Self Determined Participatory Action of Marginalized Groups: The streets of São Paulo

Research Proposal

master thesis will be placed within the framework of the
network-society. The network-society allows many-to-many
communication, self-production, -publishing, -usage and facilitate
social change from the grassroots level. Several related concepts are
therefore important for this research:

and usage means that we become
producer and user at the same time (Bruns,2009). Produsage also means
that information creation and usage is peer based, which assembles
the network-society’s concept of many-to-many communication.
Peer-based means that a network of interconnected people continuously
creates, changes and uses information (
Foundation, 2009
By nature, this information is common because everyone can access
these information without restriction (
Foundation, 2010
Peer-based also means decentralized, thus no central instance exist
that determines the purpose of the network.

network of interest for this master thesis connects people by mobile
phones. We have seen that mobile communication is the most widespread
technology which should allow many people to construct such a
network. Mobile communication is considered as the suitable tool to
form a peer-based network of people that produses common information
in order to provoke social change according to their needs and their
local context.

geographical focus of this thesis will be put on the urban
environment because the highly urbanized conglomerations of our time
are the place of highest disparity between rich and poor and host the
majority of the worlds population. At the same time, a large number
of social organisation and struggle can be found in this areas, ie.
local communities, cooperatives and urban (social) movements. As
shown earlier, urban areas are also those areas with the highest
concentration of mobile phone subscribers which is a prerequisite to
allow peer-based mobile phone networks to emerge.

finally back to the meaning of information itself it was shown that
information is the main good of the network-society. Information
represent political messages if they can reach the members of
society, because society construct itself around available
information, thus their public availability can be used to exercise
social power. It is therefore necessary to make information
available. When considering the urban environment, user generated
digital maps can be used to publish common information and
simultaneously provide the means to analyse and reuse them in order
to develop strategies for social change. This leads to the research
question of this thesis:

mobile communication be used to map the urban environment of a
community in a peer-based “produsage” process?

The following References can also be found in the corresponding zotero.org


Bruns, A., 2009. ‘Anyone Can Edit’ : Vom Nutzer zum Produtzer. Kommunikation@Gesellschaft, 10. Available at: http://eprints.qut.edu.au/27479/ [Accessed January 6, 2010].  

P2P Foundation, 2010. Commons. P2P Foundation. Available at: http://p2pfoundation.net/Commons [Accessed February 10, 2010].

P2P Foundation, 2009. Peer Production. P2P Foundation. Available at: http://p2pfoundation.net/Peer_Production [Accessed February 10, 2010].


open access bibliography and sources

all literature references at rtc@zotero.org

open access thesis repository

all thesis Tex documents at rtc@github.com

opens maps

open map editing at

audio and video archives

all recordings at rtc@archive.org


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