Science and Technology in Developing Areas

The World Science Project

Papers

Theory

Patterns of Visitation: Site Visits and Evaluation in Developing Areas.

Antony Palackal and Wesley Shrum
2011 Sociological Bulletin 60 (2), May-August pp. 327-345

Project evaluation based on site visits has been an important element of donor and NGO practice throughout the modern development era. One or more individuals travel to project locations, observing and reporting on site activities, often with an evaluative purpose. While the management of impressions during site visits is a well-known phenomenon, information on the degree to which it affects the witnessing process is lacking. This study compares two kinds of qualitative observations made during site visits of a project involving computer centres in south India; visits that differ in terms of the degree to which project representatives were aware in advance. Results show that advance notice is associated with major differences in peopling and processing, that is, in terms of on-site personnel and visible activities. While we do not recommend disuse of site visits as a means of understanding and evaluating projects, we conclude that their serious limitations are not easily overcome.

Negotiating neutrality in controversy: engineering studies after Hurricane Katrina

Wesley Shrum
2010 Engineering Studies Vol.2 Issue 2, pp. 109-124

This essay argues for a renewed commitment to impartiality and neutrality in scholarly research. These values are understood as the accomplishment of non-alignment in the interests of understanding. This ethnographic study of the role of engineering in Hurricane Katrina provides an overview of two pivotal events in the public analysis of the disaster: the sheet pile pull at the 17th Street Canal and litigation in federal district court over environmental damage caused by the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet. After Hurricane Katrina, three teams of engineers and scientists were formed to investigate the flooding of New Orleans. The author’s inclusion in engineering events after the storm was facilitated through membership on a team, but continued access required his resignation. This form of non-alignment became a struggle during the ensuing years, in which litigation drove forensic engineering and the achievement of impartiality, in the wider sense, required re-alignment during the course of the trial. My argument is that these negotiations over neutrality are necessary for an understanding of engineering in the field and courtroom. Both engineers and attorneys succeeded far better than STS in contributing their collective efforts to understanding the disaster.

Accountability and Inaction: NGOs and Resource Lodging in Development

Matthew Harsh, Paul Mbatia, and Wesley Shrum
2010 Development and Change 41(2) pp. 253–278

From the late 1980s, research on NGOs had a normative focus and was vulnerable to changing donor preoccupations. This article contributes a new conceptual approach, analysing the practices through which relationships and resources are translated into programmes and projects. The theoretical justification for this move combines the new ethnography of development practice with a re-agency approach to transactions across time and space. The study is based on data including thirty hours of video ethnography involving interviews and field visits with Kenyan NGOs in a variety of sectors. The analysis focuses on the problem of accountability that emerged through the interactions of donors and state corruption. We argue that NGOs operating in capital cities often provide organizational solutions to this problem. Depend- ing on donor preferences, varying amounts of resources become ‘lodged’ or absorbed in ‘capital NGOs’ as they provide accounts of programmes that satisfy donors. However, no matter the donor preferences, capital NGOs provide accountability independently of increased action with communities or increased resources transferred to them. We conclude that the institu- tionalization of the NGO field as a well-grounded specialization depends in part on the degree to which researchers can sideline the stories generated in inter-organizational contexts such as workshops and policy meetings, and substitute understandings based on accounting practices, resource flows and social ties.

Reagency of the Internet, or, “How I Became A Guest for Science.”

Wesley Shrum
2005. Social Studies of Science 35 (5): 723-54.

Contemporary discussions of globalization concentrate on economic dimensions, neglecting questions about social relationships. This essay addresses the globalization of science as a process, replacing the concept of development with the idea of reagency and focusing on the Guest, an identity associated with specific places. The principal issue is whether the connectivity initiative centering on the Internet is just another development program or whether it is different in character, owing to a projective orientation that changes the relationship between place and identity. Following the conceptual groundwork, two contrasts are drawn in the body of the paper, between Guest Houses at two Kenyan research institutes, and between donor initiatives involving evaluation and connectivity. A minor thread throughout the essay explains the romantic interest in the subject, and my transition from a phony donor to a real one.

