Mobile technology appropriation in a distant mirror: Baroquization, creolization, and cannibalism

François Bar, Matthew S. Weber, Francis Pisani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Appropriation is the process through which technology users go beyond mere adoption to make technology their own and to embed it within their social, economic, and political practices. The appropriation process is a negotiation about power and control over the configuration of technology, its uses, and the distribution of its benefits. The negotiation surrounding technology appropriation echoes earlier creative tensions in the New World regarding the appropriation of cultural objects and ideas from abroad. This article reviews existing theoretical approaches to the study of technology appropriation and draws inspiration from three Latin American cultural traditions, baroquization, creolization, and cannibalism. It proposes a new theoretical framework that informs an in-depth study of the social, economic, and political impacts of technology appropriation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-636
Number of pages20
JournalNew Media and Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Baroquization
  • cannibalism
  • creolization
  • technology appropriation
  • user-driven innovation


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