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Lecture 11

Thorough Notes on Lecture 11

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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCC44H3
Professor
Ivanka Knezevic

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SOCC44H3Lecture 11 (last lecture)Fri, April 8/2011
Censorship
Virtual Communities
Ex: of virtual communities:
Animal rights, tamil communities
Dootsdar
the importance of virtual communities is that they now contribute to the importance of
identity politics
around the 1960s, people were no longer voting based on their class position
middle class people were not voting anymore for middle class parties
You are voting for the party that identifies with your identity based community
ex: people who wants to protect the environment in Toronto. So you will vote for the
party that supports protecting the environment in Toronto
Critique of virtual communities by Berger (2007): virtual communities arefunctional
equivalents to real communities, but they do not match their degree of involvement and
therefore cannot satisfy the need for sociability
whatever relationships you establish online will never be as fulfilling as relationships face-
to-face because it won't be as emotionally involved
Note: indirect and low involvement may be an attraction of virtual communities, as it decreases
cost of involvement
For some users, that detachment (emotionally) may be what's appealing for virtual
communities
Example: cybersex
Williams et al. (2000): virtual relationships (eg: cyberostracism) can induce strong emotions,
even when the content of communication is trivial. This may reflect weakening differentiation
between reality and virtuality
so he disagrees with what Berger is saying. You can have strong emotions in virtual
communities
even when the content of the virtual community is trivial (ex: something that may seem
minor like hockey) you can still sense emotion stemming from the arguments, so people do
invest emotionally in (some) virtual communities
So some kinds of virtual communities may support Berger (no strong emotional
involvement), but other communities can emit strong emotions
Blogging and the mainstream journalism
During the last five years, increasing number of journalists have been writing blogs
the most current entry is on top of the page where it is easiest to see. This is a significant
characteristic because it ties with the way blogs generate interest
blogs aren't subject to editorial control and not subject to things like fact checking so that's
www.notesolution.com
what makes them appealing
Established norm: allow responses
Dimaggio: blogs are interactivity tools, content is not the primary concern
journalists who maintain blogs actually do so in an attempt to attract or maintain popularity
Others criticize journalist bloggers for lack of credentials, lack of fact-checking (cf. Shortened
time horizon), and lack of editorial accountability
shortened time horizon – problem is that you haven't even allowed the issue to truly develop.
You just blog about it right away.
These criticisms persist, even without claims that blogs contain factual untruth
Blogging as a medium for citizen journalism
However, most content of non-professional news blogs consists of references to published news
Political potential of the internet
The Califorinian Ideology”: belief in power of the new communication technology to solve a
wide array of social problems, including barriers to democratic participation
if you need to decide on an important political issue, it's no longer necessary to attract the
attention of a member of parliament and grasp their interest on the issue
you could easily do online petitions, so when an important political issue comes up the
government could easily ask us our decision and that gets us involved
Civilians become more aware of political agendas, what a politicians goals are so they can
get a better idea on what he/she is like so they can develop an idea on them
Wired” (1993):Life in cyberspace...is more egalitarian that elitist, more decentralized than
hierarchical. It serves individuals and communities, not mass audiences.
Potential for democracy (access to political information, internet referenda): not realized,
because powerful political actors are not interested in activating it
if you are already a member of government, do you really want to lose part of your interest
by getting the public involved in ever issue
Abrecht
Internet facilities mobilization to both social movements and moral panics (cf. Kolbert)
social movements = good, but moral panics = bad
*look up definition of moral panic
Jeff Jarvis (2004): request to reviewa large number of complaints that prompted the fining of
Fox TV for “Married by America” in 2004. Found: 90 messages, 88 of them identical]
So you can't rely on digital media to determine moral panics
88 identical messages means FCC made their decision to sue based on 3 complaints, 2
which were sent by 2 different people and 88 sent by 1 person, just posted complaints many
www.notesolution.com

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Description
SOCC44H3 Lecture 11 (last lecture) Fri, April 82011 Censorship Virtual Communities Ex: of virtual communities: Animal rights, tamil communities Dootsdar the importance of virtual communities is that they now contribute to the importance of identity politics around the 1960s, people were no longer voting based on their class position middle class people were not voting anymore for middle class parties You are voting for the party that identifies with your identity based community ex: people who wants to protect the environment in Toronto. So you will vote for the party that supports protecting the environment in Toronto Critique of virtual communities by Berger (2007): virtual communities are functional equivalents to real communities, but they do not match their degree of involvement and therefore cannot satisfy the need for sociability whatever relationships you establish online will never be as fulfilling as relationships face- to-face because it wont be as emotionally involved Note: indirect and low involvement may be an attraction of virtual communities, as it decreases cost of involvement For some users, that detachment (emotionally) may be whats appealing for virtual communities Example: cybersex Williams et al. (2000): virtual relationships (eg: cyberostracism) can induce strong emotions, even when the content of communication is trivial. This may reflect weakening differentiation between reality and virtuality so he disagrees with what Berger is saying. You can have strong emotions in virtual communities even when the content of the virtual community is trivial (ex: something that may seem minor like hockey) you can still sense emotion stemming from the arguments, so people do invest emotionally in (some) virtual communities So some kinds of virtual communities may support Berger (no strong emotional involvement), but other communities can emit strong emotions Blogging and the mainstream journalism During the last five years, increasing number of journalists have been writing blogs the most current entry is on top of the page where it is easiest to see. This is a significant characteristic because it ties with the way blogs generate interest blogs arent subject to editorial control and not subject to things like fact checking so thats www.notesolution.com
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