Communication and culture : mobile telephony in PNG villages
Watson, Amanda H. A. (2010) Communication and culture : mobile telephony in PNG villages. In 19th Annual Conference of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre : Technology and Culture : Communication Connectors and Dividers, 21-23 June 2010, Suntec City, Singapore. (Unpublished)
This paper examines the recent introduction of mobile telephony into rural communities in Papua New Guinea (PNG). It presents the findings of substantial fieldwork conducted in 2009, and suggests ways in which the new technology is already changing people’s lives and relationships. The paper identifies the roles of mobile telephones in two communities, the changes taking place and how villagers are responding to them. Comparison of the two villages is strategic as it highlights similarities in perceptions of mobile phones in these two very different settings. An ethnographic approach is adopted, situated within an interpretative methodology. Data collection methods include semi-structured interviews, orally-administered surveys and participant observation. The village lifestyle or ‘culture’ provides an important lens for understanding this data and the assertions made by village respondents. This research is significant as it addresses changes currently occurring in the communication methods of whole communities.
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