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Impact of Public Access to Computers and the Internet on the Connectedness of Rural Malaysians

Mohd Noor, Marhaini and Alias, Nor Aziah and Proenza, Francisco J. and Jamaludin, Haziah and Ismail, Izaham Shah and Hashim, Sulaiman (2015) Impact of Public Access to Computers and the Internet on the Connectedness of Rural Malaysians. In: Public Access ICT Across Cultures: Diversifying Participation in the Network Society. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, pp. 233-263. ISBN 9780262527378

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This chapter reports the findings of research conducted in 2010 on the connectedness of rural Malaysians who accessed computers and the Internet through the rural Internet centers (RICs) established by the Malaysian government in 2000 and 2003. We examine the impact of the RICs on users' sense of social connectedness, defined as the feeling of belongingness and being linked and related to a network, community, or group that one trusts and interacts with. Our study's findings give credence to the RIC initiative. Users use RIC facilities and services to connect with family, friends, and acquaintances, with new people external to their social circle, and (albeit to a much lesser degree) with government. Users perceive a heightened sense of connectedness and feel that this connectedness has had a positive impact in their lives. There appears to be room to expand the impact of RIC telecenters so that they foster greater collaboration and help nurture the development of positive social capital. Some of the possibilities for expanding impact are identified.


Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rural Malaysian, Internet, public access, computer, rural internet center (RIC), social connectedness
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Collections: WoS
Access Type: Open Access
PRISMA ID: 44429
URI: http://oarr.uitm.edu.my/id/eprint/10405

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