2004 Conference Theme:
Off the shelf or from the ground up?
ICTs and cultural marginalization, homogenization or hybridization

The biennial CATaC conference series continues to provide an international forum for the presentation and discussion of current research on how diverse cultural attitudes shape the implementation and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The conference series brings together scholars from around the globe who provide diverse perspectives, both in terms of the specific culture(s) they highlight in their presentations and discussions, and in terms of the discipline(s) through which they approach the conference theme. The first conference in the series was held in London in 1998, the second conference in Perth in 2000, and the third conference in Montreal in 2002.

Understanding the role of culture in how far minority and/or indigenous cultural groups may succeed - or fail - in taking up ICTs designed for a majority culture is obviously crucial to the moral and political imperative of designing ICTs in ways that will not simply reinforce such groups' marginalization. What is the role of culture in the development of ICTs "from the ground up" - beginning with the local culture and conditions - rather than assuming dominant "off the shelf" technologies are appropriate? Are the empowering potentials of ICTs successfully exploited among minority and indigenous groups, and/or do they rather engender cultural marginalization, cultural homogenization or cultural hybridization? 

Original full papers (especially those which connect theoretical frameworks with specific examples of cultural values, practices, etc.) and short papers (e.g. describing current research projects and preliminary results) are invited. Topics of particular interested include but are not limited to:

See submissions for deadlines and paper formats.