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ERIC Number: ED520178
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 231
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-6499-4
Mobile Technologies & Socio-Economic Opportunities for Disadvantaged Women: A Study of Information Behavior in a Developing Nation Context
Potnis, Devendra Dilip
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, State University of New York at Albany
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been championed by the United Nations and others as one of the key media to open up socio-economic opportunities for disadvantaged populations. Studies lead us to believe that after being introduced to ICTs, users' information behavior changes, enabling them to benefit from socio-economic opportunities. Using Wilson's (1997) Revised General Model of Information Behavior (Model), the dissertation explored the role of cell phones--the fastest spreading information and communication technology (ICT)--in shaping the information behavior of disadvantaged population, with its implications on socio-economic opportunities. To identify one of the most disadvantaged cell phone owner and user groups, the research applied stratified purposive sampling with 6 filters: (i) citizens of India, the country with the highest number of citizens living under the poverty-line defined by the Government, (ii) resident in rural context with less socio-economic opportunities compared to urban context, (iii) "backward class", (the term was coined and defined by the Government of India) disadvantaged population from socio-economic and education perspective, (iv) female in male-dominated society, (v) individuals with daily income less than a dollar (the poverty-line defined by the World Bank), and (vi) cell phone owners and users. As a result of the group-administered surveys completed by 100 respondents in the first phase, unmarried girls (UMG) and women married for more than 20 years (MW) emerged as two groups with distinct information behavior. In the second phase, 12 UMG and 10 MW were interviewed on the phone in Marathi, their native language. Software-aided analysis refined the Model's construct from "context of information needs to context of communication and information needs", which also acts as the main controller of information behavior for respondents. The research proved that change in information behavior is an indispensible, intermediate stage between access to cell phones, and the use of cell phones for exploring socio-economic opportunities. The research serves as a reference for crafting policy and designing dollar-aide strategies for sustainable development, using mobile technologies. The private sector could apply research findings for better human-centered designs and interfaces of mobile technologies, and improve marketing to boost the sale in developing nations. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India