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Online technologies excite the public imagination withnarratives of democratization. The Internet is a political medium,borne of democracy, but is it democratizing?
Late modern democracies are characterized by civic apathy,public skepticism, disillusionment with politics, and generaldisinterest in conventional political process. And yet, publicinterest in blogging, online news, net-based activism,collaborative news filtering, and online networking reveal anelectorate that is not disinterested, but rather, fatigued withpolitical conventions of the mainstream.
This book examines how online digital media shape and are shapedby contemporary democracies, by addressing the followingissues:
How do online technologies remake how we function as citizensin contemporary democracies?
What happens to our understanding of public and private asdigitalized democracies converge technologies, spaces andpractices?
How do citizens of today understand and practice their civicresponsibilities, and how do they compare to citizens of thepast?
How do discourses of globalization, commercialization andconvergence inform audience/producer, citizen/consumer,personal/political, public/private roles individuals must takeon?
Are resulting political behaviors atomized or collective?
Is there a public sphere anymore, and if not, what model ofcivic engagement expresses current tendencies and tensionsbest?
Students and scholars of media studies, political science, andcritical theory will find this to be a fresh engagement with someof the most important questions facing democracies today.