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Of all the progenies of contemporary technological development, Digital Divide fascinates me the most. Its iatrogeny — problem inducing ways of problem solving — and capacity to reinvent is matched only by a few other problems of our age. Many scholars have tried to reconceptualise digital divide as a socio-technical problem, by pointing out the continuum of gradations between the information haves and have-nots, still there are several nuances left to be grasped…
[W]e first need a language to entertain the thought of entertainment as a valid if not serious use of technology which is worth studying… [M]y preliminary findings have convinced me that the potential banality of terms like development, e-governance, digital literacy, technology adoption, innovation and even Jugaad, does not allow one to grasp the wider cosmology in which digital media is being appropriated in the village.
While the problems of technological determinism, digital divide and the larger politics of knowledge and development are multifaceted and evoke extreme opinions ranging from technophilia to dystopia, there are some key ideas like interpretive flexibility of technology and context sensitive appropriation and access, which could help us engage in a nuanced debate on the relationships of society and technology. In case of ICTs, the interpretive flexibility is further problematized by their ability to liquidate space and time.
The Call for Proposals for the Short Term Research Projects in Social and Digital Media attracted over 80 applications from all over the country, and it took a careful scrutiny of all the applications to reach our decision. We got applications from scholars as well as practitioners, young researchers and older, and proposals looked at a wide range of themes. Please take a look at the excerpts from selected proposals for this year’s Short Term Research Projects in Social Media.