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- DescriptionDoes contemporary Internet techlogy strengthen civic engagement and democratic practice? The recent surge in online community participation has become a cultural phemen enmeshed in ongoing debates about the health of American civil society. But observations about online communities often concentrate on ascertaining the true nature of community and democracy, typically rehearsing familiar communitarian and liberal perspectives. This book seeks to understand the techlogy on its own terms, focusing on how the techlogical and organizational configurations of online communities frame our contemporary beliefs and assumptions about community and the individual. It analyzes key structural features of thirty award-winning online community websites to show that while the values of individual automy, egalitarianism, and freedom of speech dominate the discursive content of these communities, the practical realities of online life are clearly marked by exclusivity and the demands of commercialization and corporate surveillance. Promises of social empowerment are framed within consumer and therapeutic frameworks that undermine their democratic efficacy. As a result, online communities fail to revolutionize the civic landscape because they create cultures of membership that epitomize the commodification of community and public life altogether.
- Author BiographyThe Author: Felicia Wu Song is Assistant Professor in the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University.
- Author(s)Felicia Wu Song
- PublisherPeter Lang Publishing Inc
- Date of Publication01/06/2009
- SubjectCommunication & Media
- Series TitleDigital Formations
- Series Part/Volume Number54
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintPeter Lang Publishing Inc
- Weight300 g
- Width160 mm
- Height230 mm
- Edition Statement1st New edition
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