Developing Mobile Telephone and Internet Usage in South Sudan

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  • Title: Developing Mobile Telephone and Internet Usage in South Sudan: ICT Impact on Rural Communication Practices
  • Author(s): Trisha Capansky, Connie S. Eigenmann
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Technology, Knowledge & Society
  • Journal Title: Journal of Technologies in Society
  • Keywords: Electronic Communication, Literacy, Oral Culture
  • Volume: 10
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2014
  • ISSN: 2381-9251 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2381-9294 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2381-9251/CGP/v10i01/59508
  • Citation: Capansky, Trisha, and Connie S. Eigenmann. 2014. "Developing Mobile Telephone and Internet Usage in South Sudan: ICT Impact on Rural Communication Practices." Journal of Technologies in Society 10 (1): 1-17. doi:10.18848/2381-9251/CGP/v10i01/59508.
  • Extent: 17 pages

Abstract

This research is built on a continued study that explores changes occurring in communication practices in South Sudan as the new nation reinvents itself as a literate society. Early findings—presented by Trisha Capansky at the Ninth International Conference on Technology, Knowledge, and Society in Vancouver, Canada (2013)—provided a diagnostic report of the country’s existing communication practices, literacy levels, and education systems immediately after gaining independence from Sudan. Findings also verified a hike in interest from Western countries eager to form alliances in exchange for oil reserves and refinery development. Consequently, part two of this study employs both qualitative and quantitative methods of inquiry to determine the impact that the infiltration of electronic communication platforms (brought about by Westerners) are having on a culture whose literacy rates are among the world's lowest. At this time, the existence of oral cultures is being threatened by communication platforms that involve both text and technology. Working with Sudanese and South Sudanese refugees who comprise the US-based “Lost Boys of Sudan” foundation as liaisons, the disseminated questionnaire reveals self-reported usage, frequency, and opinions of textual and electronic information communication technologies (ICTs) from South Sudanese inhabitants. This sample not only serves as an indicator to gauge the immediate impact of ICTs one year after the country’s formation, but also puts into place a unit of measurement for continued study in communication practices within this newly-minted African country.