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The Lan House Phenomenon: Exploring the Uses and Symbolic Functions of the Internet Among the Low-Income Brazilian Youth

Mediated Millennials

ISBN: 978-1-83909-078-3, eISBN: 978-1-83909-077-6

Publication date: 11 November 2019


Brazil has one of the largest millennial populations in the world and offers a key case study of an important slice of time: the adolescence of millennials in the 2000s. This case study offers important insight into a unique Brazilian dynamic, the LAN house phenomenon: a Brazilian solution to spreading digital technologies to the economically disadvantaged. This chapter explores the social roles and functions LAN houses played to the Brazilian youth, ages 12–15, in the 2000s, when they were first introduced in Brazil. Three research questions guided this investigation.

RQ1. What were the main uses and gratifications of LAN house use among the youth in Brazil in the early 2000s?

RQ2. What was the social construction of “Internet” and “LAN house” among the Brazilian user of LAN houses and its potential to foster advancement?

RQ3. What key roles do LAN houses play today?

Two distinct methods of the study were employed: a survey and textual analysis. The results showed that Brazilian youth used the LAN houses to check Orkut (a social network site), e-mails and the Microsoft System Network (MSN chat), download music and play games. The internet was mostly perceived to have a negative influence, have bad content and serve as a distraction. With the changes in telecommunication and mobile use, the LAN houses have diversified their services, still offering opportunities for gaming and socialization, but also catering to older and working class by providing services such as government document digitalization and preparation. This case study has implications or the introduction of digital technologies to adolescent populations in the growing economies and developing nations.



Trammel, J.M.(.S. (2019), "The Lan House Phenomenon: Exploring the Uses and Symbolic Functions of the Internet Among the Low-Income Brazilian Youth", Schulz, J., Robinson, L., Khilnani, A., Baldwin, J., Pait, H., Williams, A.A., Davis, J. and Ignatow, G. (Ed.) Mediated Millennials (Studies in Media and Communications, Vol. 19), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 199-218.



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