Mobile phones and community development: a contact zone between media and citizenship
Mobile phones have already been used widely around the world for activism, social and economic development, and new cultural and communicative forms. Despite this widespread use of mobile phones, they remain a relatively un-theorised and un-discussed phenomenon in community and citizen’s media. This paper considers how mobile phones have been taken up by citizens to create new forms of expression and power. The specific focus is the use of mobile phones in community development, with examples including the Grameenphone, agriculture and markets, the Filipino diasporic community, HIV/AIDS healthcare, and mobile phones in activism and as media. It is argued that mobile phones form a contact zone between traditional concepts of community and citizen media, on the one hand, and emerging movements in citizenship, democracy, governance, and development, on the other hand.
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