Title: Commodification vs. patrimonialisation? A community capitals framework for assessing digital technologies. The case of Southern Rural Manitoba, Canada

Authors: Sherine Salmon; Mikaël Akimowicz

Addresses: Rural Development Institute, Brandon University 270-18th Street, Brandon, MB R7A 6A9, Canada ' LEREPS, Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier, Manufacture des Tabacs, 21 allée de Brienne, 31042 Toulouse Cedex, France

Abstract: Uneven access to broadband has deepened a divide that sees rural residents struggling with digital technologies (DTs). This situation has resulted in the emergence of creative attitudes to take advantage of the potential benefits of DTs. In this article, a continuum of community capitals framed by governance characteristics is proposed to analyse the impact of the utilisation of DTs in rural communities. Focus groups and interviews were carried out with youth, seniors, and businesses in three rural communities of Southern Manitoba, Canada. The results show that the interactions between the resources of rural communities are being re-shaped by the progressive adoption and utilisation of DTs. Three conditions to take full advantage of rural digital opportunities are reliable access, affordable access, and digital skills. Nuanced findings that contribute to explaining the ambivalent effects of DTs encourage the pursuit of additional investigations to further refine the proposed continuum of community capitals.

Keywords: digital technologies; rural broadband; community capitals; Veblen's (in)tangible assets; Musgrave's typology of goods; Canadian Prairies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSAMI.2022.123038

International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics, 2022 Vol.8 No.1, pp.3 - 24

Received: 08 Dec 2020
Accepted: 24 Apr 2021

Published online: 19 May 2022 *

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