Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Subversion, Conversion, DevelopmentCross-Cultural Knowledge Exchange and the Politics of Design$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

James Leach and Lee Wilson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027168

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027168.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 21 May 2022

Redeploying Technologies

Redeploying Technologies

ICT for Greater Agency and Capacity for Political Engagement in the Kelabit Highlands

(p.105) 6 Redeploying Technologies
Subversion, Conversion, Development

Poline Bala

The MIT Press

The chapter examines why and how the Kelabit, a people of Central Borneo, engaged with information and communication technologies through the electronic Bario (e-Bario) development initiative. It explores the ways that aspects of Kelabit society and history provided the context for implementation of the project, and constituted a rationale for attitudes to social change among the Kelabit. The chapter argues that the basis for adoption and application of ICT in the Kelabit Highlands was framed by local understandings of ‘progress’ and ‘development’, and conditioned by fundamental Kelabit concepts of doo-ness, or ‘goodness’, and iyuk, or status mobility. Through doo-ness and iyuk the kelabit engaged with new tropes of success and progress associated with the e-Bario initiative as a development project. The Kelabit used ICT to facilitate greater political agency and capacity for engagement with government, to preserve their cultural identity and protect traditional land rights. The hegemonic imperatives of new forms of technology were subordinated to and integrated with existing practices and values, sociopolitical arrangements and products in the Kelabit community. The Kelabit case thus illustrates the ways in which engagement and appropriation of developmental initiatives can subvert the intended outcomes of policy makers with regard to the use of ICTs as drivers of development.

Keywords:   Kelabit, Borneo, e-Bario, Social Change, ICTs and Development, Cultural Identity, Technology redeployment

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.