Exploring the Meanings of Community Multimedia Centers in Mozambique: A Social Representation Perspective

Isabella Rega, Sara Vannini, Emanuele Fino, Lorenzo Cantoni

Abstract


This article presents extensive research conducted in Mozambique that aims to deeply understand how different social groups understand community multimedia centers (CMCs), which are structures combining a community radio and a telecenter. The social representations theory was adopted to interpret narratives of 231 interviewees from 10 Mozambican provinces. Interviewees included representatives of initiating agencies, local staff members, CMC users (both the radio and telecenter components), users of only the community radio, and community members not using the CMCs. Following the analysis of transcribed interviews, six main clusters were identified, each of them shedding light on a specific understanding of a CMC. These are discussed according to a set of sociodemographic variables. This study suggests that the social representations theory is a valuable framework to provide an integrated view of ICT4D interventions by giving a voice to local perspectives without overlooking the initiating agencies’ expectations.

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