A critical analysis of technology transfer, ideology, and development in the context of communication technology in the Philippines

Pablito Martinez Tagura, Marquette University


The dissertation tries to investigate whether, and to what extent, it is possible to transfer technology, more particularly communications technology, from First World to Third World without at the same time transferring ideology. The work concentrates on communication technologies in the Philippine setting. The dissertation argues that technology is culturally embedded and ideologically implicated. Technologies are integrally related to the social structures within which they emerge. This implies that technology transfer presupposes a transfer of symbols, cultural patterns and standards. The research shows that there are two forms of media in the Philippines, the dominant and the alternative one. The dominant media, under the control of the elite and their foreign partners, rely mainly on the importation of communications technology and know-how. The media industries employ the dominant communication systems in the Philippines for control and profit. This practice inseparably implicates the conveyance of ideology in the transfer of technology. However, it is not the case that the local elite and TNCs control all the communication channels in the Philippines. Local and alternative media are within the reach of the masses and are shown to be effective in mobilizing people towards decision-making on community issues and development projects. In alternative communication, it is possible to control the transfer of ideology because the masses have the power to choose the appropriate and low-cost technologies that would promote their social goals. A development-oriented type of communication gives space to pluralism, freedom of expression, access, participation and autonomy. The practice of participatory and developmental communication is in effect the application of appropriate technology. Appropriate technology focuses on the integral relationship between technologies, social structures and values. Appropriate technologies can be adapted to a particular socio-cultural and economic framework. If the choice of technology flows from basic values underlying the selected development strategy, the principle of appropriate technology suggests that the organizing principle of value priority be based on justice, equity, cultural and ecological integrity, and the elimination of large scale and systematic violence to human life.

Recommended Citation

Tagura, Pablito Martinez, "A critical analysis of technology transfer, ideology, and development in the context of communication technology in the Philippines" (1997). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9811411.