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The perceived relation between ICTs and social good

The perceived relation between ICTs and social good
The perceived relation between ICTs and social good
ICT4D (information and communication technologies for development) is the idea that ICTs have some kind of relation to development. This thesis will present an agnostic and parsimonious approach to development referred to as social good. Social good is the idea that it is possible and desirable to make the world a better place. This thesis will defend the following Conjecture: ‘ICTs often do not contribute to social good.’

A growing body of academic literature has argued the opposite of the thesis Conjecture: that ICTs do actually contribute to development. 3 research questions consider the following: how social good is understood in SGOs, what ICTs are observed in SGO services, and what is the relation between ICTs and social good, as these terms of reference are understood by SGO stakeholders. An ethnography was undertaken with 5 social good organisations in Southampton. Data collection made use of 3 methods (documentation, field notes, interviews), and qualitative data analysis was undertaken using the grounded theory methodology. The findings from the SGO ethnographic grounded theory suggest that SGO stakeholders considered that ICTs can, should, and often do not contribute to social good, as these terms of reference are understood by them.

This thesis argues that evidence from the literature, combined with the findings from the SGO ethnographic grounded theory, together present a robust defence of the Conjecture. While the Conjecture is not proved to be true, there are reasonable grounds to doubt that the Conjecture is false.
University of Southampton
Walls, Eamonn
2d08b00e-ba1a-4a68-b989-1b4cd5889f77
Walls, Eamonn
2d08b00e-ba1a-4a68-b989-1b4cd5889f77
Wills, Gary
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Walls, Eamonn (2017) The perceived relation between ICTs and social good. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 471pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

ICT4D (information and communication technologies for development) is the idea that ICTs have some kind of relation to development. This thesis will present an agnostic and parsimonious approach to development referred to as social good. Social good is the idea that it is possible and desirable to make the world a better place. This thesis will defend the following Conjecture: ‘ICTs often do not contribute to social good.’

A growing body of academic literature has argued the opposite of the thesis Conjecture: that ICTs do actually contribute to development. 3 research questions consider the following: how social good is understood in SGOs, what ICTs are observed in SGO services, and what is the relation between ICTs and social good, as these terms of reference are understood by SGO stakeholders. An ethnography was undertaken with 5 social good organisations in Southampton. Data collection made use of 3 methods (documentation, field notes, interviews), and qualitative data analysis was undertaken using the grounded theory methodology. The findings from the SGO ethnographic grounded theory suggest that SGO stakeholders considered that ICTs can, should, and often do not contribute to social good, as these terms of reference are understood by them.

This thesis argues that evidence from the literature, combined with the findings from the SGO ethnographic grounded theory, together present a robust defence of the Conjecture. While the Conjecture is not proved to be true, there are reasonable grounds to doubt that the Conjecture is false.

Text
EWalls updated thesis with corrections - Version of Record
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Published date: April 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 417986
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/417986
PURE UUID: 7aa45cbb-0583-4ed2-a302-0a5dd3def634
ORCID for Gary Wills: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5771-4088

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Date deposited: 20 Feb 2018 17:30
Last modified: 27 Mar 2019 01:36

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