Placing the social and cross-cultural at the centre of community informatics

Singh, S 2006, 'Placing the social and cross-cultural at the centre of community informatics', in L. Stillman and G. Johanson (ed.) Constructing and sharing memory: Community informatics, identity and empowerment, Prato, Italy, 9-11 October 2006, pp. 1-15.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Placing the social and cross-cultural at the centre of community informatics
Author(s) Singh, S
Year 2006
Conference name Constructing and Sharing Memory: Community Informatics and Empowerment Conference
Conference location Prato, Italy
Conference dates 9-11 October 2006
Proceedings title Constructing and sharing memory: Community informatics, identity and empowerment
Editor(s) L. Stillman
G. Johanson
Publisher Centre for Community Networking Research
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Abstract It is accepted in principle that social and cultural factors are important for the study of the individual, family and community use of technologies. Design too aims to be user-centred. The tussle in community informatics, as with human-computer interaction, lies in communicating and translating the importance of the social and cross-cultural factors to technologists, designers, businesses and policy makers. Focusing on issues of security, I show that communication and translation are particularly difficult when social and cultural practices challenge the assumptions of design and policy. In security design, for instance, it is assumed a person will be using confidential access codes for his or her individual computer to conduct transactions. Consumer protection policy in Australia also makes these assumptions. It is also assumed that a person will be using an individual computer. Social and cultural practices challenge these technical and policy assumptions for two reasons. Drawing on a study of banking in Australia I show that the practice of sharing passwords for Internet banking is not uncommon among married and de facto couples. Sharing passwords for ATMs and EFTPOS is also not unknown. The second assumption of individual personal access is dramatically challenged in developing countries like India where public rather personal Internet access is the norm. When security designers and professionals start from social and cultural practice, they have to design for shared use of access codes and the public use of communications devices. It is only with such social and cross cultural designs that community needs will be well served in both the developed and developing countries.
Subjects Computer-Human Interaction
Keyword(s) Australia
banking
cross cultural design
public internet access
security
sharing password
social practice
Copyright notice Not available
ISBN 9781847182777
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