Knowledge, Democratization, and Sustainability:The Kerala Model of Scientific Capacity Building

Wesley Shrum and Sundara R.R. Iyer
The Kerala Model

Science and Story in Developing Countries: The Emergence of Nongovernmental Organizations in Agricultural Research

Wesley Shrum
Published as “Science and Story in Development.” W. Shrum. 2000. Social Studies of Science30(1): 95-124

Given the importance of social location to research practice, a particularly compelling problem for social studies of science is how research activities emerge in a new sector. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in less developed countries are initiating research, often in a style of ‘alternative’ agriculture. I account for this development using concepts from semiotic and structural network approaches.

Organizational and Geopolitical Approaches to International Science and Technology Networks

Wesley Shrum and Carl Bankston
Knowledge and Policy 6(3/4):119-133. Fall/Winter 1993-1994.

Recent views of science and technology have relied heavily on social network approaches. However, even within social network approaches, there are distinctive positions on international science and technology networks, depending on how boundaries and organizational processes are conceptualized. We contrast organizational approaches, exemplified by that of Shrum and Mullins, with geopolitical approaches, exemplified by Thomas Schott’s work. Problems and advantages of each approach are discussed. Finally, we propose that the difference between empirical levels of analysis and the part/whole distinction offers a preferable way of conceptualizing the micro-macro problem.

Mobile Telephony

Mobile Phones and Core Network Growth in Kenya: Strengthening Weak Ties

Dr. Wesley Shrum
Social Science Research Reference: YSSRE1236 PDF offprint dispatch: 3-2-2011

Untangling the Technology Cluster: The Effects of Mobile Phone and Email Use on the Location of Social Ties

R. Sooryamoothy, B. Paige Miller, W. Shrum
New Media and Society 2008

Among the communication technologies introduced in the developing world during the past century, none has grown more rapidly than mobile telephony.Yet the impact of mobile phone use on social relationships has received limited systematic study. This article examines the factors associated with mobile phone usage in the south Indian state of Kerala and the social structural consequences of such usage, particularly the composition and location of the social ties maintained through mobile technologies. Bivariate analysis of mobile phone usage and network composition shows that frequent users have fewer local ties and more external ties than non-frequent users. However, these effects are due largely to the association of email and mobile phone use.The article shows that internet use increases, while mobile phone use decreases the geographical diversity of social ties.The implication is that mobile telephony and internet technologies may have different consequences for the globalization process.

Are mobile phones changing social networks? A longitudinal study of core networks in Kerala

Antony Palackal, Loyola College of Social Science, Trivandrum, India Paul Nyaga Mbatia, University of Nairobi, Kenya Dan-Bright Dzorgbo, University of Ghana Ricardo B. Duque, University of Vienna, Austria Marcus Antonius Ynalvez, Texas A&M International University, USA Wesley M. Shrum, Louisiana State University, USA

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Collaboration

Professional Networks, Scientific Collaboration, and Publication Productivity in Resource-Constrained Research Institutions in a Developing Country

Marcus Ynalvez and Wesley Shrum
Research Policy 40(2): 204-216 2011

Collaborationism

W. Shrum.
2010 In Collaboration in the New Life Sciences. Edited by John Parker, Nikki Vermeulen, and Bart Penders. Ashgate Press.

International Graduate Science Training and Scientific Collaboration

Marcus Ynalvez and W. Shrum
International Sociology 24:870-901

Does the Internet Promote Collaboration & Productivity

R Sooryamoorthy and Wesley Shrum
Journal of Computer Mediated Communication 12(2)

International collaboration among scientists has been passionately advocated by many in the developing world. Among the several conditions that support collaboration among members of a dispersed scientific community, Internet technology is crucial. We examine the relationships among electronic communication, collaboration, and productivity in South Africa, a country that has undergone remarkable change in the sphere of science and technology. We surveyed 275 scientists in selected research institutes and universities in the province of KwaZulu-Natal to address the questions: Is greater use of the Internet associated with international collaboration? Are collaboration and Internet use associated with publication in national and foreign journals? The results show that (1) Internet use, as measured by time spent on email, is positively associated with collaboration; (2) collaboration is not generally related to publication productivity; and (3) there is little evidence that South African academics benefit from international collaboration. While scientists who use email intensively are slightly more productive, this is not the case for foreign productivity in the case of academic scientists.

