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Utility Drives Adoption

Understanding Internet Accessibility in Rural China

Mingrui Ye

Utility Drives Adoption: Understanding Internet Accessibility in Rural China addresses the deep digital divide in China by exploring the reasons behind the lagging adoption of the internet in rural communities. With a four-year study and in-depth investigation into a number of rural communities across China, author Mingrui Ye unfolds a picture of internet use in rural villages and answers the questions why and in what scenario rural residents will or will not adopt internet-based digital devices like laptops or tablets.

Additionally, this book contributes to diffusion theory with a newly established research model, by which new determinants responsible for internet adoption were discovered and mutual relations between influential factors at different levels revealed. A series of solutions to improve the adoption rate of the internet in rural China are suggested for implementation at multiple levels. Utility Drives Adoption not only provides a deeper understanding of internet adoption in rural communities but also revisits the theory of innovation diffusion with newly developed perspectives and research models. This book serves as a useful guide for researchers and students in relevant fields to further explore internet utility and adoption in rural China.

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Chapter 7. Discussion and Conclusions


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Previous chapters examined existing studies and established an integral research model for this research, presented the findings and “grounded” cases in the concrete context of rural China. This chapter provides a final overview on the entire thesis by summarising the chapters and linking the findings into an integral pattern. Efforts that contribute to current diffusion research and theories are presented, restating the key findings from this study. Recommendations for future research and practice are listed and the constraints of this doctoral research are acknowledged.

Summary of the Study and Major Findings

The introductory chapter of this thesis gave an account of the background and environment where the subjects of this study reside. ICT as a driving force of economic development and social change is widely recognised by public administrators, including those in China’s various levels of government. However, the ongoing national informatization scheme carried forward for nearly ten years has left the urban-rural informational divide in place. With a brief overview of the social and political context and the key concepts involved, the first chapter highlighted the need to examine internet diffusion in less ← 205 | 206 → developed country areas, and proposed a series of questions to be addressed in this research.

Literature Review

For the purpose of locating this research, the literature review chapter started with a global view of the ongoing social transformation which has accompanied the development of information...

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