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Title: The socioeconomic configuration of internet diffusion in Brazil and Mexico to 2008
Author: Figeroa, Jorge
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2013
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The main objective of this research is to explain the configuration of socioeconomic processes of internet diffusion in Brazil and Mexico until 2008. A second objective is to explain the inequality consequences produced by these arrangements in terms of digital exclusion. To achieve these goals, a theoretical approach combining the analytical frameworks of 'instituted economic processes' and 'diffusion of innovations' was implemented through a comparative historical analysis of the development of telephone infrastructure, spread of persona l computers and diffusion of the intern et. Data for this research was gathered from documentary sources and in-depth interviews with experts in various fields involved in the process of internet diffusion in both countries. Besides providing new data, these interviews helped to weave the configurational analysis of complex processes of institutionalization and their consequences in each country. The findings demonstrate that in order to understand the diffusion of the internet across a social system, one needs to approach it through the instituting processes of telephone infrastructure and personal computers. Secondly, it was also found that the internet potentially increases inequalities across a country if allowed to diffuse in an unregulated manner, countering the idea that the digital divide simply mirrors existing inequalities. Finally, it was observed that socioeconomic configurations of innovations go through crises which partially de-institute them. During this period of contestation, innovations usually experience a swing from accumulation to redistribution. These results confirm that changes in socioeconomic processes in the three examined innovations resulted, sometimes just partially, in a redistribution process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available