The Organization of Scientific Collaborations

Ivan Chompalov, Joel Genuth, and Wesley Shrum
Research Policy 40(2): 204-216 2011

Based on empirical analysis of 53 multi-institutional collaborations in physics and allied sciences, we find that generalizations about the essentially informal and collective social organization of collaborative projects in science stem largely from a narrow analysis of high-energy particle physics experiments. Cluster analysis reveals that the variety of organizational formats of collaborative projects can be grouped into four types, ranging from bureaucratic to participatory. Except for particle physics, which is overwhelmingly participatory and non-bureaucratic, the membership of the other three types is mostly cross-disciplinary. The four-fold typology discriminates collaborative projects with respect to their technological practices. The structure of leadership is related to the character of interdependence in data acquisition, analysis, and communication of results: greater interdependence leads to decentralization of leadership and less formalization. We conclude that extrapolation of the organizational characteristics of particle physics to scientific collaborations in general is unjustified.

How Experiments Begin: The Formation of Scientific Collaborations

Joel Genuth, Ivan Chompalov, Wesley Shrum
Minerva

Multi-organizational collaborations are increasingly important in contemporary science, but their formative processes have been neglected by scholars in the social studies of science. Based on an examination of 53 collaborations in physics and related disciplines, we have found five types of formations. Collaborations that encountered greater difficulties in forming became more formal in their organization and management.

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Internet Science

Kerala’s Changing Technological Environment:Tracking ICT Diffusion Over Twenty Years.

B. Paige Miller, Antony Palackal, Wesley Shrum
Introduction to Kerala Studies

Is Internet Use Associated with Fewer Problems in Collaboration? Evidence from the Scientific Community in Chile

Rick Duque, Paige Miller, W. Shrum, Omar Barriga, and G. Henriquez
Science Communication 34(5): 642-78

Scientific Collaboration and the Kerala Model: Does the Internet Make a Difference?

Sooryamoorthy, R., Ricardo B. Duque, Marcus Ynalvez, Wesley Shrum
Forthcoming.

Learning from the Past, Present, and Future

Wesley Shrum
In Past, Present, and Future of Research in the Information Society

Internet Reagency: The Implications of a Global Science for Collaboration, Productivity, and Gender Inequity in Developing Areas.

B. Paige Miller, Ricardo Duque, Meredith Anderson, Marcus Ynalvez, Antony Palackal, Dan-Bright Dzorgbo, Paul Mbatia, and Wesley Shrum
International Handbook of Internet Research

This chapter focuses on the nature of scientific research in less developed areas in the context of new information and communication technologies (ICTs). We examine the notion that the Internet will globalize the practice of science by creating connections between researchers from geographically dispersed areas. By altering the spatial and temporal mechanisms through which professional ties are developed and maintained, Internet access and use in less developed areas may change the nature of knowledge production or simply reproduce traditional practices and rela- tionships. The diffusion of the Internet to Africa, Asia, and Latin America requires us to go beyond traditional views of development and technology transfer, to con- temporary neo-institutional and reagency perspectives. The potential of the Internet to globalize science, however, is largely dependent on the places and institutions in which it is used, as well as the identities of its users. Reviewing data collected in Africa and Asia since 1994, we summarize findings on access to and use of the Internet and its impact on scientific productivity, collaboration, networking, and gender inequity.

Internet practice and professional networks in Chilean science: dependency or progress

Duque, R. B, W. Shrum, O. Barriga & G. Henriquez
Scientometrics, 81(1): 239-263 (2009)

The conventional view depicts scientific communities in the developing world as globally isolated and dependent. Recent studies suggest that individual scientists tend to favor either local or international ties. Yet there are good reasons to believe that both kinds of ties are beneficial for knowledge production. Since they allow for the more efficient management of social networks, Internet technologies are expected to resolve this inverse relationship. They are also expected to decentralize access to resources within developing regions that have traditionally reflected an urban male bias. Elaborating upon science, development and social network perspectives, we examine the impact of the Internet in the Chilean scientific community, addressing the questions ‘to what extent is Internet use and experience associated with the size of foreign and domestic professional networks?’ and ‘are professional network resources equitably distributed across regional and demographical dimensions?’

