Skip to content

Article: From marginalization to self-determined participation

Article: From marginalization to self-determined participation published on 1 Comment on Article: From marginalization to self-determined participation

Budka, P. 2015. From marginalization to self-determined participation: Indigenous digital infrastructures and technology appropriation in Northwestern Ontario’s remote communities. Journal des anthropologues – Special Issue “Margins and Digital Technologies”. No. 142-143: 127-153.

Abstract

This article discusses, from an anthropological perspective, the utilization of digital infrastructures and technologies in the geographical and sociocultural contexts of indigenous Northwestern Ontario, Canada. By introducing the case of the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Kuh-ke-nah Network (KO-KNET) it analyses first how digital infrastructures not only connect First Nations people and communities but also enable relationships between local communities and non-indigenous institutions. Second, and by drawing on KO-KNET’s homepage service MyKnet.org, it exemplifies how people appropriate digital technologies for their specific needs in a remote and isolated area. KO-KNET and its services facilitate First Nations’ self-determined participation to regional, national, and even global ICT connectivity processes, contributing thus to the “digital demarginalization” of Northwestern Ontario’s remote communities.

Text (PDF)

Free chapter: “We were on the outside looking in”: MyKnet.org – A First Nations Online Social Environment in Northern Ontario

Free chapter: “We were on the outside looking in”: MyKnet.org – A First Nations Online Social Environment in Northern Ontario published on No Comments on Free chapter: “We were on the outside looking in”: MyKnet.org – A First Nations Online Social Environment in Northern Ontario

Bell, B., Budka, P., Fiser, A. 2012. “We were on the outside looking in”: MyKnet.org – A First Nations online social environment in northern Ontario. In A. Clement, M. Gurstein, G. Longford, M. Moll & L. R. Shade (Eds.), Connecting Canadians: Investigations in Community Informatics (pp. 237-254). Edmonton: Athabasca University Press.

“In 2000, one of Canada’s leading Aboriginal community networks, the Kuh-ke-nah Network, or K-Net, was on the verge of expanding into broadband services. (For more on K-Net, see chapter 14.) K-Net’s management organization, Keewaytinook Okimakanak Tribal Council, had acquired funding and resources to become one of Industry Canada’s Smart Communities demonstration projects. Among the innovative services that K-Net introduced at the time was MyKnet.org, a system of personal home pages intended for remote First Nations users in a region of Northern Ontario where numerous communities have lived without adequate residential telecom service well into the millennium (Fiser, Clement, and Walmark 2006; Ramírez et al. 2003). Shortly thereafter, and through K-Net’s community-based Internet infrastructure, this free-of-charge, free-of-advertising, locally supported, online social environment grew from its core constituency of remote First Nations communities to host over 30,000 registered user accounts (of which approximately 20,000 represent active home pages). …”

free chapter download: http://www.aupress.ca/index.php/books/120193

Publications, papers & presentations about MyKnet.org

Publications, papers & presentations about MyKnet.org published on No Comments on Publications, papers & presentations about MyKnet.org

This is a list of publications, papers and presentations that results from research on MyKnet.org, an online social environment for First Nations people of northwestern Ontario, Canada. For more information on MyKnet.org and the research project, take a look at the summary of the MyKnet.org research project and the MyKnet.org research website.

Publications

Bell, B., Budka, P. & Fiser, A. 2012. “We were on the outside looking in” – MyKnet.org: A First Nations online social environment in northern Ontario. In Clement, A., Gurstein, M., Longford, G., Moll, M. & Shade, L. R. (Eds.) Connecting Canadians: Investigations in Community Informatics. Edmonton: Athabasca University Press. Forthcoming.

