ANTH 4340 Final: Anthro Final Exam
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1. What is the role of internet communication technologies in the rise and spread of new
social movements, and, according to Castells, what are the future prospects of these
networked social movements?
ICT Allows for “Mass-self communication”
- Operate in civic sphere which is in a vacuum which is difficult for businesses, markets, and states to
- Receive and send communication/information autonomously (Torrents, leaks, social media)
-Leaks in of themselves can incentivize social movements.
ICT is sometimes able to override censorship and repression of power structures
-Uploading images and info to YouTube and Other Social media.
-“what is really going on” can be shown to the world, overriding state power propaganda
and attempts to hide corruption.
-Al Jazeera is for example. An independent satellite TV network which government cannot
CASTELLS: digital communication allows for “open horizontal” communication instead of the
restrictive vertical communication of non-digital communication methods.
-allow us to ascend both physical and socio restrictions of place/class (social division is
disregarded in using ICT).
- He also believes the characteristics of communication processes between individuals engaged in
the social movement determine the organizational characteristics of the social movement itself
- Digital-communication is more interactive and self-configurable, lessening hierarchical
structure in the organization of movements which use Digital communication.
- Networked social movements of the digital age represent new species of social movement
-Allows for the relatively safe organization of counter power which can otherwise be easily shut
down in organized in a physical space.
Future Prospects: movements will eventually fade away. In unlikely situations they will transform into a
political actor, a party, or some new form of agency. (p. 314)
While the movements will fade away, they have left a lasting impact on society. (p315-316)
Past-comms (physical Network)
- religious groups, institutions (police, military,
-fb, youtube, instagram, twitter, snapchat, tinder,
-Political parties, clubs
Internet communication technologies have had a huge impact in the rise and spread of
new social movements. Because of this the future prospects for these movements seem bright.
However, it is easy to notice that some of these movements have waned. In this essay I will be
discussing the role of internet communication technologies in the rise and spread of new social
movements, I will also be discussing what Castells believes the future prospects of these
Internet communication technologies include the use of websites and social media such
as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and so on. Social media platforms allow for something called
Mass Self-Communication which in essence refers to one’s ability to spread information to the
many by the many. Mass Self-Communication also opens up Open Horizontal Communication
which in essence refers to communication across groups of people who are of similar social
status over a very large network that is facilitated and accessed through digital platforms.
Because of Mass Self-Communication and Open Horizontal Communication activist
groups are able to spread messages quickly, thus alerting many people at once using websites
such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Social media platforms and websites allow for the
quick mobilization of activists to certain locations. In Egypt it was the mobilization of activists to
Tahrir Square, in Occupy Wall Street it was Wall Street, in 15-M it was Puerta Del Sol, there
was even a central square used in Iceland’s activist movement.
Activists on site were able to send out messages via social media telling the country and
world at large what was going on at each protest site. If these internet communication
technologies were not available these movements would not have been able to attract thousands
of people to their causes. Internet communication technologies (ICT) were integral to the
mobilization, spread, and impact of these social movements.
As seen in the movement in Egypt, 15-M, and OWS where the use of ICT was integral
there are components of power and counter power when it comes to the use of ICT. In Egypt the
state’s use of power was shutting down the internet, banning social media, and disabling SMS
messages the counter power is when citizens circumvented this ban by using dial-up and
speech-to-text Tweets. The use of YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook can also be a form of counter
power against the direct power of the state; for instance when tanks ran over people in Tahrir
Square that was a use of state power. When the citizens uploaded videos of the state’s violence
against the protestors that was the citizenry using ICT to create a counter power against the state.
Without ICT these forms of counter power would not be available to the protestors, and therefore
the resistance against the state’s power would not be nearly as effective.
Finally the future prospects of these social movements according to Castells are that the
movements will eventually fade away. In unlikely situations, however, they will transform into
political actors, parties, or create a new form of agency. However, even though the movements
will fade away Castells believes that there will still be a lasting impact on society, democracy,
and the financial sector.
In conclusion, blah blah blah…
2. What is the network society and why is it important to understanding 21st century realities?
Castells: we currently live in the information age, and evolution from the industrial age.
Networked society= “internet age” etc…Networked society is defined by the advent of ICT
-Modern society is completely connected: work, play, school all involve a degree of ICT
- Society remains capitalist as it was in the industrial age, but the advent pn ICT meant
that the modern age is now defined by INFORMATION instead of ENERGY
-ICTs, such as the Internet allow for decentralization of operations and focusing of control,
decreasing the effectiveness of networks relative to hierarchical structures.
This historical change is brought about by the advent of new information technologies –
particularly those for communication and biological technologies. Society remains capitalist, but
basis of the technological means by which it acts has changed from energy to information. This
information is of central importance in determining economic productivity. Communications
technologies allow for the annihilation of space and for globalization; the potential for rapid and
asynchronous communication also changes the relationship to time.
Every society is networked, whether it is by use of information technology or without. In this
essay I will be discussing what the network society is, and why it is important to understand 21st
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