Does the Internet Promote Collaboration & Productivity

R Sooryamoorthy and Wesley Shrum
Journal of Computer Mediated Communication 12(2)

International collaboration among scientists has been passionately advocated by many in the developing world. Among the several conditions that support collaboration among members of a dispersed scientific community, Internet technology is crucial. We examine the relationships among electronic communication, collaboration, and productivity in South Africa, a country that has undergone remarkable change in the sphere of science and technology. We surveyed 275 scientists in selected research institutes and universities in the province of KwaZulu-Natal to address the questions: Is greater use of the Internet associated with international collaboration? Are collaboration and Internet use associated with publication in national and foreign journals? The results show that (1) Internet use, as measured by time spent on email, is positively associated with collaboration; (2) collaboration is not generally related to publication productivity; and (3) there is little evidence that South African academics benefit from international collaboration. While scientists who use email intensively are slightly more productive, this is not the case for foreign productivity in the case of academic scientists.

Research Process and Connectivity in the Information Society

R.Sooryamoorthy, Paul Nyaga Mbatia, Wayne Johnson, George E. Okwach, Daniel Schaffer, Carthage Smith, John Dryden, Qiheng Hu, Wiebe Bijker, Wesley Shrum
In Past, Present, and Future of Research in the Information Society

Internet Indiscipline: Two Approaches to Making a Field.

Wesley Shrum and Ricardo B. Duque
The Information Society 21(4)

Social Engineering of the Internet in Developing Areas

Wesley Shrum and Ricardo B. Duque
Education and Knowledge Society: Information Technology Supporting Human Development

Communication among researchers is fundamental to the development of knowledge in both developed and developing areas. Internet connectivity is now a precondition for participation in research communication. Establishing reliable and efficient connectivity at reasonable bandwidth is a task that is assumed to be relatively easy and straightforward in developed countries, but is surprisingly difficult in developing areas. Our project has sought to establish connectivity for university departments and government research institutes in India, Ghana, and Kenya but has yet to experience an unqualified 'success' for a variety of institutional and relational reasons. The concept of 'reagency' is used in preference to 'development' to explain the priority of personal relations introducing significant constraints that must be faced directly to establish connectivity in developing areas.

Internet Indiscipline: Two Approaches to Making a Field.

Wesley Shrum
The Information Society 21(4)

When Do Scientists Adopt the Internet? Dimensions of Connectivity in Developing Areas

Ynalvez, Marcus, Ricardo B. Duque, Paul Mbatia, R. Sooryamoorthy, Antony Palackal,and Wesley Shrum
Scientometrics Vol. 63 (1), 2005: 39-67.

We examine the diffusion of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the knowledge production sectors of three developing areas. Using interviews with 918 scientists in one South Asian and two African locations, we address three fundamental questions: (1) To what degree has the research community in the developing world adopted the Internet? (2) How can the disparities in Internet adoption best be characterized? (3) To what extent is Internet use associated with research productivity? Our findings indicate that while the vast majority of scientists describe themselves as current email users, far fewer have ready access to the technology, use it in diverse ways, or have extensive experience. These results are consistent with the notion that Internet adoption should not be characterized as a single act on the part of users. The rapid development of the Internet and the cumulative skills required for its effective use are equally important, particularly its impact on productivity. These findings lead us to qualify crude generalizations about the diffusion of the Internet in developing areas.

Is Kerala Becoming a Knowledge Society? Evidence from the Scientific Community

R.Sooryamoorthy and Wesley Shrum
Sociological Bulletin 53(2):207-221

When knowledge becomes the key for progress and development its generation assumes great significance. Who generates it and how it is done become important issues, and particularly so in developing societies. We attempt to understand both the players and the system of knowledge generation using data from a longitudinal study of 404 scientists in Kerala collected in 1994 and 2000. The analysis focuses on changes occurring during this period in the personal characteristics of the researchers, their professional activities, and their productivity.

