The use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) hold promise for sustainable human, social and economic development particularly for the marginalized in the Global South. This paper employs qualitative methods to assess the implications of ICTs for socio-economic development, by exploring the ways in which online social network services (SNSs) or social media such as WhatsApp and Facebook influence indigenous savings and credit associations (SCAs), commonly known as stokvels in South Africa. Fourteen members belonging to 14 different online stokvels participated in semi-structured interviews. The data reveals how members of stokvels use WhatsApp and Facebook to develop new forms of socio-cultural ties that extend the traditional meaning of stokvels. The study proposes the concept of fictive kinship from anthropology, underpinned by the sub-Saharan humanist ethic of ubuntu (“being human”) – as a lens for understanding the emergence of previously non-existent social bonds due to a sense of collective identity facilitated and mediated by online social network services. This work contributes to a better conception of the processes that help shape the daily use of technology by marginalized communities.
Menze, Aviwe and Tsibolane, Pitso, "ONLINE STOKVELS: THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA BY THE MARGINALIZED" (2019). CONF-IRM 2019 Proceedings. 26.