ICTs for the Rural Poor: Civil Society and Cyber-Libertarian Developmentalism in India View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:Chapter     


Chapter Info

DATE

2005

AUTHORS

T. T. Sreekumar

ABSTRACT

The convergence of development rhetoric and information society theories in discourses on the digital divide and information capitalism marks a cyber-libertarian turn in development studies. While critiquing the tendency to conflate civil society and information society, Sparks (1994) draws attention to a widely held deterministic position that the increases in productivity brought about by information and communication technologies (ICTs) would lead to a progressive weakening of the power structures that underpin the social foundation of capitalism. Sparks highlights particularly the approach of ‘new times’ theorists of the now defunct magazine Marxism Today, of advancing the argument that communication technologies can ‘undermine strong power pyramids more directly’ (Sparks, 1994, p. 38). This approach largely ignores the deep contradictions of informational capitalism characterised by increasing income inequalities reinforcing development divides, social exclusion and dependency (Parayil, 2005). The new cyber-libertarian approach to ICTs and development is characterised by two interrelated arguments on the political economy of development. First, it argues that in the advanced industrialised world wider use of ICTs would create a more equitable and democratic society, and thereby obviate the need for radical social transformation. Second, it proceeds to show that the diffusion of ICTs in less-developed countries, especially in rural areas, would help to bridge the development divide. In other words, the cyberlibertarian approach regards bridging the digital divide as the most important step to emancipate the masses from poverty, because, it is believed, new technologies like ICTs would deliver rapid economic growth. More... »

PAGES

61-87

Book

TITLE

Political Economy and Information Capitalism in India

ISBN

978-1-349-54360-1
978-0-230-59561-3

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1057/9780230595613_4

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9780230595613_4

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1024512481


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