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The Internet : a Kula Ring of today

Lönning, Sara (2003)
Social Anthropology
Abstract
This study aims to investigate whether the Internet can be a useful tool in organisations in developing countries that are working for empowerment, democratisation and an increased global justice. I have elucidated the opportunities involved and the prerequisites for it to happen. The ability for groups to interact at great distances and at a rapid speed raises interesting questions about collective, political action and thanks to a Minor Field Study (MFS) scholarship I got the opportunity to go to Costa Rica to approach the chosen area and to participate in FIRE's among others work.

New telecommunication technology has undeniably advanced rapidly and more and more people around the globe have today direct access to it and to the... (More)
This study aims to investigate whether the Internet can be a useful tool in organisations in developing countries that are working for empowerment, democratisation and an increased global justice. I have elucidated the opportunities involved and the prerequisites for it to happen. The ability for groups to interact at great distances and at a rapid speed raises interesting questions about collective, political action and thanks to a Minor Field Study (MFS) scholarship I got the opportunity to go to Costa Rica to approach the chosen area and to participate in FIRE's among others work.

New telecommunication technology has undeniably advanced rapidly and more and more people around the globe have today direct access to it and to the information it conveys, but there are still vast regions in the world which have either no or very limited access to these new means of communication and exchanging information, which also is something that has been considered.

Information transformed into knowledge could be viewed upon as equal to social power, a power that can be used in the fight for equality and empowerment of socially marginalized groups. The Internet as an ultimate carrier of information could definitely be to some help in the production and in the distribution of knowledge. I have also argued for the Internet being able to give individuals and organisations a possibility to escape prevailing power structures, even though it is just another media produced within the society it is used in.

I have argued for how important it is to conceptualise the medium as a tool that might be useful in the process, and how significant it is not to forget the social actors behind this tool. In the organisations I had the opportunity to visit in Costa Rica there were a constantly present, never ending burning, passion to fight for their ideals. Their work were permeated by a strong believe in the possibility to change and they had all made the decision to use the Internet as a tool for their accomplishment.

Welcome to join me on the journey within the Kula Ring of today (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
@misc{1330758,
  abstract     = {This study aims to investigate whether the Internet can be a useful tool in organisations in developing countries that are working for empowerment, democratisation and an increased global justice. I have elucidated the opportunities involved and the prerequisites for it to happen. The ability for groups to interact at great distances and at a rapid speed raises interesting questions about collective, political action and thanks to a Minor Field Study (MFS) scholarship I got the opportunity to go to Costa Rica to approach the chosen area and to participate in FIRE's among others work.

New telecommunication technology has undeniably advanced rapidly and more and more people around the globe have today direct access to it and to the information it conveys, but there are still vast regions in the world which have either no or very limited access to these new means of communication and exchanging information, which also is something that has been considered.

Information transformed into knowledge could be viewed upon as equal to social power, a power that can be used in the fight for equality and empowerment of socially marginalized groups. The Internet as an ultimate carrier of information could definitely be to some help in the production and in the distribution of knowledge. I have also argued for the Internet being able to give individuals and organisations a possibility to escape prevailing power structures, even though it is just another media produced within the society it is used in.

I have argued for how important it is to conceptualise the medium as a tool that might be useful in the process, and how significant it is not to forget the social actors behind this tool. In the organisations I had the opportunity to visit in Costa Rica there were a constantly present, never ending burning, passion to fight for their ideals. Their work were permeated by a strong believe in the possibility to change and they had all made the decision to use the Internet as a tool for their accomplishment.

Welcome to join me on the journey within the Kula Ring of today},
  author       = {Lönning, Sara},
  keyword      = {Internet,informationsteknik,kommunikation,telekommunikation,frivilligorganisationer,Costa Rica,u-länder,socialantropologi,transnational networks,NGOs,empowerment,developing world,digital divide,Cultural anthropology, ethnology,Kulturantropologi, etnologi,Press and communication sciences,Journalistik, media, kommunikation},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Internet : a Kula Ring of today},
  year         = {2003},
}