Jake wallis faculty phd forum 2011

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Jake wallis faculty phd forum 2011

  1. 1. The Australian web domain as public sphere <ul><li>Jake Wallis </li></ul><ul><li>( [email_address] ) </li></ul><ul><li>School of Information Studies </li></ul>
  2. 2. Inspiration <ul><li>Relationship between technology and social change (pervasive computing, the web, globalisation) </li></ul><ul><li>Democracy in a networked world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The public sphere (Habermas 1989; Castells 2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shift in our democratic practices (Sassen 2006; Shirky 2011) </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Research questions <ul><li>Can we identify a public sphere in the .au domain? </li></ul><ul><li>How can technology (re-)invigorate political engagement? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Relationship status: it’s complicated <ul><li>Cross-disciplinary </li></ul><ul><li>Mixed methods – interpretivist approach with qualitative data dominant </li></ul>
  5. 5. Focus <ul><li>Pilot crawls around electoral issues – volatility and “issue drift” (Rodgers 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent and prominent environmental issue – activism and debate around forestry and native forests in Tasmania </li></ul>
  6. 6. Methodology <ul><li>Techniques: </li></ul><ul><li>Web crawling </li></ul><ul><li>Data visualisation </li></ul><ul><li>Online content analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Producing quantitative and qualitative data </li></ul>
  7. 7. Findings <ul><li>Yes there is a public sphere populated by civil society </li></ul><ul><li>And it looks like…… </li></ul>
  8. 8. Findings
  9. 9. Findings <ul><li>Civil society orgs and the public sphere </li></ul><ul><li>issue framing </li></ul><ul><li>campaign content ‘packaged’ to be shared across the web </li></ul><ul><li>low cost platform for online/offline political activity </li></ul><ul><li>Significant fundraising opportunities for non-state funded political actors </li></ul>
  10. 10. Findings <ul><li>Shifting modes of political participation </li></ul><ul><li>Issue based (rather than collective allegiances) </li></ul><ul><li>Political identity individually contructed – Vromen’s (2011) self-actualising citizen </li></ul><ul><li>Situated processes of state-based political institutions not well equipped </li></ul>
  11. 11. Findings <ul><li>Public sphere in .au overlaps and impacts the economic </li></ul><ul><li>Digital scholarship </li></ul><ul><li>Volatility </li></ul><ul><li>Link rot and archiving </li></ul>
  12. 12. Emerging theory <ul><li>An emerging model of digitally empowered digital political actors/citizens </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Competing narratives shape opinion formation with issue-based politics (Marres 2006) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low (resource) cost tools for both online and offline political participation by those marginalised from institutional political processes (Petray 2011) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Emerging theory <ul><ul><li>Synergy rather than dichotomy between online and offline political participation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Political institutions not well-versed in this citizenship paradigm (Castells 2008; Shirky 2011; Vromen 2011) </li></ul><ul><li>Danger of commercialisation of the political process (customisation/personalisation, low cost of participation, lack of collectivity) (Dean et al 2006; Rossiter 2011) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Significance <ul><li>How civil society stakeholders: </li></ul><ul><li>design participative online political environments </li></ul><ul><li>leverage the online/offline potential of digital campaigning </li></ul>
  15. 15. Significance <ul><li>How government can: </li></ul><ul><li>retain a stake in global democratic processes </li></ul><ul><li>respond to new models of citizenship behaviour </li></ul>
  16. 16. Significance <ul><li>How we can: </li></ul><ul><li>undertake research around large digital data sets in a networked environment </li></ul>
  17. 17. Questions/comments?

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