Shanty towns around the Global Village?: Reducing distance, but widening gaps with ICT

Kirkwood, Adrian (2001). Shanty towns around the Global Village?: Reducing distance, but widening gaps with ICT. Education, Communication and Information, 1(2) pp. 213–228.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14636310126891

Abstract

For at least 25 years, prophecies and predictions have been made about the power of communications technologies to reduce the effects of geographical distance. Advances in satellite communications and supranational broadcasting, together with the dramatic growth in the availability and capability of information and communication technologies (ICTs), have revolutionised both the speed and the nature of global communications. However, technological determinist predictions have failed to take account of the pre-existing social contexts and relationships that shape the uptake and use of new technologies at both national and international levels. In Western countries, the impact of ICT upon different groups in society has been varied, tending to reinforce rather than ameliorate existing inequalities. On an international scale, the Internet has now reached most parts of the world, but anglophone countries have dominated information sources and services. Inequalities exist not only in access to the technological means of communication, but also in respect of what is conveyed by those means.

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