The Next Billion Users: Digital Life Beyond the West

Payal Arora (Author)

Product Details

$35.00  $32.20
Harvard University Press
Publish Date
February 25, 2019
5.8 X 1.1 X 8.3 inches | 0.95 pounds
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About the Author

Payal Arora is the author of the award-winning Leisure Commons: A Spatial History of Web 2.0 and Dot Com Mantra: Social Computing in the Central Himalayas and is Associate Professor in the School of History, Culture, and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam. She has research and consulting experience in both the private and public sectors, including with Kellogg, the World Bank, Christie's, Shell, HP, GE, the Ministry of Education in Jordan, Siemens, and UNESCO.


A must-read for any individual seeking to promote economic growth and development in the digital age. Arora's deeply rooted research exposes digital stereotypes as well as the perils and opportunities that exist at the interplay of culture, technology, regulation, commerce, and the next generation of digital users.--Justin van Fleet, Director of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity
Whether you are a government agency seeking to bring public goods and services to underprivileged citizens, a multinational corporation entering emerging markets, or an NGO implementing aid, The Next Billion Users is essential, data-driven reading that will guide your digital and real-world strategies.--Shaun Wiggins, President and CEO of Soteryx
Superb...Uncomfortable, myth-busting, and compelling, The Next Billion Users challenges our collective superiority complexes and questions the way we see technology in the connected world.--Nick Smith"Engineering and Technology" (03/22/2019)
The Next Billion Users is mandatory reading for anyone interested in understanding the future of technology or designing applications that are truly valuable for the majority of the people on the planet.--Ronaldo Lemos, Director of the Institute for Technology & Society of Rio de Janeiro
This book is a feat--insightful, poignant, riveting. Through detailed case studies and interviews, Payal Arora rewrites the story of our relationship to digital technology from a truly global perspective. Her conclusions are as surprising as they are revealing about the future of social media, gaming, mobile phones, and online commerce and education.--Marwan Kraidy, author of The Naked Blogger of Cairo
Convincingly points out that the promises of technology itself bridging educational divides have not come true...Arora's core message is that the youth in developing countries are like their peers everywhere...Their basic motivations, however, do not differ from those of other people. The limitations they face in daily life reappear in the digital sphere.-- (01/23/2020)
Arora shows that many of the world's poor don't seek out the Internet as a tool to become more productive, but as a welcome outlet for economically 'unproductive' play...That the Internet fails as a magical cure-all for historical circumstance may be unwelcome news to techno-utopians and overzealous development practitioners, but there is hope in its capacity to augment and expand human leisure beyond the realm of material advancement.--Evan Malmgren"The Nation" (05/14/2019)
This powerful book explores actual online lives in China, India and Brazil and asks why many of us in the West are surprised and sometimes offended by the fact that the impoverished are just as committed as we are to the search for 'moments of pleasure and joy.'--Times Higher Education (03/21/2019)
A 'must-read' for anyone interested in digital uses around the world...A priceless study, tremendously documented.--Irenaeus Regnauld"Digital Society Forum" (05/10/2019)
The conventional storyline around the transformative effect of technology on people's lives often doesn't ring true...Any leader whose company sees the global poor as a key market will find its reality-based view of the intended customers bracing and useful.--Theodore Kinni"Strategy + Business" (07/24/2019)
Payal's findings show that the global poor use online media not just to study, find jobs, and obtain health information, but also seek pleasure, visibility, leisure, and entertainment. In the process, they negotiate issues of privacy, interaction and social tradition.-- (07/26/2019)
Extremely enlightening in regard to preconceived Western notions of the Global South and the impact of new technologies on the poor.--Choice (08/01/2019)