Ethics in online community engagement among marginalized rural groups

Tshimangadzo Selina Mudau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter presents the virtual community engagement within rural areas. The methodological implications of this chapter are drawn from empirical research conducted before and during the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the rural areas of Makhado in South Africa. The chapter describes how virtual community engagement impacts communication issues such as social norms, culture, and respect for community leadership structures. Critical discourse analysis was employed to expose the problems of power, position, and dominance during virtual community engagement as a data generation method. Findings are based on technological and other contextual socio-cultural factors in rural communities. A mixture of both virtual and telephonic engagement is the most acceptable option to manage and minimize social injustice among marginalized groups. The chapter closes with recommendations on promoting the voices and rights of the marginalized or vulnerable groups when conducting virtual community engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunity Engagement in the Online Space
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781668451915
ISBN (Print)1668451905, 9781668451908
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


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