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DAHLGREN, Peter Media and the public sphere, p. 2906-2911.

In schematic terms, a functioning public sphere is understood as a

constellation of communicative spaces in society that permit the circulation
of information, ideas, debates and also the formation of political will, i.e.,
public opinion.
These spaces, in which the mass media and now, more recently, the newer
interactive media figure prominently, serve to permit the development and
expression of political views among citizens. These spaces also facilitate
communicative links between citizens and the power holders of society.
We must recall that it is the face to face interaction, the ongoing talk
between citizens, where the public sphere comes alive, so to speak, and
where we find the actual bedrock of democracy.
Public Sphere - three constitutive dimensions: the structural, the
representational, and the interactional.
The structural dimension has to do with the formal institutional features of
the public sphere - rests upon the idea of universality, the norm that it must
be accessible to all citizens of society. If the media are a dominant feature
of the public sphere, they must be technically, economically, culturally, and
linguistically within reach of societys members.
The representational dimension refers to the forms and contents of mass
media output. Today, the media have become the language of our public
culture, and the grammars of this language impact on the way we
experience and think about the world and about ourselves.
The dimension of interaction reminds us that democracy resides, ultimately,
with citizens who engage in talk with each other.
The public sphere as a process does not end with the publication of a
newspaper or the transmission of a radio or TV program; these media
phenomena are but one step in a larger communication chain which
includes how the media output is received, made sense of, and utilized by
citizens in their interaction with each other.
A public, according to Habermas and Dewey, exists as discursive
interactional processes; atomized individuals, consuming media in their
homes, do not comprise a public.

Interaction has its sites and spaces, its discursive practices, its contextual
aspects; politics, in a sense, emerges through talk.
The arguments that see the public sphere in essentially plural terms base
their claims in part on the complex and heterogeneous sociocultural
realities of late modern society, including its increasingly globalized
The major mass media of a society can be seen as creating the dominant
public sphere, while smaller media outlets can generate a cluster of smaller
spheres defined by interests, gender, ethnicity, and so on.
One of the central quandaries of public sphere theory is that social and
cultural evolution continues to scramble the distinction between public and
private. The idea of public is implacably associated with reason,
rationality, objectivity, argument, work, text, information, and knowledge
whereas the private resonates with the personal, with emotion, intimacy,
subjectivity, aesthetics, style, image, and pleasure.
In the media context, the private is also closely related to consumption,
entertainment, and popular culture.
Access to the Net has helped promote the growth of massive, coordinated
digital networks of citizens engaged in a vast array of issues, not least in
global contexts.
Single issue campaigns against specific corporations, movements for alter
globalization, womens groups, environmental activists, human rights
organizations, and many others including, unfortunately, even neo nazi,
racists, and various hate groups can be found on the Internet.
EFRON, Noah Technology, science, and culture, p. 4963-4968.

It is difficult to characterize the relationships between science and culture

because neither science nor culture is easily defined.
Science typically refers to a set of practices aiming to uncover and
formalize regularities in nature, and to the bodies of knowledge these
practices produce.
set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual, and emotional features of
society or a social group, and that it encompasses, in addition to art and
literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions, and

Still, the notion that science and culture are fundamentally independent
realms has a long history, and remains influential to this day.
The impact of science and technology was greater still in newer cultural
media like film and television. These media would not exist at all without
technological advances produced by modern science. Science and
technology have in turn been constant themes in movies and television.
It is impossible to tease apart the mutual influences of science and culture,
because the two are so tightly and diversely intertwined as to be
The identity of each element of the network is constituted, in varying
degrees, by all other elements in the network.
LYON, David Information technology, p. 2331-2336.

Information technology (IT) is generally taken to be a technical system for

storing, transmitting, or processing information.
IT is now central to many systems that are increasingly integrated,
producing a fusion of what was once referred to separately as electronic
media and information and communication technologies.
Today, for the vast majority in the global North, everyday life is
unimaginable without a range of IT based systems, tools, and gadgets.
One crucial change was the convergence of telecommunications with
computing power - instant remote interactions with computers, credit and
debit cards, computer controlled machine tools, cell phones, and iPods.
IT is an enabling technology that experienced and is still experiencing
exponential growth just because it is basic to so many major processes of
production and consumption.
A sociological understanding of IT cannot but notice the role of cultural
factors in IT development.
IT is today wrapped with the packaging of global consumerism, although it
is also basic to the military systems that ultimately back up what appears to
be a world of free choices.

That efficiency and productivity may be enhanced using IT is not

questioned, but what might be worth questioning is whether these represent
primary goals of social, economic, and political life.
RYAN, Michael T. Hyper reality, p. 2194-2196.

Hyper reality is the generation by models of a real without origin or

SLEVIN, James Internet, p. 2384-2388.

The Internet is a global network of interconnected computer hardware and

software systems, making possible the storage, retrieval, circulation, and
processing of information and communication across time and space.
A sociological account encompasses the constituent Internet technologies
and attends to these as social phenomena. It also includes the information
and other content which is produced, transmitted, and received by
individuals and organizations using the Internet.
It involves us in a complexity of new forms of action and interaction that
stretch across the world.
The Internet facilitates a reorganization of information and social
relationships across time and space. As such, its development and use have
intended and unintended consequences for human social life, groups, and
societies that need to be studied and understood.
The Internet is an important tool for collecting data and for accessing
information relevant to such an endeavor.
As a global communication network, the Internet is transforming the
complex relationships between local activities and interaction across
The Internet places horizontal forms of communications center stage, by
allowing the questioning and blurring over of authority, and by allowing
the reordering and expansion of the built environment.
As a technology of communication, the Internet transforms our information
environments by facilitating global attentiveness, visibility, and
On the one hand, we find the Internet radicals who claim that we are at the
dawn of a new era of opportunity in which we can live our lives on the

screen. On the other, we find the Internet skeptics, who warn of the onset of
a terrible nightmare in which many people will find themselves
disconnected and irrelevant to the important things that go on in their
There is now a growing realization that the Internet is not incidental to our
lives but fundamental to the way we live now.
All Internet related innovations are fundamentally social and their meaning,
together with their meaningful use, is grounded in social contexts.
Who we are, what we do, and how we do things together is increasingly
mediated and fed by information and communication technologies.
Online communication opens up vast opportunities for human interaction
and association across time and space. Communities facilitated by the
Internet often consist of individuals related to each other in terms of
practice rather than proximity
There are worries, however, that new forms of human association using the
Internet are undermining solidarity still further with individuals becoming
increasingly disengaged from meaningful face to face relationships.
The civil rights movements, the feminist movements, the ecological and
anti-nuclear movements, and the gay and lesbian movements, to name but a
few, are all reinvigorating civil society, empowered by the Internet.
We increasingly live in one world where globalized communication is
relevant to all our lives.
The Internet is set to play a key role in facilitating the building and
rebuilding of knowledge and skills, at any time and in any place, and is
already contributing to the refashioning of education, its institutions, and
the way we learn.
The Internet only works because most of the worlds population is excluded
from using it.