Trade-offs, New Norms, and Aspirations: Conceptualizing the Shadow WiFi Public of a Suburban Havana Park

Lorian Leong


This study draws from the perspectives of 27 informants to provide a case study of the WiFi park culture in a Havana suburb in late 2017. Combining the domestication framework with community and publics scholarship and public WiFi use studies, findings detail the behaviors, corrective actions, values, and aspirations of users and proposed the concept of a shadow WiFi public. Analyses show how the Cuban sociopolitical landscape implicates itself in the various levels of adoption and how users navigate these circumstances to fit their broader social goals. These findings can be used in further studies to understand technology adoption, WiFi usage, and aspirations of WiFi publics at the intersection of culture, politics, society, and technology.


domestication, WiFi parks, Internet, privacy, WiFi publics, Cuba

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