Digital literacies as placed resources in the globalised periphery

The focus on electronic media as placed resources in this Introduction to this special issue draws attention to the varied and specific ways that media resources are taken hold of in divergent social settings. We argue that communicative resources of all kinds, in their uses and functions, are shaped by context and place, and we examine what that means for people engaging with new media resources, particularly people who are not part of the global mainstream. The case is made that research needs to take account of the specificity, affordances and limits of place, conceived both in geographic terms and as social sites that are shaped by politics, history, economics and cultural practices. At the same time, research has to pay attention to ways that electronic media offer translocal resources and practices for engagement. Digital media exist in the local and offer agency to users in the papers presented here, but not without the constraints that mark their status as persons located on the globalised periphery.

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