Collaboration Paradox: Scientific Productivity, the Internet, and Problems of Research in Developing Areas

Ricardo B. Duque, Marcus Ynalvez, R. Sooryamoorthy, Paul Mbatia, Dan-Bright Dzorgbo, and Wesley Shrum
Social Studies of Science 35 (5): 755-85

We examine the ways in which the research process differs in developed and developing areas by focusing on two questions: First, is collaboration associated with productivity? Second, does the Internet reduce problems of collaboration? Recent analyses by Bozeman and Lee (2003) and Walsh and Mahoney (2003) suggest affirmative answers to these questions for U.S. scientists. Based on a comparative analysis of scientists in Ghana, Kenya and the State of Kerala in southwestern India (n=918), we find that (1) collaboration does not lead to any general increment in productivity, and (2) while access to email does attenuate research problems, such difficulties are structured more by social context than by the collaborative process itself. The interpretation of these results suggests a paradox that raises issues for future studies: those conditions that unsettle the relationship between collaboration and productivity in developing areas may undermine the collaborative benefits of new information and communication technologies. See also: Appendix on the Field Effect

Social Engineering of the Internet in Developing Areas

Wesley Shrum
Presented at the “Forum on Engineering the Knowledge Society” at the World Summit on the Information Society, 12 December 2003.

Establishing reliable and efficient connectivity at reasonable bandwidth is a task that is assumed to be relatively easy and straightforward in developed countries, but is surprisingly difficult in developing areas.

Kerala Connections: Will the Internet Affect Science in Developing Areas

Theresa Davidson, R. Sooryamoorthy and Wesley Shrum
The Internet in Everyday Life

Three general arguments on the role of the Internet in developing areas have been suggested. The "elixir" argument holds that the Internet does not represent a potential problem but only an opportunity. Information technologies are a developmental tool on a par with educational and agricultural programs. The "affliction" argument holds that Internet diffusion is an engine of global inequality, an insidious form of dependency creating new technology gaps between rich and poor, professionals and laborers, urban and rural dwellers, English and non- English speakers. The third argument holds that there are temporary "teething troubles" that may arise from telecommunications infrastructure or cultural differences that will soon diminish. We describe a project to examine the rapid introduction of the Internet in the south Indian State of Kerala. The "Kerala Model" is unique in the developing world owing to its combination of high social development with low economic development. Using qualitative data from interviews with scientists in universities and governmental research institutes, we examine early views of the Internet in an advanced developing area.

Kerala Connections: Will the Internet Affect Science in Developing Areas?

Davidson, Theresa, R. Sooryamoorthy, and W. Shrum
The Internet in Everyday Life. Barry Wellman and Caroline Haythornthwaite (eds.). Blackwell. 2002

We describe a project to examine the rapid introduction of the Internet in the south Indian State of Kerala. The “Kerala Model” is unique in the developing world owing to its combination of high social development with low economic development. Using qualitative data from interviews with scientists in universities and governmental research institutes, we examine early views of the Internet in an advanced developing area.

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Pre-Internet Science

Pre-Internet Science in Africa and India: Environmental Attitudes of Researchers in Developing Count

Patricia Campion and Wesley Shrum
African and Asian Studies (2002) Vol. 37(1): 17-42.

NGOs represent a distinctive sector in terms of their relationship to the development process. Recently, some NGOs have added a research component to their array of activities, raising the question of whether those who pursue research in these organizations are similar to or different from those in more traditional contexts. Attitudes of NGO scientists are examined and compared with those in universities and national research institutes, drawing on a survey of researchers in Ghana, Kenya and the Indian state of Kerala.

Are Scientists in Developing Countries Isolated?

Wesley Shrum and Patricia Campion
Science, Technology, and Society (2000) Vol. 5(1): 1-34.

Most scholars and development experts assume that scientists in developing countries are isolated, although some posit that they are part of a global scientific community. This paper seeks to determine the size of professional networks for scientists in LDCs as well as the distribution of their ties across organizational contexts and locations.

