Cambridge MPhil Sociology Thesis

I conducted interviews in the rural English town of Alston to understand how a pilot broadband internet program had changed the community’s social landscape.

Details of Work

  • Established contact with key informant at the broadband provider office in Alston, Cybermoor
  • Developed semi-structured interview protocol
  • Traveled to Alston, living in the local youth hostel, and interviewed residents, April 14-21, 2009
  • Transcribed and coded all interviews
  • Wrote and submitted thesis

Related Publications

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One Laptop per Digital Divide?

Published Version



“When I first heard about the One Laptop per Child [OLPC] programme—the goal of distributing inexpensively produced laptops to every child in the world for education—my immediate reaction was: what a great idea! When faced with OLPC’s cute, little XO laptops, the problem of ‘The Digital Divide’ seems so simple and so solvable

“But that was my first alarm bell: simple. It seemed so simple. Solutions can often be simple—but development problems are rarely simple. They are usually historical, culturally specific and inherently complex. And while the XO laptop may have an expertly-designed-to-be-simple interace, it is anything but a simple solution.”