The One Laptop Per Child Project and the negotiation of technological meaning

Brendan Luyt


In this article I use actornetwork theory to make sense of some of the characteristics given to the XO by the OLPC Project; namely its immense scale, the involvement of educational bureaucracies (and the contradictions this entails), the role of children and the open source software community. I also identify several social forces that will likely shape the direction this technology takes. The future of the XO is, as a result of these forces, by no means certain. What will help determine the trajectory it takes is how willing the OLPC team is to further negotiate the meaning of this new technology.


One Laptop Per Child, digital divide, development, information technology, Nicholas Negroponte, actor-network theory

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