The High Cybercafe: Internet in the Nepal Himalayas
The aim of this paper is to look more closely at the processes involving the adoption of internet in a Nepali mountain village. Two and a half months of fieldwork was performed at a primary school and a cybercafe in Namche Bazaar, Solukhumbu district, Nepal. My aim is to be informative about the processes revolving around the internet in a general global sense. Therefore my thesis is more concerned with the internet than the particular cultural setting of Nepal or Namche. I will be concentrating on the sociotechnical system consisting of the internet, computers and people (both Nepali and tourists). Point one: my approach is informed by the distinction between modern and traditional, which in simplified terms is the degree of reliance on context. For characterisation I am using Edward Hall's categories of high-context and low-context. Point two: my approach is also informed by the critique of point one, of the idea of low-context communication, of context-independence, of abstract modernity. For this I rely on the actor-network theory. Internet used to be seen as a monolithic placeless cyberspace which would make us all similar to each other. My main finding is that this is not always the case. It is a collection of different people doing different things while embedded in their social contexts.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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