North African Information Networks

  • Andrea L. Kavanaugh
Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)


(1957), (1987) and (1995) establish that social networks are important for understanding innovation diffusion through social systems. Social network interaction exposes individuals to technology. Additionally, new technology is commonly adopted when acquaintances reinforce mass media messages (Katz and Lazarsfeld 1955). That is, adopters rely on personal networks to gain new technology insights. In this manner, social networks assist in building network technology critical mass (Markus 1987; Rogers 1995; Valente 1995; Kavanaugh and Patterson 2001). Namely, networked communication technology is more likely employed when it is of demonstrative value. Such demonstrations are reinforced by the social nature of computing activity, i.e., network users are linked by personal relationship and common interest (Wellman et al. 1996). Adopters involved in social networks, e.g., through work and community, increasingly integrate computing into regular activity. Formal education is also associated with computer adoption, e.g., in US households socio-economic status tends to differentiate adopters and their use patterns for personal and network computing (Fischer 1977; Dutton et al. 1987; Rogers 1995; Cooper 2000). That is, early adopters are generally better educated and receive more media exposure (Rogers 1995). For less affluent populations new technology adoption patterns are similar. Early adopters are usually community leaders and diffusion is via social networks (Hudson 1984; Wresch 1996; Kavanaugh et al. 2002). However, less affluent socio-economic group leaders have fewer social ties to computer users and accordingly acquire less computing skill. While public access to information technology (IT) is available, disadvantaged individuals are not typically comfortable in these social contexts. For example, less educated and affluent individuals often have negative associations with public schools and are not comfortable gaining Internet access in this manner. Similarly, individuals with poor reading skill are less likely to frequent public libraries. Clearly, IT diffusion is slower within disadvantaged populations. However, when IT is integrated in community social settings it is used. IT diffusion problems are exacerbated in developing countries with large uneducated populations that receive low incomes and are not computer literate.


Gross Domestic Product Mobile Telephone Computing Skill Wireless Application Protocol Social Network Interaction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea L. Kavanaugh
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Human Computer InteractionDepartment of Computer ScienceBlacksburg, VAUSA

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