Thursday, February 19, 2004

Week 5: Digital differences: Discussion questions
1. In the book ‘Communities in cyberspace,’ it is said that “O’Brien points that “hyper-gendering” is prevalent among those who attempt to “cross-dress”(i.e. males presenting themselves as females)” (p.12). How do you think about “gender-switching” online if someone who contacts with you online is not “really” the gender he or she presents himself / herself?
Why is gender a central feature in interaction throughout the Internet?
What is the crucial importance of gender identity in cyberspace?
2. According to O’Brein point, “there is a strain between those who view online interaction as an opportunity to “perform” a variety of fabricated roles versus those who see cyberspace as a new communication medium between real people” (p.12). How do you view online interaction and what is the frame of interaction in cyberspace?
3. How do you think about whether cyberspace enhances or erodes social order and control that already exist in human societies? How does social control work in cyberspace? Do you think that some form of monitoring and sanctioning would be necessary in online groups? Do you agree or disagree with ‘the system of real name use on the Internet’ that users should use their real name when they write and post their opinions online? Do you think that the system of real name use online infringes the public constitutional rights of the freedom of expression and information human rights?

(P.S.: My proposal is below and was posted on Tuesday)

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