Document Type


Publication details

Post print of Coco, A & Short, P 2004, 'History and habit in the mobilisation of ICT resources', The Information Society, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 39-51.

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Peer Reviewed



Evidence demonstrates that the digital divide is deepening despite strategies mobilized worldwide to reduce it. In disadvantaged communities, beyond training and infrastructural issues, there often lies a range of cultural and historically formed relationships that affect people's adoption of ICTs. This article presents an analysis of local resident's engagement with their council's pilot project to develop a computer facility in their community center. We ask, to what extent can people in poor urban communities, once trained, be expected to volunteer to work on furthering community education and development in ICTs in their local area? Findings indicate four patterns of individual engagement with the computer project: reflexive, utilitarian, distributive, and nonparticipatory. It is argued that local people engaged with the intervention in historically patterned and locally distinctive ways that served immediate personal and pragmatic ends. They did not adopt the long-term strategic goals of the council or university.

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