fms351-L15-reading02 - stronger versiong it may e wider...

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stronger versiong it may e wider socio-technical t theoretical approaches nerican political econo- tronger foundations for iationship between new enisation, and their rela- I patterng and forms of rital backdrop to current CTs marks a'fifth long Jre emergence of a 'new t, value-added serviceg ive impact of network )w economy is found in l proposes that the new rd that the cumulative rn technology paradigm rte eighteenth century. nges upon the global labour force, global forms of resistance to aims to develop a profoundly global culture it is not without its ing of culture as for more comparative ing to new media ioloeical accounts of of how new <>. The media on the world's foeconl>. Developed site provides valuable perspective. inter-disciplinary research and policy li E4 UIRTUf,L CULTURES The history of new media technologies is frequently told as a history of computers and networks: a history of RAM, hard disk capacity, packet switching, and TCP/IP. Such technological developments would, howeve4 be limited in their significance if they had not also been accompanied by changes in how people use these technologies, and how they transform modes of social interaction. One of the most interesting elements of the development of the Internet as a global communications network has been the rise of virtual communities, or virtual cultures, based around ongoing interactions among those participating in computer-mediated communication [CMC). This chapter will consider the rise in virtual cultures through CMC, their relationship to debates about the democratic and community-building potential of the Internet, and some case studies of such virtual cultures. This will lead to consideration of the digltal divide, or questions of inclusion and social exclusion from such forms of interaction and participation, as well as cuestions of identitv and the self in virtual environments.
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I 6:l n I t- o c ! C ! m o ds 4S z F- ) o o E F z z < o u,,l = lrJ z The chapter also considers new forms of 'social software'to have emerged such as collaborative and open publishing and weblogs ('blogs'J, and evaluates their relationship to current debates about the significance ofsocial capital to the development of communities and political interactiorr. gf, Virtual communities and online identities In perhaps the most famous early account of CMC-based online cultures, Howard Rheingold defined virtual communities as 'social aggregations that emerge from the Net when enough people carry on those public discussions [using the Internet] long enough, with sufficient human feeling, to form webs of personal relationships in cyberspace' (Rheingold 1994: 5J. While recognising that the origins of the Internet lay in the US military-industrial-governmental complex, Rheingold observed that the democratic potential of CMC lay in the decentralised nature of such networked communications, which presented, in a way very different to one-to-many mass media, the possibility to 'piggyback alternate networks
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This note was uploaded on 10/20/2010 for the course ENG FMS351 taught by Professor Meng during the Summer '10 term at ASU.

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fms351-L15-reading02 - stronger versiong it may e wider...

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