Hand, M. and Sandywell, B. (2002) E-Topia as Cosmopolis or Citadel. On the Democratizing and De-democratizing Logics of the Internet, or, Towards a Critique of the New Technological Fetishism. Theory, Culture and Society, 19 ( 1-2). pp. 197-225. ISSN 0263-2764
We present a critical appraisal of the impact of the Internet (and related information technologies) upon processes of democratization and de-democratization in contemporary society. We review accounts of `the information revolution' as these have become polarized into mutually exclusive rhetorics of future cosmopolitan or citadellian e-topias. We question the Manichean assumptions common to both rhetorics: particularly the fetishism of information technology as an intrinsically democratizing or de-democratizing force on societies. In opposition to this new technological fetishism we focus upon (1) Internet historicity; (2) the human/machine nexus; (3) Internet policing and appropriation presenting a different story of the Net, emphasizing contingent, indeterminate and negotiable characteristics of sociotechnical systems, preparing for a more radical critique of existing theories of `global technological citizenship'. Refiguring `culture' as technopoiesis, we argue that an alternative approach to global civil society minimally presupposes a cultural sociology of the Internet: approaching information technologies as the product of specific sociocultural practices and as historical sites of ethico-political transformation and reflexive self-figuration.
|Institution:||The University of York|
|Academic Units:||The University of York > Sociology (York)|
|Depositing User:||York RAE Import|
|Date Deposited:||12 Feb 2009 10:50|
|Last Modified:||12 Feb 2009 10:50|