Is Community Informatics Good for Communities? Questions Confronting an Emerging Field

  • Randy R Stoecker
Keywords: community informatics, community development


This paper addresses a number of questions confronting the emerging field of community informatics. First, is it a field of study or a field of practice? Second, is the focus of community informatics on communities, information, or technology? Third, does community informatics serve elites, academics, community workers, or community workers? The paper moves from these questions to develop an empowerment model for community informations, emphasizing a community development approach combined with an information focus and a participatory process. It concludes with the question of whether community informatics should strive to be a supporting field rather than develop as an independent arena of study or practice.