Network Wisdom: The Role of Scaffolding in Expanding Communities of Practice and Technical Competencies in Community Networks

Michael Lithgow, Philip Garrison, Esther Han Beol Jang, Nicolas Pace

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: One of the key tensions to emerge from research on community owned and operated information and communications technology networks ("community networks") is why some networks flourish while others fail. Analysis: These findings are based on interviews with 15 community network participants from four rural community networks in Córdoba, Argentina. Community network longevity is shaped by practices of scaffolding-knowledge sharing practices that expand what Etienne Wenger describes as "fields of negotiability" within communities of practice. Conclusion and implications: Network longevity was supported by scaffolding practices that decentralized technical capacities while encouraging deeper involvement among network participants. The network wisdom demonstrated in these cases appears to offer a promising strategy for community networks struggling to achieve longevity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-291
Number of pages21
JournalCanadian Journal of Communication
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • communities of practice
  • community networks
  • fields of negotiability

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