Thursday, March 04, 2004

Week 7 : Questions By Seunghyun Lee
1. As it is mentioned in the article of Gurak, cyberspace is becoming a political and social sphere. Social and political action on the Internet is becoming a strong power to debate some social issues and to protest across time and space. In other words, the Internet-based protest plays an important role. Cyberspace provides the opportunity and space for many more people to communicate and participate regardless of the limitation of time and space. And it allows people to correspond with each other regardless of social position or rank, race, and age. It also shows “the exclusionary power of strong community ethos by rapid delivery”(p.245). However, we have to think about digital divide here.
Who mostly dominate the debate or communication in cyberspace and who are mostly excluded from the communication and social and political action on the Internet?

2. How does social and political action on the Internet differ from traditional face-to-face methods of establishing presence and delivering a message?

3. Privacy and free speech in cyberspace should be protected, but if uninhibited behaviors such as the spread of inaccurate information, a kind of insularity, slander, etc. penetrate and affect users in cyberspace, how can we cope with those situations?

4. As the use of cyberspace as a political arena is increasing, how can we define the notion of “cyberdemocracy” or “electronic democracy”? How can we reduce the digital divide between those who have access to the Internet and information and those who have not it to actualize electronic democracy?

5. Uncapher in the case of Big Sky Telegraph argues that the model of Big Sky Telegraph seeks to bring the whole community together, and it has become a repository of skills and examples about how to establish communities in cyberspace. In addition to Frank Odasz’s conclusion of a successful community network, Slater also shows the success of establishing listserv for grassroots organizing groups and communicating with low-income individuals. From the research, Slater suggests that the Internet plays a key part of its communication strategy. This new technology provides changes in rural business and cultures, and it connects people or communities in rural areas.
However, how will these changes affect on real and virtual communities, their everyday lives, and their cultures in rural areas?

6. As the case of Jervay raises in chapter 12, although online communication appears as a useful tool to challenge, how will the potential capacity and limitations of the Internet function as a tool for the collective action of small groups against institutional power?

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