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Title: Information exchange through mobile phones and its conversion to capital resources : experience from Bangladesh rice farmers
Author: Jahangir, Zulkarin
ISNI:       0000 0004 7234 0418
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis centres on the way in which networks, capital and resources are created among small-scale rice farmers in Bangladesh through communication using mobile phones. It is evident from previous research that the use of mobile phones has rapidly diffused in developing countries such as Bangladesh. Emphasis in this work is placed on the primary use of mobile phones as a voice-to-voice communication tool and the process through which communication and information exchange translates into various forms of capital and resources for the rice producers. The building of social and commercial networks by the rice producers through their mobile telephony requires an understanding of the their social and commercial interactions, institutional influences, and choice dimensions. A theoretical framework is introduced based on interrelated perspectives by integrating structuration theory with the social network, institutional influences and choice of the farmers. In the framework, the integration of these theories indicates that the rice producers create a provisioning state. This provisioning eventually transforms the communication to different forms of capital and resources. Methodologically, a survey of a representative sample of the rice producers was carried out, and case studies data was obtained. The statistical data has been utilized for descriptive statistics on selected indicators. The case studies on the selected farmers incorporate the mobile usage data to explain the usage patterns of the rice producers. The findings show that in accordance with the proposed framework, the adoption and use of the mobile phones is influenced by various agency factors such as age, education and gender. The results also show the impact of choice on importance, relevance and use of mobile phone for the rice producers. The use of a mobile phone is also influenced by interrelated factors such as institutional practices and the nature of the rice farmers' commercial network. The findings show that despite the similar socioeconomic conditions, the rice producers create different levels of capital and resources due to differences in their socio-technical provisioning. This research provides relevant theoretical foundations and a framework that contributes to a better understanding of how mobile phone usage impacts the gaining of knowledge, capital and resources, through enhancing commercial and social connectivity for the rice producers of Bangladesh.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral