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Feb 17

BREAKING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE: THE PARADOX OF NEW MEDIA IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

 

There´s a growing conception of how  people think about new media (internet) as a groundbreaking link that has transformed the way people live their lives, and yet researchers and practitioners in the field of ICT and development often struggle to prove specific impacts of the technology to funders, Kleine D. (2010).

There is an apparent recognition of the huge development potential, incorporating political participation, in new media and its associated technologies, but the paradox lies in how this potential is translated to meet the needs and aspiration of the people who are in dare need of development. The techno-deterministic concept of development assumes that the level of penetration of information technology in poorer countries is a determining factor that will spur economic growth, without that developing countries are doomed to remain backward. With this assertion, development performance is equated to how a country is digitally connected. Hence, many development policies are becoming more and more linked to bridging the digital divide assume to slow down development in developing countries as compared to Western countries. This can be misleading because development is not only related to technical solutions, it also relates to the socioeconomic circumstances in any society, Nederveen Pieterse, J. (2010: p. 167 ). Because of this, the techno-deterministic position of development is viewed to be a reflection of neoliberal thinking in the form of digital capitalism that still maintains the status quo of neoliberal development strategies. Continue reading →


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