Box 3 – Framing attributes of Internet adoption in CSOs: Miles’ approach
How can perceived attributes [in the adoption of the Internet in Indonesian CSOs] be explained within diffusion theory and CSO study at the same time? Ian Miles (1996) provides an insight to understand competing perspective in ICTs. In his work, he departs from the concern about the classic debate on ‘consensus v. conflict’ which has long been pathological in social science –that in fact also perfectly matches with the spectrum of ‘activism paradigm’ in CSOs*.
Miles’ work is grounded around the prominent theme of ‘expanding information opportunities v. growing information inequalities’, which might be helpful to understand the latent problem of access availability or digital divide issue underlying the adoption process in developing economies like Indonesia (Miles, 1996:39-40). To him, there are two important dimensions underlying the debate on the social implications of ICTs, i.e. dimension of depth and width. In the dimension of depth, it is the speed and extent of ‘change’ which is very much influential, with continuist and transformist at the extremes. In the dimension of width, it is the extent of control that matters, with concordist competing against antagonist (Miles, 1996:38-40). For both dimensions, Miles offers structuralism to remedy the ills by looking for synthesis as it recognises that a diversity of actors confront a multiplicity of choices which lead to many possible outcomes.
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Source: Miles (1996), interview from fieldwork, and author’s reflection
* See Chapter Four Section 4.1.1. Sphere of activism for more detailed accounts.
(PhD Thesis, Nugroho, 2007:175 – Box 5.1.)