Internet and Cellular Telephone Usage in Pakistan (2002-2012): A Challenge to Social Dichotomy

By Connie S. Eigenmann.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The selective retention of certain socio-cultural traditions as sexual space and its resulting social dichotomy in Pakistan can be seen as a dramatic example of how such retention affects not only the advent of Internet and cellular telephone usage in developing countries, but all acculturating world citizens. Primary relationship bases that were once inviolate have created a phenomenon of accelerated electronic usage for work, family interaction, and friendship networks in Pakistan and among its diaspora. This 10-year study employed interviewing, survey analysis, observation, and scholarly review to examine 65 qualitative and quantitative variables. A combination of free response in written and oral forms, observations of practice, and discussions provides qualitative data to answer the six research questions. Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient was used to correlate (1) cellular and Internet chat usage, (2) the five Internet usage indicators, (3) education level and the Internet usage indicators, (4) positive cellular comments and cellular usage, (5) positive Internet comments and email usage, and (6) age and cellular usage. The instrument was a 38-item questionnaire in both English and Urdu versions for Pakistan citizens (n=287). It allowed 9 open-ended responses, 8 demographic queries, and 21 Likert scale items. Comparative data from the Sultanate of Oman, Thailand and China were also collected with two language options (n=953). Women are changing tremendously in their influence of legal and bureaucratic changes in Pakistan. The social dichotomy in place is also changing as younger users and children enter as electronic communicators. Family power reversals can also occur, and parents are often cut off from major decisions. By 2015, Chinese women will have carved a niche in the Internet technology professions; and other Asian women are closing the gender gap. The Internet can be a neutral place for careers and communication.

Keywords: Pakistan, Internet Usage, Cellular Telephones, Gender Gap, Electronic Communication, Chatting, Sexual Space, Asian Women, Oman, Thailand, China

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp.215-239. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 690.716KB).

Dr. Connie S. Eigenmann

Associate Professor, Communication Studies, Fort Hays State University, Hays, KS, USA

Connie S. Eigenmann (B. A. Eastern Illinois University 1991, M. A. Eastern Illinois University 1992, Ph. D. University of Oklahoma 1995) has been affiliated with 15 professional communication organizations. She has presented 23 refereed papers in intercultural communication and rhetoric; with research interests in electronic communication usage and storytelling. Work experience is in international management and consulting (5 years); public relations (3 years), university development and telemarketing (3 years); speech clinic & forensics judging (3 years); and teaching in higher education (20 years). Before joining the faculty at Fort Hays State University, she acted as Head of Business Communications, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman; Dean of the Indianapolis College of Business and Computer Science in Lahore, Pakistan; and Professor of English Communication at Shantou University, China. She has been affiliated with Lamson & Sessions, Inc. as a technical writer for their electrical conduit and fixture warehouse in Oklahoma City, USA.

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