TitleRural Islandness as a Lens for (Rural) HCI
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsRobinson S, Bidwell NJ, Cibin R, Linehan C, Maye L, McCarthy J, Pantidi N, Teli M
JournalACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact.
Date Publishedmay
Keywordscommunity engagemen, community radio, ethnography, islandness, publics, Rural HCI, rural studies, thematic analysis

This article contributes to research that aims to better understand and describe the rural context for rural computing. We argue that the particularities of rurality are heightened by the experience of ‘islandness’. We report on our experiences of engaging on one small island as islanders established community radio using a novel platform. Data comes from 12 semi-structured interviews with community members and ethnographic field notes assembled through eight researcher visits to the island. Transcripts and notes were analysed using thematic analysis. We discuss how rural islandness as a socio-cultural lens influenced technology appropriation and factors to support participation. We explore the elements of rural islandness that can be used as an analytic tool for rural HCI and HCI more broadly, through three main contributions of rural islandness that we believe have not yet been sufficiently explored in HCI. These are (1) separateness, (2) pushing things ahead, and (3) publics and rural pluralities.