selected publications

Unfettering Adoption: understanding constraints and conduits to smartphone use in India

Watkins, J., Kitner, K., and Mehta, D. 2012

Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies
26.5, Oct., Routledge

Smartphone-enabled applications and services offer a range of potential solutions to interpersonal communication and social networking in developing economies. However, unforeseen economic and cultural factors can erect barriers to smartphone adoption and ongoing usage in the development context.

This article presents findings from two recent ethnographic studies focused on three sites in India: rural, small town, and metropolis. Both studies recognize that the constraints of income, literacy, infrastructure and culture present substantial long-term cultural and economic barriers to higher-end technology adoption in segments across urban, regional and rural India. However, the studies also demonstrate the range of new possibilities afforded by the smartphone once such constraints are reduced or removed.
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