Internet use genres: A lens for analyzing patterns of Internet adoption in rural communities of Canada, Chile, and Vietnam

Maria Bakardjieva, Isabel Pavez Andonaegui, Teresa Correa, Trang Pham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Public policies across the world have focused on providing Internet access to residents of rural areas. This chapter looks at data from previous studies in three countries at a different point in their digital inclusion process highlighting the ways rural inhabitants appropriate Internet technologies. The findings propose a conceptual tool for the analysis of the characteristics of these appropriations and their link to the specific social context in which they emerge: Internet use genres. This concept integrates ideas from the critical theory of technology, sociological phenomenology, and genre theory. By revisiting the results of independent studies conducted in rural areas of Canada, Chile, and Vietnam, we trace the emerging Internet use genres to elements of the participants’ relevance systems and socio-biographical situations that in turn are shaped by the geographical, socio-economic, and cultural conditions of their communities. The parallels between the use genres evolved by rural residents despite the distinct social and political profiles of the home societies is an indication that Internet use genres respond to recurring local situations and are highly malleable and subject to user agency. Being able to identify, classify, and anticipate their evolution provides researchers and policymakers with a nuanced understanding of Internet adoption processes in rural communities. It also opens possibilities for exploring the inclusion of end-users’ choices in technological development.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Communication for Agricultural and Rural Development
Subtitle of host publicationParticipatory Practices in a Post-COVID Age
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781040089538
ISBN (Print)9781032252087
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2025 selection and editorial matter, Ataharul Chowdhury and Gordon A. Gow; individual chapters, the contributors.


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