Accessing the in between: The conditions of possibility emerging from interactions with information and communications technologies in Auckland, New Zealand

by Mitchell, Phillipa Marlis

Abstract (Summary)
The complex interactions between individuals, institutions and information and communications technologies (ICTs) have generated a growing body of research that seeks greater knowledge of the processes at work and their consequences. Situated firmly within this area, this thesis challenges the dominance of the generalised and largely technologically deterministic narratives within the field by seeking to constitute such knowledge in a different way. Geography provides a useful standpoint from which to challenge these narratives owing to its enduring engagement with time and space, concepts implicit in any discussion of ICTs effects. Emerging work on code space, transurbanism and timespace are specifically used to negate the persistent dualistic treatment of time and space which is argued to be hampering geographic research in this field. Methodologically drawing from a non representational style this thesis uses these emerging understandings to access the in between, a mental space of performance; which involves the process of drawing from tacit knowledge, cognitive perceptions of the spatial and temporal environment and emotions, in order to explore the conditions of possibility that individuals are becoming aware of through their interactions with ICTs. Four empirical interventions are used to ground these emerging understandings into the reality of everyday encounters with ICTs in Auckland, New Zealand. The first focuses on the role of local government in the development of Auckland’s ICT infrastructure, a complex and contingent process. The second concentrates on the provision of a Real Time Passenger Information System at Auckland bus stops, exposing individuals to new timespaces while waiting for the bus. The third considers students opinions of the e-learning mechanisms used in two first year geography courses. The final intervention examines the role ICTs play in South Africans and South Koreans imagining, negotiation and mediation of the migration process to Auckland. In conclusion, this thesis contributes to how geography constitutes knowledge about ICTs at three different levels. Empirically, the four interventions contribute grounded findings to the debates in the geographic literature over interactions with ICTs. Methodologically, the conditions of possibility institutional and individual actors are beginning to perceive through their encounters with ICTs are revealed as are the timespaces that may eventuate from these. Theoretically, to understand how the interactions between individuals and ICTs are performed this thesis demonstrates the need to interrogate the in between as a process, not just a gap or blank.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Professor Richard Le Heron; Professor Pip Forer

School:The University of Auckland / Te Whare Wananga o Tamaki Makaurau

School Location:New Zealand

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:information and communications technologies time space geography non representational theory


Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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