Local experts in the domestication of information and communication technologies

James Stewart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research into the adoption and use of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) pays increasing attention to social context; however, the social fabric of contexts of use is often poorly theorized. This paper presents an investigation into the formation and operation of informal local networks of collaboration and knowledge exchange. It highlights the role of local experts in sustaining these informal networks and helping individuals and groups adopt and cope with new ICTs. The paper draws on a range of analytic traditions, including domestication and consumer research, to assess how local experts transfer knowledge, ideas of use and even new technologies across social networks and across the boundaries between home, work and education and other domains of life. The methodology deployed attempts to overcome the limitations of many studies of the adoption and diffusion of innovations in sample selection, especially the inclusion of non-adopters. It addresses the social dynamics of engagement with new technologies and proposes a move beyond a simple individualistic adopter/non-adopter model, with consequent implications for understanding digital inclusion and exclusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-569
Number of pages23
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Issue number4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Aug 2007


  • adoption
  • experts
  • intermediaries
  • Internet
  • networks
  • non-use
  • social


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