Budka, P. 2009. Indigenous media technology production in northern Ontario, Canada. In Ertler, K.-D. & Lutz, H. (Eds.) Canada in Grainau / Le Canada à Grainau: A multidisciplinary survey of Canadian Studies after 30 years. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Budka, P., Bell, B., & Fiser, A. 2009. MyKnet.org: How Northern Ontario’s First Nation communities made themselves at home on the World Wide Web. The Journal of Community Informatics, 5(2), Online: http://ci-journal.net/index.php/ciej/article/view/568/450

Papers and presentations at conferences

Budka, P. 2011. Connecting First Nations through media and communication technologies in northern Ontario, Canada. Paper at “American Indian Workshop (AIW)”, Graz, Austria: Graz University, 31 March – 3 April.

Budka, P. 2010. Popular culture and music in an indigenous online environment. Paper at “11th Biennial Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA)”, Maynooth, Ireland: National University of Irland Maynooth, 24-27 August.

Budka, P. 2010. Indigene Medienproduktion im Nordwestlichen Ontario, Kanada. Presentation at “Tage der Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie”, Vienna, Austria: University of Vienna, 22 April.

Budka, P. 2009. Die Bedeutung von (kultureller) Identität in einer indigenen Online-Umgebung (MyKnet.org). Paper at “Internet und Identitätskonstruktion von Jugendlichen Workshop”, Vienna, Austria: University of Vienna, 30 October.

Budka, P. 2008. Indigenous territories on the World Wide Web: How First Nation people in Northwestern Ontario make themselves at home online. Paper at “Internet Research 9.0 Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers”, Copenhagen, Denmark: IT University of Copenhagen, 16-18 October.

Budka, P. 2008. Indigenous media technology production in Northern Ontario, Canada. Paper at “10th Biennial Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA)”, Ljubljana, Slovenia: University of Ljubljana, 26-30 August.

Budka, P. 2008. Populärkulturen in einer First Nation Internet Umgebung: Hip Hop als Element jugendlicher Identitätskonstruktion und Repräsentation. Paper at “Wiener Tage der Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie”, Vienna, Austria: University of Vienna, 10-11 April.

Budka, P. 2007. The new mediation of traumatic experiences: the First Nations online environment MyKnet.org and suicides in Northern Ontario, Canada. Paper at “Sites/Cites of Trauma Workshop”, Gothenburg, Sweden:Gothenburg University, 5-6 October.

Budka, P., Grünberg, G., & Trupp, C. 2007. Indigene und Internet in den Amerikas. Ein komparatives medienanthropologisches Projekt. Presentation at “Wiener Tage der Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie”, Vienna, Austria: University of Vienna, 26-27 April.

Bell, B., Budka, P., & Fiser, A. 2007. “We were on the outside looking in” – MyKnet.org: a First Nations online social network in Northern Ontario. Paper at the “5th Canadian Research Alliance for Community Innovation and Networking (CRACIN) Workshop”, Montreal, Canada: Concordia University, 20-22 June.

References and resources on online ethnography

References and resources on online ethnography published on No Comments on References and resources on online ethnography

Literature on online ethnography collected through the EASA Media Anthropology Network Mailing List
to contribute to this collection go to the network’s project wiki: http://www.media-anthropology.net/index.php/projects

Bell, David, and Barbara M. Kennedy 2000 The Cybercultures Reader. London : New York: Routledge.

Boellstorff, Tom: Coming of Age in Second Life, 2008. The volume, which is an ethnography by itself, has a full chapter on methods in online research.

Buchanan, Elizabeth A. 2004 Readings in Virtual Research Ethics : Issues and Controversies. Hershey, PA: Information Science Pub.

Hine, C. (2008). Virtual Ethnography: Modes, Varieties, Affordances. In Fielding, Lee, Blank (eds) THE SAGE HANDBOOK OF ONLINE RESEARCH METHODS.

Hine, C. 2005 Internet Research and the Sociology of Cyber-Social-Scientific Knowledge. Information Society 21(4):239-248.

Hine, Christine 2005 Virtual Methods : Issues in Social Research on the Internet. Oxford, UK ; New York: Berg.

