|Title:||Convergence Through Mobile Peer-to-Peer File Sharing in the Republic of Armenia|
|Author(s):||Pearce, K. E.|
|Citation:||Pearce, K. E. (2011). Convergence through mobile peer-to-peer file sharing in the Republic of Armenia. International Journal of Communication, 5, 511-528.|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Semi-structured interviews with Armenian citizens (n = 25: 15 female and 10 male, ages 16–40) were conducted through the spring and summer of 2008. Participants were recruited using a snowball sampling technique. Individuals were first approached in public cafes and parks and, second, esearch assistants were used to recruit participants from the university cafeteria.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
Armenians are adopting personal computers and the Internet more slowly than are individuals in neighboring and more economically developed countries. However, mobile phone usage is rapidly expanding. The reasons for this pattern of information and communications technology adoption may be cultural, political, or economic, but the delay in some technological access also, paradoxically, fosters creativity. Through peer-to-peer content sharing via mobile devices, the consumption and exchange of digital content has become quite common. Indeed, these uses of the mobile phone exemplify convergence, the integration of digital audio, video, text, and data, as well as a social change in the way media circulates. Ethnographic research and interviews conducted in Armenia during the spring and summer of 2008 examine how, by whom, and what types of digital content are being socially shared through mobile devices. Theoretical possibilities to explain the social utility of this phenomenon are presented as well.
Main Results of the Study
- The absence of other ICTs (PCs and the Internet in particular) which have traditionally led the way for digitalized content consumption and sharing, and the arrival of multimedia phones in Armenia have created a situation in which device convergence enables media convergence. The social harmonious nature of Armenian society may influence this convergence.
- Armenian social structures related to social capital and social maintenance are also relevant to understanding social sharing. Social capital is the individual and social resources developed and made accessible through relationships and interpersonal trust among individuals in a social network.
- Armenia’s challenging political situation has created an interesting use of mobile multimedia through peer-to-peer file sharing that may be used in other heated political situations. While it remains to be seen if motivations for the use of entertainment content have any relationship to motivations for the use of political information content, the skill involved in receiving, viewing and sharing the content and the political contexts for sharing otherwise censored information are there.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Further study of the motivations and social implications of peer-to-peer file sharing via mobile devices is recommended, as this will be an important contribution to the study of both smart phones and the adaptation of devices. In addition, the ways in which social capital manifests itself within a socially harmonious society (and whether this harmony-oriented culture is a traditional value compounded by socialism or is a value born from socialism) is also an interesting topic for further examination.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Individual|
|Period of material under study:||2008|