Abstract

Abstract:

Hyperconnectedness, hyperconnectivity, or plainly put, connectivity, cannot be effectively/fully—addressed without a sustained look into global connectivity—since entire populations remain unconnected—and un-empowered—. Indeed, despite claimed global growth, inequalities have increased within and between countries. More particularly, while a number of countries have made steady economic advances, the gap between the rich and the poor has widened. Connectivity with and access to information (technology) alone cannot make the world a better place nor eradicate poverty. As cell phones have increasingly come to be the privileged portal of connectivity and empowerment among the world's poorest, the present study focused on cell phone uses among concerned individuals. To this effect, unlike quantitative research with large-scale figures and top-down, predetermined data about investigated populations, the present study conducted semistructured interviews with 32 parents in the rural Congo with the aim to give voice to them to capture their own accounts or lived experiences on ways in which cell phones produced development among them. One key contribution of this study was to advocate for broader and synergistic capabilities of the world's poorest beyond the mere commodification of cell phone connectivities and technologies.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-0682
Print ISSN
0024-2594
Pages
pp. 119-154
Launched on MUSE
2018-02-21
Open Access
No
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