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  • It can be argued that the advent of the printing press contributed to the rise of mass society, mass culture and mass media. Internet (the network of networks LOADER) is considered the new arena for political action in connected societies, lowering the threshold for participation with new and different forms for engaging people in discussions about the structure and organization of our society. In this paper I outline a different starting point for assessing citizenship practices and the political. I take argue for an expressive understanding of rationality, that transcend (or complements) the bipolar instrumental – communicative dimension that has been so important for normative theorizing and evaluation in Political and Social Sciences. Socializing, cultural consumption/production, identity management, information and publication strategies are both accentuated and different in digital, networked, late modern digital environment
  • LOADER On the one side we have the cyber-utopians, trusting in the technological aspects of the Internet to solve almost all problems in contemporary democracies. On the other hand we have more pessimistic views on digital technology, framed within existing power structures and societal organizations only to reinforce these or status qou not bringing about any changes. I believe it is important not take on a determinist standpoint on either technology or culture. Instead more effort should be put into exploring mutual co-construction of culture and technology In academia we have attempted to outline concepts in order to transcend this dichotomy. First and foremost I think of citizenship, a concept combining normative macro-perspectives of the good society and how it should be structured with behavioral understandings of individual participations. Citizenship rights for example are attached to individuals, but the argument for having those rights has an important collective dimension. They appeal to certain goods for human beings leading a life together with others, they appeal to how society should be structured in an equal and just manner. It is a political community of members who can grant rights, in which individual members (citizens) seek fair terms of association to secure those goods necessary for them to pursue their doings on just and equal terms with fellow members. Another transdisciplinary concept is the network, increasingly prominent for understanding societal structure with all its nodes and multilayered interconnections, and governance (governance networks) for understanding individual evolution and fosterage where individuality is rendered useless without network visibility and references to other nodes and its supposed connotations. REF AKIKKO In this context the idea of a network could be used as a mental image / model to bridge imagined causalities between both society and individuals, and between technology and culture. How markets, state and civil society comes together/ intersects (LOADER) - networks Technology is not good or bad, but neither neutral This doesn’t mean they are untouched by power relations
  • Roman’s motivation
  • Text messaging is one example where various ways of cultivating and reinventing selves appear. And this self-writing becomes an act of rationality for the writer him- or herself, in order to capture and manage what is said and heard in the process of the shaping of the self. It is then misleading to conceive of self-writing online, personal revelations and camphone self-portraits as narcissism or a culture of confession. Instead suggests that we ought to conceive of these practices in relation to the power of memory, and being part of the storytelling of the self. Increasingly important characteristics emerging in late modern environments are responsiveness and connectedness . Hence, negotiating and performing our selves as individuals does not per se imply a withdrawal from collective identities and community sensibilities. Here I find Castells idea of networked individualism enlightening to relate with the idea of expressive rationality. Instead of being ascribed to pre-existing media consumption units, based on space and territoriality, networked individualism suggests that we today have greater power in shaping the networks in which we communicate and inform ourselves. In studies of the cell phone for example, informants claim that the phone enriched their social life, furthering opportunities for self-expression at the same time as managing and remaking relationships with friends and family Facebook - test your story (Psychopat) The focus on interactive media and cultural processes in late modernity has changed the focus of citizenship and participation, giving priority to processes of identification, self-biographization and expression. Thus digital media not only consists of hardware and software, but also meaningware . Meaningware draws attention to expressive forms, textuality and meaning making, implying an expressive rational in the use of digital media. This is an article written from a western connected perspective, discussing western conditions. Reflexive biographization, expressive rationality is a something mostly an middle class elite in the west can preoccupied with. But if we are going to understand networking democracy we need to expand our understanding of motivation and the rationals for participation. VROMEN asked what underpins self-actualization- the quest for for stable/confimed identity We know that its easy to monetize on identities - this is what Advertizing does, at the same time LANCE BENNETs talk about how personalization not necesarily undermine agenda focus , coalition strenght, effectiveness easures. With this combined I ask myself whether not markets, state and civil society can come together in a way through individualized networks. This is my contribution to the expanding conceptual lexicon (POSTILL)
  • Cluj

    1. 1. E-participation and iCitizens Jakob Svensson Karlstad University Sweden
    2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>In Media and Communication Studies we connect changes in communication patterns to societal and cultural changes at large. </li></ul><ul><li>Today almost everyone agrees that the rise of digital communication and Internet has been remarkable. Many scholars connect these transformations of communication patterns to us entering into a new kind of society with the possibility to communicate many to many in digital networks. </li></ul><ul><li>In digital late modernity, when more and more people socialze, organize, contribute, inform and publish their concerns and themselves online,the rational(s) for political participation and enacting citizenship(s), shifts. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Digital Late Modernity <ul><li>(Late modernity, liquid modernity, second modernity, high modernity, reflexive modernity) </li></ul><ul><li>dispersion of cultural frameworks due to pluralization and fragmentation along lines of ethnicity, media consumption, cultural interests, life styles, tastes et cetera </li></ul><ul><li>Individualization - lacking sense of social belonging and a growing sense of personal autonomy (Dahlgren, 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Networked and digital - Dialectic relationship between societal and technological/ media changes (Castells, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>dialectics between the individual and the collective/ society/ culture Sub-politics (Beck, 1998) / Life- politics (Giddens, 1991) </li></ul>
    4. 4. Rationality <ul><li>Instrumental Rationality </li></ul><ul><li>Rationality as an instrument for reaching pre-defined purposes, particitipation as an instrument for self-centered purposes, E-administration </li></ul><ul><li>Problems: Free riders - costs higher than benefits, rational apathy </li></ul><ul><li>- Communicative Rationality </li></ul><ul><li>Rationality to overcome our inherent subjectivity, strive for enlightenment, particitipation as a way to talk to each other, form opinions and agree on courses of action, E-participation </li></ul><ul><li>Problems: utopic/ normative, essentialist, </li></ul><ul><li>Civic disinterest becomes difficult to explain from from a CR perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Late modern civic engagement is difficult to explain from a IR perspective </li></ul>
    5. 5. Expressive Rationality <ul><li>Expressive preferences ≠market preferences (Brennan & Lomasky, 1993) </li></ul><ul><li>Processes of identification, reflexive biographization in digital late modernity </li></ul><ul><li>Networked individualism (Castells, 2001) / the looking glass self (Cooley, 1902) </li></ul><ul><li>A focus on processes of identification concern expressing, maintaining and redefining discourses in order to make participation meaningful and relevant. </li></ul><ul><li>Participants are motivated by a will to express, perform, maintain, create and recreate identities and their meanings </li></ul><ul><li>From this perspective we can understand both civic disinterest towards traditional political arenas as well as late modern civic engagement </li></ul>