Most of the current research conducted within the scope of information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) looks at ICTs and more general media usage in non-European, developing country contexts and frequently employs technologically deterministic perspectives. There are very few studies applying the ICT4D perspectives within the Western societies and by focusing solely on developing countries scholars often neglect the fact that the demographics, social structure and context of developed countries have dramatically changed during the course of last few decades. Yet, as Ngomba (2013) points out, the impacts and implications of the recent financial and economic crises in Europe and USA, as well as resulting rigorous austerity policies constitute significant ‘shocks’ that should shape the future of academic and popular research about the role communication technologies play within the social change processes.
This paper is focused on the ongoing doctoral research at Karlstad University, which in line with Morley (2009)’s call for de-Westernized, non-media centric and materialist approaches to media studies, is focused on transnational migrant communities living in Sweden, their daily media usage, and related individual development and communal empowerment changes. Paper argues that only through the analysis of empirical data focused on how people actually use media and ICTs within the context of everyday life, of “how media do, and do not, figure in people's lives" (Couldry, 2006, p. 177), better and more pinpointed strategies for welfare development, urban poverty reduction and elimination of growing social inequalities can be elaborated on, thus leading to sustainable future.
SANORD 2014: "A Sustainable Future - Information Technology and Welfare Development", SANORD (Southern African-Nordic Centre) International Symposium, Karlstad, SWEDEN, June 10-12, 2014