Hine, Christine 2000 Virtual Ethnography. London ; Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage.

Littleton, K., and D. Whitelock 2004 Guiding the Creation of Knowledge and Understanding in a Virtual Learning Environment. Cyberpsychology & Behavior 7(2):173-181.

Markham, Anette: Internet Research. In Silverman, D. (Ed.). Qualitative Research: Theory, Method, and Practices, 3rd Edition. London: Sage.
Draft: http://www.markham.internetinquiry.org/writing/silverman2011draft.pdf

Markham, Anette: The politics, ethics, and methods of representation in online ethnography. In Denzin, N. & Lincoln, Y. (Eds.). Handbook of Qualitative Research, 3rd Edition (pp. 793-820). Thousand Oaks CA: Sage
Draft here: http://markham.internetinquiry.org/writing/denzingalleyproofs.pdf

Marshall, Jon (2010): Ambiguity, Oscillation and Disorder: Online Ethnography and the Making of Culture
http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/ojs/index.php/mcs/article/view/1598/1859

Nardi, Bonnie: Night Elf Priest, prolog and first two chapters. Bonus: They can read it online for free: http://www.digitalculture.org/books/my-life-as-a-night-elf-priest

Pauwels, L. 2005 Websites as Visual and Multimodal Cultural Expressions: Opportunities and Issues of Online Hybrid Media Research. Media Culture & Society 27(4):604-613.

Preece, J., and D. Maloney-Krichmar 2005 Online Communities: Design, Theory, and Practice. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 10(4).

Schaap, Frank 2002 The Words that Took Us there : Ethnography in a Virtual Reality. Amsterdam: Aksant Academic Publishers.

Silver, D. 2004 Internet/cyberculture/digital culture/new media/fill-in-the-Blank Studies. New Media & Society 6(1):55-64.

Article: How “real life” issues affect the social life of online networked communities

Article: How “real life” issues affect the social life of online networked communities published on No Comments on Article: How “real life” issues affect the social life of online networked communities

Budka, Philipp. 2008. How “real life” issues affect the social life of online networked communities. In C. Trupp & P. Budka (Eds.), Austrian Studies in Social Anthropology – Sondernummer KSA-Tage 2007 (Workshop Medien und Film), June 2008, 50-61.
Online: http://www.univie.ac.at/alumni.ethnologie/journal/abstract/budka.html

Abstract

Speaking of “the internet”, one often forgets that this is not a monolithic media technology, but a whole range of applications embedded in the life of people practicing these technologies. This paper explores on the one hand the social life of a publicly accessible mailing list that connects various indigenous and non-indigenous persons to form a global electronic network. On the other hand, it analyses a Usenet newsgroup, which is dedicated to the socio-cultural life in Austria. With the help of two cyberanthropological case studies the interconnections between “real life” or offline issues and “virtual” or online lives on mailing lists and newsgroups is demonstrated. The paper intends to show that “virtual life” never can be separated from “real life” and its issues.

Text (PDF)

Tim Berners-Lee on the web’s future

Tim Berners-Lee on the web’s future published on No Comments on Tim Berners-Lee on the web’s future

In an important article Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, addresses current and future issues of the web and its services. He reminds us that we should be careful not to create walled communities or closed content silos, as done by social network sites, such as facebook, or companies such as apple. Open standards, documents and data have been driving innovation and hence the web’s development for the last 20 years. And we have to make sure that we keep the web open, independent and accessible to all.

From Scientific American:

“Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality
By Tim Berners-Lee November 22, 2010

The world wide web went live, on my physical desktop in Geneva, Switzerland, in December 1990. It consisted of one Web site and one browser, which happened to be on the same computer. The simple setup demonstrated a profound concept: that any person could share information with anyone else, anywhere. In this spirit, the Web spread quickly from the grassroots up. Today, at its 20th anniversary, the Web is thoroughly integrated into our daily lives. We take it for granted, expecting it to “be there” at any instant, like electricity.

