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The complex position of the intermediary in telecenters and community multimedia centers

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journal contribution
posted on 24.05.2017, 10:12 authored by Savita Bailur, Silvia Masiero
The critical role of the information intermediary in supporting community participation in telecenters and community multimedia centers [CMCs] has been recognized for some time. However, the literature has largely taken a neutral/ positive perspective (that the center manager/staff are necessary social connectors and should ensure equitable access) or a negative one (that they may replicate hierarchies, be unwilling to help, or direct users toward “undesirable” information). Drawing on how identities are embedded within and formed by networks, this article takes a third perspective: Telecenter and CMC information intermediaries are in the complex positions of brokers and translators, and their roles are constantly negotiated and performed within multiple, dynamic, and constructed networks. This interpretive, narrative analysis of interviews with the center manager and staff at Voices CMC in India illustrates that intermediaries can be in an ontologically insecure position, bridging these multiple networks, but can also navigate their roles and create their “spaces of development” within these same networks. Therefore, the article argues that it should not be taken for granted that these intermediaries are simply executing policy; instead, further research into how they interpret and perform it in vernacular terms is necessary because this, in turn, can shape user perception of CMCs and telecenters.

History

School

  • Business and Economics

Department

  • Business

Published in

Information Technologies and International Development

Volume

8

Issue

1

Pages

27 - 42 (16)

Citation

BAILUR, S. and MASIERO, S., 2012. The complex position of the intermediary in telecenters and community multimedia centers. Information Technologies and International Development, 8 (1), pp.27-42.

Publisher

© USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

Publication date

2012

Notes

© 2012 USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. Published under Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. All rights not granted thereunder to the public are reserved to the publisher and may not be exercised without its express written permission.

ISSN

1544-7529

eISSN

1544-7537

Language

en