Can you hear me now? : smartphones, youth, and development in a Dominican informal settlement

dc.contributor.advisorSletto, Bjørn
dc.contributor.advisorBailey, Diane E., 1961-
dc.creatorEggert, Brian Patrick
dc.date.accessioned2018-10-02T14:54:03Z
dc.date.available2018-10-02T14:54:03Z
dc.date.created2018-08
dc.date.issued2018-09-11
dc.date.submittedAugust 2018
dc.date.updated2018-10-02T14:54:04Z
dc.description.abstractInformation and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) is a relatively new area of research in the field of Information Studies. Despite its novelty, ICT4D shares themes and theories with a number of academic disciplines, including sociology, geography, and Development Studies. ICT4D research aims to identify ways in which personal devices and telecommunications networks can improve governance, education, healthcare, and employment in the developing world and in disadvantaged communities. With the intention of testing these themes and theories in a community that is underdeveloped both locally and globally, I performed an ethnographic study in Los Platanitos, an informal settlement in Santo Domingo, to assess smartphone use and access among youth. Despite a lack of Internet access in homes and the unaffordability of subscriptions to cellular data, most youth in Los Platanitos find ways to use social networks like Facebook and WhatsApp daily, if not far more frequently. This study attempts to explain how this is possible and whether the uses qualify as development in a way consistent with literature from ICT4D and its many associated disciplines. Metatheories like the network society and mobilities paradigm offer necessary frameworks in which to discuss these questions, while at the same time, the localization of the study and nuanced struggles of youth in Los Platanitos offer a case in which to test the scalability of the theories themselves. In a context where basic needs such as food, water, and sanitation are not readily available, ICT4D research must focus on the users, like the youth of Los Platanitos, in order to link the technology to the development goals.
dc.description.departmentInformation
dc.description.departmentLatin American Studies
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifierdoi:10.15781/T2D50GG7Z
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2152/68626
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectICT4D
dc.subjectInformal settlement
dc.subjectDominican Republic
dc.subjectDevelopment
dc.subjectSmartphones
dc.subjectEthnography
dc.titleCan you hear me now? : smartphones, youth, and development in a Dominican informal settlement
dc.typeThesis
dc.type.materialtext
thesis.degree.departmentInformation
thesis.degree.departmentLatin American Studies
thesis.degree.disciplineInformation studies
thesis.degree.disciplineLatin American Studies
thesis.degree.grantorThe University of Texas at Austin
thesis.degree.levelMasters
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Science in Information Studies
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Arts

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