Meanings of (dis)connection: Exploring non-users in isolated rural communities with internet access infrastructure

Isabel Pavez*, Teresa Correa, Javier Contreras

*Autor correspondiente de este trabajo

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

15 Citas (Scopus)


While public policy worldwide has focused on providing digital connectivity infrastructure in
remote areas, there remain people who are digitally excluded. Hence, it is important to explore
why people, despite having access to a digital connection, do not go online. As the third part of a
three-year project on digital inclusion in isolated communities in Chile, this study draws on
findings from focus groups conducted with non-Internet users who live in three remotes but
digitally connected villages, to unravel the elements associated with their decision to remain
digitally excluded. The main findings indicate that strong ties within the community shelter their
sense of isolation providing a feeling of closeness, whereas the internet is perceived as disruptive.
In addition, negative attitudes about the Internet emerge from the discussions: the internet is
associated with addiction and isolation. Finally, the absence of digital skills makes smartphones
and computers unknown entities, a black box people feel unable to or overwhelmed at the
thought of learning how to use. However, many are facing a hard choice due to their need to
remain in contact with those outside the community as well as promote and develop their small
business ventures. Therefore, there is a cultural construction of the internet as a required form of
progress that nonetheless does more harm than good to a tight-knit community.
Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)11-21
Número de páginas11
EstadoPublicada - ago. 2017

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


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