Public Libraries and Democratization in Three Developing Countries: Exploring the Role of Social Capital Metadata

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Title

  • Main Title Public Libraries and Democratization in Three Developing Countries: Exploring the Role of Social Capital

Creator

  • Author: Ignatow, Gabriel
    Creator Type: Personal
    Creator Info: University of North Texas; gabriel.ignatow@unt.edu
  • Author: Webb, Sarah M.
    Creator Type: Personal
    Creator Info: Syracuse University; swebb01@syr.edu
  • Author: Poulin, Michelle
    Creator Type: Personal
    Creator Info: University of North Texas; michelle.poulin@unt.edu
  • Author: Parajuli, Ramesh
    Creator Type: Personal
    Creator Info: Martin Chautari; rameshparajuli@gmail.com
  • Author: Fleming, Peter
    Creator Type: Personal
    Creator Info: Invest in Knowledge Initiative; pcfleming@gmail.com
  • Author: Batra, Shika
    Creator Type: Personal
    Creator Info: University of North Texas; shikha.bedi@unt.edu
  • Author: Neupane, Diptee
    Creator Type: Personal
    Creator Info: University of North Texas; diptee.neupane@unt.edu

Publisher

  • Name: Walter de Gruyter
    Place of Publication: [Berlin, Germany]

Date

  • Creation: 2012-03
  • Embargoed Until: 2013-03-01

Language

  • English

Description

  • Content Description: This article explores the role of social capital. The authors develop a theoretical framework intended to facilitate systematic investigation of the contributions public libraries may make to democratization.
  • Physical Description: 14 p.

Subject

  • Keyword: public libraries
  • Keyword: developing countries
  • Keyword: social capital
  • Keyword: democratization

Source

  • Journal: Libri. International Journal of Libraries and Information Services, 2012, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 67-80

Citation

  • Publication Title: Libri. International Journal of Libraries and Information Services
  • Volume: 62
  • Issue: 1
  • Page Start: 67
  • Page End: 80
  • Pages: 14
  • Peer Reviewed: True

Collection

  • Name: UNT Scholarly Works
    Code: UNTSW

Institution

  • Name: UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service
    Code: UNTCPA

Rights

  • Rights Access: public

Resource Type

  • Article

Format

  • Text

Identifier

  • DOI: 10.1515/libri-2012-0005
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc81388

Degree

  • Academic Department: Sociology

Note

  • Embargo Note: This item has a 12 month embargo period per the requirements of the publisher. For more information on this item or to inquire about obtaining a copy, please contact the authors directly.
  • Display Note: Abstract: Investments in public libraries in developing countries have been made based on the idea that libraries contribute to societal democratization. Yet scholarly understanding of the relationships between public libraries and democratization is sharply limited. In this article the authors review historical studies of national public library systems that cast doubt on widely held assumptions that a positive relationship necessarily pertains between the establishment of public libraries and democracy. Based on this historical review and on sociological theories of social capital (e.g. Bourdieu 1986), the authors develop a theoretical framework intended to facilitate systematic investigation of the contributions public libraries may make to democracy. Using comparative historical and ethnographic methods, the authors analyze the relationship between public libraries and democratic systems of government in Namibia, Nepal, and Malawi, and find that in all three cases public libraries were established mainly during democratic regimes. However, they were not necessarily established by democratically elected governments directly, but rather because democratic regimes proved to be relatively open to the influence of diasporas and global civil society. The authors only find evidence of public libraries contributing to societal democratization, as the authors conceptualize the process, in Nepal and to a limited degree Namibia - countries that lack a long-established, empowered elite class. The authors discuss possible implications of our analysis for library scholarship and its relations to theories of development.