological approach to the study of Digital Culture. The term comes from “Internet” and “ethnography”.

Media and Information Literacy: A combination of two distinct areas, information literacy and media literacy. Literacies, in that sense, emerge as a concept capable of providing new insights into the reality of practices in network.

Internet: A global system of interconnected computer networks.

AcessaSP: A Brazilian program that operates in digital inclusion and social role of the availability of equipment, infrastructure and free Internet access.

Digital Culture: The term is used to represent a clear and almost total transformation of the world by digital technology. Has been used frequently by movements that have championed issues ranging from practical hacker and digital to independent music and solidarity economy.

Interactivity: This work includes interactivity as a result of interaction contexts between humans and humans, humans and documents and humans and computer systems, in a participatory technology perspective. The expression translates control shifts among senders and receivers.

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