View From Afar: ‘Visible’ Productivity of Scientists in the Developing World

Wesley Shrum
(1997) Scientometrics Vol. 40: 215-35.

Much of what we know about science and technology in less developed countries comes from international databases such as bibliographies and citation indices. However, it is not clear if researchers whose work appears in international databases are representative of scientists in the developing world as a whole, or whether they differ in terms of important social characteristics. A search of international databases on agriculture and natural resource management in Ghana, Kenya, and Kerala was used to compile a bibliography that could be compared with results from a face-to-face survey of researchers. Results indicate that many of the characteristics of those who are internationally visible differ from the wider population of scientists. The implication is that the “view from afar” based exclusively on information drawn from international databases does not accurately reflect the population of researchers or domestic productivity in less developed countries.

Fourth Sector Science: Non-Governmental Organizations in Kerala

Govindan Parayil and Wesley Shrum
Published as “Non-Governmental Research in Kerala.” (1996) Science, Technology & Development Vol. 14: 122-132.

Research in less developed countries has generally been viewed as the province of universities and national research institutes, but this no longer adequately describes the contexts in which research is conducted. Increasingly, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have become an important source of knowledge generation. Using Kerala, India, as a research site, we present a methodology for the identification and study of non-governmental research organizations (NGROs) in the agricultural and environmental sectors, contrast them with state research institutes and universities, and provide examples of the kinds of work done.

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Gender

Isolated in a Technologically Connected World? Changes in the Core Professional Ties of Female Researchers in Ghana, Kenya and Kerala

2012. B. Paige Miller, Wesley Shrum
Sociological Quarterly 53:143-165

Using panel data gathered across two waves (2001 and 2005) from researchers in Ghana, Kenya, and Kerala, India, we examine three questions: (1) To what extent do gender differences exist in the core professional networks of scientists in low-income areas? (2) How do gender differences shift over time? (3) Does use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) mediate the relationship between gender and core network composition? Our results indicate that over a period marked by dramatic increases in access to and use of various ICTs, the composition and size of female researchers core professional ties have either not changed significantly or have changed in an unexpected direction. Indeed, the size of women’s ties are retracting over time rather than expanding.

“Gender, ICTs and Productivity in Low Income Countries.”

B. Paige Miller, Ricardo Duque, and Wesley Shrum
2012. Science, Technology, and Human Values 37(1):30-63

This essay presents the first analysis of gender differences in productivity using panel data on scientists in low-income countries. About 540 research- ers in Ghana, Kenya, and Kerala (India) were studied using the same survey instrument in 2001 and 2005. Results indicate very few gender disparities in outcomes at either period of the study with one exception: productivity in international journals. The authors show that substantial gains in access to technology and higher education by women have not reduced the gender gap on this important career dimension.

Who has the Internet Empowered?  Rethinking the Relationship between Women and ICTs in the Developing World

Meredith Anderson
2007. Circumventing the Digital Divide: Lessons from Kerala Experience. Edited by Antony Palackal and Wesley Shrum.

Are information and communication technologies (ICT) actually functioning to promote gender equality in the developing world? Western development discourse often views the adoption of ICT by developing nations in an extremely optimistic manner. Recent feminist critiques of western development policies, however, hold that these technologies are ethnocentric in nature and seldom applied in a manner consistent with local context. This study investigates the degree to which the diffusion of ICT has improved the resource acquisition capabilities of female scientists in Kerala , India , over the past decade. By delimiting the scope of my investigation in this manner, I am able to account for assess the impact of ICT in a manner consistent with the sociocultural climate as well as the particular needs and abilities of the respondents. I conclude that, although the patrifocal social structure remains firmly in tact, Indian women scientists have taken advantage of the social and professional opportunities made available to them by the diffusion of these technologies. As Indian women scientists utilize ICTs to circumvent limitations imposed by the patrifocal social structure, they simultaneously advance their disciplines and promote social equality for women.

Circumvention and Social Change: ICTs and the Discourse of Empowerment

Meredith Anderson and W. Shrum
2007. Women’s Studies in Communication.

