Thursday, April 08, 2004

Week 12: Digital politics -- Questions By Seunghyun Lee

1. In the article, The cyberspace “war of ink and Internet” in Chiapas, Mexico, the author Froehling argues that the Chiapas uprising of 1994 raised an international community of supporters through the Internet and it shows the potential of the Net as a tool for social movement. He argues that the success of Internet in Mexico is “due to the constant and reciprocal connections between cyberspace and other social spaces” (p291). Also, he argues that the Internet became an important tool for disseminating information and organizing support on an international and national level.
Can technology be the solution of social problem as the case of Chiapas? Do information movements in cyberspace interact with and effect on the social spaces outside? How can we define the concept of cyberspace within which social theory? How do people perceive the notion of cyberspace and the Internet?

2. Froehling in his article shows both advantages and disadvantage of cyberspace, and he argues that cyberspace is a tool for democratization through dissemination of information.
Sure enough, can cyberspace be a tool to come true democratization? Does cyberspace bridge individuals and groups in the world or does it isolate them?

3. Pippa Norris points out through the demonstration of analysis that “the root cause of unequal global diffusion of digital technologies is lack of economic development, the same as the reasons for the uneven spread of old mass media like television and radio” (p.233). He argues that the Internet represents another area in which most of the poorest nations lag behind the industrialized world.
So, does it mean that the social inequalities in the distribution of new technologies will be continued unless the socioeconomic stratification that influences the distribution of new technology as well as old one is solved? As a very basic, but important question, how can we diminish the social inequality problem or what can be the solution of equal distribution of new technologies?
Can the Internet as the potent of a technological globalization make “global citizenry?” What does “global citizenry” mean? How will it work or affect on the conception of the nation?

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