The Concatenation of Meaning and Power: a Photo-essay of Asymmetries in the Communication Process

Diaz Andrade, AE
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Association for Information Systems

Informed by the assumption that meaning and power constitute an inextricable dyad, this photo-essay scrutinizes their influence on the communication process. The investigation relies on pictorial evidence of individuals, objects, and actions that embodied the social construction of meaning and manifested power relations in a rural context. The analysis reveals that the traditional asymmetry in the communication process, whereby those in dominant positions controlled the vertical flow of information, was altered when computer technology was introduced in 2003. New asymmetries emerged when ordinary folks, bypassing the established vertical communication channels, became consumers and producers of now available digital information. As a result, vertical and horizontal communication asymmetries now coexist. Besides supporting this argument, the photographic material shows idiosyncratic elements of social reality in a vivid way.

Photo-essay; Communication; Meaning; Power; Rural context
GlobDev 2016. 17.
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Copyright © 2016 Association for Information Systems (AIS) All rights reserved. NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in (see Citation). The original publication is available at (see Publisher's Version).