This essay draws on ten years of work in south India to develop an interpretation of empowerment based on the concept of circumvention. In light of the physical and social restrictions placed on many Indian women in terms of both domestic responsibilities and limited physical mobility , a direct case for the positive impact of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) on gender equality is difficult to build. The rigid nature of gender stratification in India is described in terms of patrifocality, which imposes limitations on women across all social strata . We show how women professionals use the Internet to circumvent gender codes that govern behavior, particularly those that limit access to social capital.

Gender and Science in Developing Areas: Has the Internet Reduced Inequality

Miller, B.P., R. Sooryamoorthy, M. Anderson, A. Palackal, W. Shrum
2006. Social Science Quarterly 87 (3): 679-689

This paper examines the impact of the Internet on the research careers of female scientists in three developing areas: Ghana, Kenya, and Kerala, India. Most empirical studies of gender and science focus on the developed world, yet theoretical accounts emphasize more extreme differences in developing areas. Limited evidence from Africa and Asia shows gender inequity is restricted to a few key dimensions, broadly related to differences in human and social capital. Specifically, women are less likely to acquire an advanced degree and more likely to experience educational and organizational “localism.” Such localism is related to constraints on physical mobility that are widely expected to diminish with the introduction of the Internet. Methods. Using longitudinal data on 1147 scientists in Ghana, Kenya, and South India, we examine gender differences in human and social capital by conducting a series of t-tests and chi-square tests. Results. We show that higher education and Internet access increased dramatically, but localism has not been reduced significantly and may be increasing. Conclusions. This finding casts doubt on the presumption that the removal of communication constraints will soon reduce career differentials resulting from the mobility constraints on women professionals.

Internet Equalizer? Gender Stratification and Normative Circumvention in Science

Palackal A , M. Anderson, B. P. Miller and W. Shrum
Indian Journal of Gender Studies (2006)

Gender and connectivity initiatives intended to promote development both assume that the Internet can have a significant impact on the careers and lives of women. This assumption is important to test, given prior research establishing the educational and organizational limitations on women in professional careers that increase the likelihood of restricted networks. This study employs recent qualitative data from scientists in Kerala that modifies the conclusions of initial quantitative research based on the data in 2000 and provides some grounds for optimism.

Gender stratification and e-science: Can the internet circumvent patrifocality?

Palackal, A., M. Anderson, B. P. Miller, and W. Shrum
2006. In C. Hine (Ed.), New Infrastructures of Knowledge Production: Understanding E-Science. Idea Group Publishing.

Gender and Science in Development: Women Scientists in Ghana, Kenya, and India

Patricia Campion and Wesley Shrum
Science, Technology, and Human Values (2004) Vol. 29(4): 459-485.

Why do women have more difficulty pursuing research careers than men? Although this topic has been extensively investigated in industrialized countries, prior studies provide little comparative evidence from less developed areas. Based on a survey of 293 scientists in Ghana, Kenya, and the Indian state of Kerala, we examine gender differences on a variety of individual, social, and organizational dimensions.

The Gender Digital Divide in the Research Sectors of Ghana, Kenya, and Kerala

B. Paige Miller & Wesley Shrum

Are Women More Connected Over Time? This article uses panel data gathered in 2001 and, 2005 to assess the gendered digital divide among researchers employed in three developing countries: Ghana, Kenya, and India (the state of Kerala). We move the digital divide discussion from an early focus on differentials in adoption and access to an assessment of use as measured by the diversity and intensity of internet and email activity. Using both bivariate and multivariate analyses, our results indicate clear gender disparities within an increasingly technologically saturated environment. Over time, both women and men report significant increases in access to and use of various technologies, yet even after controlling for other factors, women continue to be less technologically oriented than their male counterparts. Although women adopt new technologies around the same time and display similar patterns of email use as men, they are less intense users of both email and the web and they use the web less diversely than men. We conclude by suggesting possibilities for future research and significant policy implications for the assessment of the digital divide in low-income areas.

