Blog post 10: Implications of the mobile Internet

Two articles are assigned this week. Read both articles. Find them in the Course Schedule and on Ares.

One article describes a qualitative study conducted in Sri Lanka. The other article discusses a tribal group, the Maasai, in Tanzania, based on a study using mixed methods. First, make some notes about what each article focuses on when discussing how the people in that article use the mobile Internet and mobile apps. Make two lists — one for each article. Read closely and make a clear and accurate assessment.

Do not read other students’ blog posts before you write your own. Students make mistakes. Trust your own powers of reasoning.

Content of the post: This post has two distinct parts.

Part 1: COMPARE the USES of MOBILE Internet/apps as described in the two articles. Do not generalize too much — keep in mind that each article has limitations and cannot possibly be describing ALL South Asians or ALL Africans. Therefore, be careful with your own language, and do not over-generalize!

Point out similarities and also point out differences using the information given in the two articles.

This comparison section should take up NO MORE THAN half of your post. 

Part 2: Imagine a new, different study that would tell us something about use of the mobile Internet/apps that neither of these articles has told us. This is an imaginary study that has not been done yet. It would be a study that some researcher could feasibly conduct (it would not have to be YOU conducting the study). DO NOT simply copy either study from the assigned readings.

I would like you to describe a study that would answer at least two significant research questions that are NOT answered in either of the assigned articles.

Describe the study you have imagined. This is the main part of your blog post.

For your description of your study, answer ALL of these questions:

  1. Who would be the sampled population? Be specific about the country, age, ethnicity if necessary, and any other relevant demographic info about the people you would want to study.
  2. Write two clear and clearly different research questions (both RQs must be about people’s use of the mobile Internet). Give this a good amount of thought and come up with two questions to which we really DO NOT know the answer! DO NOT write a yes-or-no question. Proper RQs are never yes-or-no — they answer why or how. I expect to see thoughtful, proper RQs befitting a graduate level of thinking.
  3. Why would it be important to learn the answers to these questions from this population? Think in terms of democracy, or commerce/marketing, or the future of the people’s society or government or human rights. I mean “important” on a large scale. Be specific about this.

Note: You do NOT need to describe a methodology for the study. We can assume the study would use a survey (that would be simple) or possibly participant observation. If your RQs could not be answered with an analysis of survey data, you will need to explain how the data would be obtained. Be realistic.

Your deadline for posting is Monday, Nov. 6, at 9 a.m. 

SLUG: The TITLE of your blog post about these articles must begin with the words “mobile Internet.” You can add more words after that if you want to.

If you need any clarification about this assignment, please make a comment on this post. I will answer it here.


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