The Web evolved into a powerful, ubiquitous tool because it was built on egalitarian principles and because thousands of individuals, universities and companies have worked, both independently and together as part of the World Wide Web Consortium, to expand its capabilities based on those principles.”

more: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=long-live-the-web

Article: MyKnet.org: How Northern Ontario’s First Nation communities made themselves at home on the World Wide Web

Article: MyKnet.org: How Northern Ontario’s First Nation communities made themselves at home on the World Wide Web published on No Comments on Article: MyKnet.org: How Northern Ontario’s First Nation communities made themselves at home on the World Wide Web

Budka, P., Bell, B., & Fiser, A. 2009. MyKnet.org: How Northern Ontario’s First Nation communities made themselves at home on the World Wide Web. The Journal of Community Informatics, 5(2), Online: http://ci-journal.net/index.php/ciej/article/view/568/450

Abstract

In this article we explore the development of MyKnet.org, a loosely structured system of personal homepages that was established by indigenous communities in the region of Northern Ontario, Canada in 2000. Individuals from over 50 remote First Nations across Northern Ontario have made this free of charge, free of advertisements, locally-driven online social environment their virtual home. MyKnet.org currently comprises over 25,000 active homepages and strongly reflects the demographic and geographic profile of Northern Ontario. It is thus youth-based and built around the communities’ need to maintain social ties across great distances. We draw upon encounters with a range of MyKnet.org’s developers and long time users to explore how this community-developed and community-controlled form of communication reflects life in the remote First Nations. Our focus is on the importance of locality: MyKnet.org’s development was contingent on K-Net, a regional indigenous computerization movement to bring broadband communications to remote First Nations. MyKnet.org is explicitly community-driven and not-for-profit, thus playing an important role in inter- and intra-community interaction in a region that has lacked basic telecommunications infrastructure well into the millennium.

New forms of socialities on the web? – Paper at the Web as Culture Conference

New forms of socialities on the web? – Paper at the Web as Culture Conference published on No Comments on New forms of socialities on the web? – Paper at the Web as Culture Conference

Budka, P., Mader, E. 2009. New forms of socialities on the web? A critical exploration of anthropological concepts to understand sociocultural online practices. Paper at “Web as Culture Conference”, Giessen, 16-18 July.

Abstract

Internet technologies and the World Wide Web promised a lot of things: from instantaneous global communication and fast information gathering to new forms of politics, economy, organizations, and socialities, including a renewed sense of community. By studying these online and “virtual” communities, internet researchers initially focused on their structure and development (e.g. Jones 1995, Smith & Kollock, 1999). Social network theory then changed decisively the way communities on the web have been conceptualized and analyzed. Scholars like Barry Wellman (et al., 2002) and Manuel Castells (2000), argue that in the internet age societies, communities, and individuals all have a network character. Thus the conceptualization of community as social network, by focusing on the interactions in these communities, has become widespread in internet studies.

Community and social network as concepts of sociality have been critically reviewed by anthropologists particularly in the context and process of ethnographic fieldwork. Vered Amit (2002), e.g., states that community is, because of its emotional significance and popularity in public discourses, a rather poor analytical concept. Internet ethnographers hence have been starting to look for alternative ways of understanding online socialities by moving beyond the community/network paradigm (Postill 2008).

In this paper we are critically discussing the potential of alternative concepts of sociality to analyze how people are interacting on the web. In so doing, we are firstly reviewing the quite popular concept of “communitas” developed by Victor Turner to differentiate between society as social structure and society as communitas constituted by concrete idiosyncratic individuals and their interactions. In the context of the sociocultural web, the liminal experience of people switching between these two stages is particularly interesting. Secondly, we are introducing the concept of “conviviality”, coined by Joanna Overing, to internet studies. Conviviality accentuates the affective side of sociality, such as joy, creativity, and the virtues of sharing and generosity, as opposed to the structure or functioning of society. These analytical concepts and tools, derived from anthropological and ethnographic research, are finally applied to an empirical case study of Bollywood fan communities on the web and their sociocultural practices.

