Is203 Lecture 5 Social Implications Of InternetPresentation Transcript
SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE INTERNET I203 Social and Organizational Issues of Information
What work does the term ‘Web 2.0’ do?
Wrap-up from last Thursday…
Domains of Internet Implications (Dimaggio et al. 2001)
Emphasis on Marxist sociology
Community and Social Capital
Emphasis on Durkheimian and Weberian sociology
Inequality and the ‘Digital Divide’
“ Digital Divide” as an example of social stratification
Within the U.S.
Overview of Social Stratification
Social Stratification: The study of how a society is divided into different social groups.
Often used synonymously with inequality, but not always necessarily the same thing.
Social stratification can reflect inequalities in life chances within a given society.
Open / Closed Social Mobility Power Distribution
Focus on Social Class
Social class divides groups based primarily on economic differences (i.e., Marxist perspective).
Often becomes correlated with many socio-demographic characteristics (race, gender, etc)
Expanded version of Marx’s argument:
Skills, qualifications also important (not just ownership of property)
Status not necessarily related to wealth– also prestige, social respect
A B C D Characteristic / Dimension “ Social Class”
Common Perspectives on the Digital Divide
A lack of physical connections and training
A lack of computers, access and training– but problem will solve itself in time
A lack of computers, access and training, made worse by government policy
A lost opportunity; disadvantaged groups are unable to make use of ICTs to improve their lives
A reflection of the lack of basic literacy, general poverty, health and other social issues.
Social Stratification and the Internet
Is there a Global ‘Digital Divide’ and if so, what are the core issues according to Dimaggio et al.?
What do Dimaggio et al. mean by ‘Inequality in Content Providers’ Access to Attention’?
Social Capital and Community
Networks as a resource : access to information, goods, services.
Cross-cutting social circles:
The greater the number of intersecting social circles of which a node is a member, the greater the node’s social capital
Race Education Age
Social Capital or Social Isolation?
Does the Internet attenuate human relationships or reinforce them?
Studying the issues over time
Examples: Kraut et al. (1998) and Kraut et al. (forthcoming)
The mainstream ‘collapse of community’ argument
Putnam (2000) argues that our social capital has drastically decreased over time in the U.S.
For example, we sign fewer petitions, we know our neighbors less, socialize with family less often.
Changes in work, the rise of television and computers viewed as primary contributors to this purported change.
The Internet and Development of Community
Shift from group-based to network-based society? (Wellman 2001)
Implications are often tied to how we measure and evaluate outcomes:
Substitution of communication technologies for F2F seen as ‘decrease’ in social environment interaction.
Also…online communication viewed as expanding social connectivity and social capital (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc).
“… the Internet has no intrinsic effect on social interaction and civic participation…Internet use tends to intensify already existing inclinations toward sociability or community involvement… we need to know more than we do about the qualitative character of online relationships…virtual communities exist in larger number, but we know relatively little about their performance…we need more systematic studies of how civic associations and social movements use the Internet [to understand] the institutional conditions that encourage or discourage successful exploitation of the technology for collective ends.” -Dimaggio et al. p. 319
Dimaggio et al. continued (political and cultural participation)
Social Psychology and Internet Implications (i.e., does the Internet really cause behavior?)