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Journal Article:

Author(s) :

 

Shrum, W.

Date of Publication :

 

2005

Article Title :

 

Reagency of the Internet, or, How I became a guest for science

Journal Title :

 

Social Studies of Science

Volume ID :

 

35(5)

Pages(s) :

 

723-754

Abstract :

 

This essay is a call for research on the role of information and communication technology in distant lands. I address the globalization of science as a process by replacing the concept of development with the idea of reagency, a process of redirection involving a contingent reaction between identities. I focus on the Guest, an identity that assumes particular importance in relation to Hosts in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Following recent work that stresses the dependence of knowledge production on places, the Guest House is introduced as an architectural structure that crystallizes and reinforces a Guest/Host relationship that has developed during the aid era. The advent of the Internet offers the possibility of a change in the structure of science, with the inclusion of researchers in distant lands as full participants in global scientific communities. The principal issue is whether the connectivity initiative centering on the Internet is just another development program, like so many others that have come and gone, or whether it is different in character. Three empirical research questions are posed to assist in examining this question. A minor thread throughout the essay explains the authorĂ­s romantic interest in the subject, and his transition from a phony donor to a real one.

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