Domesticating the Desktop

Although ICTs are being experimentally deployed at a number of locations in South Asia, more successful interventions appear to involve certain deformations and adaptations of modular ICTs to suit the needs of new rural users. This process of domesticating standard, average, normative, urban and globalized technologies, usually employs three common strategies:

1. community rather than individual ownership
2. human-mediated rather than direct access
3. multiplex rather than text-intensive formats

Contrasting the aural, oral, visual, corporeally stylized, multiplex, collective, and interactional quality of popular forms of media in rural India, with simplex, monologic, textually-intensive bureaucratic kind of ICTs, we suggest that alternative audio-visual forms must be invented by project planners, personnel and users through the transcendence of existing ideologies of technology, literacy and social hierarchy.

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Release Date January 01, 2003

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