Public Access Venues and Community Empowerment in Mozambique: A Social Representation Study.

Rega, I. and Vannini, S., 2018. Public Access Venues and Community Empowerment in Mozambique: A Social Representation Study. Semiotica. (In Press)

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Abstract

This article uses the theoretical construct of Social Representations to investigate how Community Multimedia Centres (CMCs) – venues that offer public access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to underserved communities – are perceived by communities in Mozambique, and it discusses how the local population understands these venues as means to foster community empowerment and socio-economic development. In total 113 participants took part in the study, from six CMCs in different towns of Mozambique. Participants were represented from three different social groups, according to their use of the CMC: staff members, users of both CMC components – telecenter and radio - and radio-only users. The article analyses the Social Representations’ structure, using a Prototypical approach. Findings show that CMCs are seen by local communities as places at which they can receive and exchange information, and also as learning spaces, with the telecenter part focused on the delivery of ICT training and the radio component engaging with educational activities and services in a broader sense. Furthermore, CMCs are perceived as places dedicated almost exclusively to children and young people. The results of this study can help policy makers, practitioners, funding agencies and other relevant stakeholders to improve Mozambican CMCs and leverage their community empowerment potential.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0037-1998
Uncontrolled Keywords:Community Multimedia Centres ; Mozambique ; Community Empowerment ; Social Representation ; Education
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:29173
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:09 May 2017 11:08
Last Modified:09 May 2017 11:08

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