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Methods and Digital Video Ethnography

Outer Space of Science

Wesley Shrum, Ricardo B. Duque, Marcus Ynalvez
Published in “Geographies of Science“, edited by Peter Meusburger, David Livingston and Heike Jöns.

Film and Video in Qualitative Research

Wesley Shrum and Ricardo B. Duque
Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research

Lessons of the Lower Ninth:methodology and epistemology of video ethnography

Wesley Shrum, Ricardo Duque, Marcus Ynalvez
Technology in Society

This essay is an account of use and advocacy of video ethnography as a social research method. We focus on the contemporary technology of digital video in contrast to prior methods of ethnographic data collection, using the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to describe the capture of an infrastructural context. The importance of audio is emphasized, including the sound of silence and natural sound. Comparing camcorders to still cameras, we argue that former are superior for methodological reasons, including vivacity and deflection (the process through which methodological tools construct the boundaries of interaction). We conclude by arguing that video ethnography has important epistemological consequences, representing an opportunity for the expansion of social scientific outputs, understanding, and public engagement.

Digital Video as Research Practice: Methodology for the Millennium (Published Version)

Wesley Shrum, Ricardo Duque, Timothy Brown
Journal of Research Practice, 1(1), Article M4, 2005

The main argument of this essay is that a convergence of digital video technologies with practices of social surveillance portends a methodological shift towards a new variety of qualitative methodology. Digital video is changing the way that students of the social world practice their craft, offering not just new ways of presenting but new ways of practicing field research.

A Social Network Approach to Research Systems for Sustainable Agricultural Development: Results from a Study of Kenya, Ghana, and Kerala

Wesley Shrum
International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR). Briefing Paper #36. 1997

This paper describes a social network approach to developing country research systems, taking into account the primary sectors involved in agriculture and natural resource management. It outlines a methodology for producing an inventory of the set of relationships that actually occur rather than purely formal linkages that may or may not have consequences. It describes the kinds of information sources that may be generated through such a technique. Summary results are presented from a study of 137 organizations involved in agriculture and natural resource management in Kenya, Ghana, and Kerala.

Methodology for Studying Research Networks in the Developing World: Generating Information for Science and Technology Policy

W. Shrum and Jack Beggs
1997. Knowledge and Policy 9(4): 62-85

We describe a multi-faceted approach for generating systematic information on scientific and technological institutions in developing countries based on the concept of the research system as a multi-organizational network. By providing an account of how this approach was implemented in a three country study we hope to shed light on several related problems in developing information for policy.

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Reviews, Overviews, & Outreach

‘More Internet access needed’ for science to go global

Gisèle Dodji Dovi
25 November 2005 | EN

[TUNIS] The Internet is not meeting its potential to globalise science because researchers in developing countries are not getting the access they need, according to an international study. The research conducted by the World Science Project in six developing countries and the United States was presented last week in Tunisia prior to the World Summit on the Information Society.

Science, Technology, and Development

W. Shrum
International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Edited by Neil Smelser and Paul Baltes.

Science and Technology in Less Developed Countries

W. Shrum and Yehouda Shenhav
1995. Handbook of Science, Technology, and Society. Edited by Sheila Jasanoff, Gerald Markle, James Peterson, and Trevor Pinch. Newbury Park: Sage.

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Books

Vivarasmoohavum vikasanavum – keralathinte anubhavapadangal (Malayalam)

Palackal, Antony and Shrum, Wesley.
2007. Kozhikode: Olive Publications.

Information Society and Development: The Kerala Experience

Edited by Antony Palackal & Wesley Shrum.
2007. Rawat Books.

Past, Present, and Future of Research in the Information Society

Edited by Wesley Shrum, Keith Benson, Wiebe Bijker, and Klaus Brunnstein.
New York: Springer. 2007

Structures of Scientific Collaboration.

Wesley Shrum, Joel Genuth, and Ivan Chompalov.
MIT Press. 2007.

Annotated Bibliography of Science and Technology in Less Developed Countries.

W. Shrum, Carl Bankston, and D. Stephen
Scarecrow Press. 1995.

Organized Technology: Networks and Innovation in Technical Systems.

Wesley Shrum
Purdue University Press. 1985.

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