Local Experts in the Domestication of Information and Communication Technologies

Information, Community and Society 10 (4), 547-569

21 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2012 Last revised: 17 Jun 2014

See all articles by James K Stewart

James K Stewart

Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation, University of Edinburgh; European Union - Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS)

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

Research into the adoption and use of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) pays increasing attention to social context; however, the social fabric of contexts of use is often poorly theorized. This paper presents an investigation into the formation and operation of informal local networks of collaboration and knowledge exchange. It highlights the role of local experts in sustaining these informal networks and helping individuals and groups adopt and cope with new ICTs. The paper draws on a range of analytic traditions, including domestication and consumer research, to assess how local experts transfer knowledge, ideas of use and even new technologies across social networks and across the boundaries between home, work and education and other domains of life. The methodology deployed attempts to overcome the limitations of many studies of the adoption and diffusion of innovations in sample selection, especially the inclusion of non-adopters. It addresses the social dynamics of engagement with new technologies and proposes a move beyond a simple individualistic adopter/non-adopter model, with consequent implications for understanding digital inclusion and exclusion.

Keywords: Adoption, experts, intermediaries, Internet, social, networks, non-use, ICT, eInclusion

Suggested Citation

Stewart, James K., Local Experts in the Domestication of Information and Communication Technologies (2007). Information, Community and Society 10 (4), 547-569. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2176694

James K. Stewart (Contact Author)

Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation, University of Edinburgh ( email )

Old Surgeons Hall
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1LZ
United Kingdom

European Union - Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) ( email )

Edificio Expo, C
Inca Garcilaso, s/n
Sevilla, E-41092
Spain

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