Indigenous Adoption of Mobile Phones and Oral Culture

Scoool of Information Technology, Murdoch University
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Cultural Attitudes towards Technology and Communication, 2008, pp. 384 - 398
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Indigenous people around the world are becoming more and more interested in ICT. The aural and graphical characteristics of mobile technology and multimedia, in particular, speak to strengths in Indigenous oral and graphical culture. Yet, despite many successful ICT implementations across the globe, there still remain many questions about Indigenous ICT access and adoption. In order to throw light on some of these issues, this paper examines the adoption and use of mobile phones by Indigenous people and how this fits with Indigenous culture. Specifically, we present a preliminary study of mobile phone adoption on a remote island in the Torres Strait with a special focus on Indigenous orality. The study indicates a number of very interesting issues, including an unexpected use of text messaging on mobile phones, as well as phone calls and text messages in the local language Kala Kawa Ya. We tentatively conclude that not only must ICT fit with cultural strengths such as orality but that it must also match key areas of high motivation, such as communication with family.
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