References

Amit, Vered (ed.). 2002. Realizing community: concepts, social relationships and sentiments. London & New York: Routledge.
Castells, Manuel. 2000. The rise of the network society. Second Edition. Malden: Blackwell Publishers.
Jones, Steven G. (ed.). 1995. CyberSociety: Computer-Mediated Communication and Community. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Kollock, Peter, Smith, Marc A. (eds.). 1999. Communities in Cyberspace. London & New York: Routledge.
Postill, John. 2008. Localising the internet: beyond communities and networks. In: New Media and Society 10(3), 413-431.
Wellman, Barry, Boase, Jeffrey and Wenhong Chen. 2002. The networked nature of community: online and offline. In: IT&Society 1/1, 151-165.

Article: Indigener Cyberaktivismus und transnationale Bewegungslandschaften im lateinamerikanischen Kontext

Article: Indigener Cyberaktivismus und transnationale Bewegungslandschaften im lateinamerikanischen Kontext published on 2 Comments on Article: Indigener Cyberaktivismus und transnationale Bewegungslandschaften im lateinamerikanischen Kontext

Budka, P., Trupp, C. 2009. Indigener Cyberaktivismus und transnationale Bewegungslandschaften im lateinamerikanischen Kontext (Cyberactivismo indígena y paisajes de movimientos transnacionales en el contexto latinoamericano / Indigenous cyberactivism and transnational movements in the Latin American context), in J. Kastner & T. Waibel (eds.) „… mit Hilfe der Zeichen | por medio de signos …“ Transnationalismus, soziale Bewegungen und kulturelle Praktiken in Lateinamerika. Münster: LIT-Verlag, pp. 207-226.

Abstract

Prozesse der Globalisierung beeinflussen vor allem jene Menschen, die an den Rand der Gesellschaft gedrängt werden, wie zum Beispiel ein Großteil der rund 30 Millionen Indigenen Lateinamerikas. Ausgeschlossen von politischen, soziokulturellen und ökonomischen Diskursen, wie sie über die Massenmedien geführt werden, verwenden Indigene Bewegungen im zunehmenden Maße Internettechnologien, um sich zu vernetzen, zu (re)präsentieren, Identitäten zu (re)konstruieren und aktivistisch tätig zu sein. Aufgrund eingeschränkten Zugangs zu Internettechnologien sind sie oftmals auf Akteure angewiesen, die ihre Anliegen vertreten und sich mit ihnen solidarisieren. Wie indigene Bewegungen im lateinamerikanischen Kontext transnational distribuierte Internettechnologien nutzen, adaptieren und praktizieren, wird aus kultur- und sozialanthropologischer Perspektive anhand der Zapatisten in Mexiko und der Mapuche in Chile in diesem Beitrag diskutiert.

Los procesos de la globalización influyen sobre todo a aquellas personas que están en el márgen de la sociedad, como por ejemplo una mayoría de los indígenas de latinoamérica. Excluidos del discurso político, sociocultural y económico como lo llevan los medios de masas, los movimientos indígenas utilizan cada vez más la tecnología del internet para conectarse en redes, (re)presentarse, (re)construir identidades y practicar activismo. Debido al restringido acceso a tecnologías de internet muchas veces dependen de actores que representan sus intereses y se solidarizan con ellos. En este artículo se discute desde una perspectiva de la antropología cultural y social de cómo los movimientos indígenas en el contexto latinoamericano usan, adaptan y practican las tecnologías de internet distribuidos transnacionalmente tomando como ejemplos el EZLN en México y los Mapuche en Chile.

Text (PDF) (German)

Primary Sidebar