Analysing appropriation and usability in social and occupational lives: an investigation of Bangladeshi farmers' use of mobile telephony

Dey, Bidit, Newman, David and Prendergast, Renee (2011) Analysing appropriation and usability in social and occupational lives: an investigation of Bangladeshi farmers' use of mobile telephony. Information Technology & People, 24 (1). pp. 46-63. ISSN 0959-3845

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09593841111109413

Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to understand how Bangladeshi farmers interact with mobile telephony and how they negotiate the resulting difficulties. In doing so, the paper seeks to identify how farmers integrate mobile telephony into their daily lives, and what factors facilitate and limit their use of mobile telephony.

Design/methodology/approach - The research was based on ethnographic observation, interviews and focus group discussions, collected through four months of fieldwork, conducted in two remote areas of Bangladesh.

Findings - It was found that Bangladeshi farmers’ use of mobile telephony is inhibited due to language barriers, a lack of literacy, unfamiliar English terminologies, inappropriate translation to local language (Bengali) and financial constraints. However, the social, occupational and psychological benefits from mobile telephony motivate them to use and appropriate it through inventive use and adaptation.

Research limitations/implications - The findings suggest that current understanding of usability needs to be interwoven with that about the appropriation of technology in order to develop a better understanding of the use and consequent integration of a technology in daily lives.

Practical implications - The paper adds to the argument for a bottom-up approach for ICT-enabled intervention in development activities and for the mobile telephony manufacturers and network providers it contributes to understanding of the rural consumer market of a developing country.

Originality/value – The paper presents an original conceptual diagram that combines the concept of usability and appropriation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bangladesh, customer satisfaction, farms, manual workers, mobile communication systems, rural areas
Subjects: N900 Others in Business and Administrative studies
T300 South Asian studies
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School > Business and Management
Depositing User: Helen Pattison
Date Deposited: 24 May 2012 15:55
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:02
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/7423

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