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Information 2018, 9(6), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/info9060135

Going beyond the “T” in “CTC”: Social Practices as Care in Community Technology Centers

School of Information Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 3 June 2018
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Abstract

Community technology center (CTC) is a term usually associated with facilities that provide free or affordable computer and internet access, and sometimes training, to people in underserved communities. Despite the large number of studies done on CTCs, the literature has focused primarily on the use of ICTs as the main, if not the only, activity in these centers. When it comes to addressing social concerns, the literature has often seen them as an outcome of ICT use. It does not highlight CTCs as an inherent and important social space that helps to tackle social issues. Thus, in this study, I present an ethnographic account of how residents of favelas (urban slums in Brazil)—who are from understudied and marginalized areas—used these centers beyond the “T” (technology) in order to fulfill some of their social needs. I highlight the social practices afforded by the CTCs that were beneficial to the underserved communities. By social practices, I focus exclusively on the acts of care performed by individuals in order to address self and community needs. I argue that CTCs go beyond the use of technology and provide marginalized people with a key social space, where they alleviate some of their social concerns, such as lack of proper education, violence, drug cartel activities, and other implications of being poor. View Full-Text
Keywords: community technology center; ethnography; Brazil; favela; care; ICT4D; community informatics community technology center; ethnography; Brazil; favela; care; ICT4D; community informatics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Nemer, D. Going beyond the “T” in “CTC”: Social Practices as Care in Community Technology Centers. Information 2018, 9, 135.

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