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Travelling

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Travelling

  1. 1. Traveling Without Moving Foreign news and boundary- crossing in Cyberspace Jeremy Edwards University of Texas at Austin
  2. 2. The Online World  It’s now easier than ever to find foreign media/cultural products on the Internet  The online world has its own “geography” of cultures and nations-- just like the “real” world  What happens when people “travel” virtually over the Internet? How can we think about this phenomenon?
  3. 3. Diaspora in Cyberspace  Anderson (1991): Nations as “imagined communities” thru print media  Thompson (2002): Visual vs. print  Mitra (1997): Web sites exclude some people and welcome others  Boczkowski (1999): expats overtly express cultural ideas taken for granted at home
  4. 4. Boundary Crossing  Halavais (2000): National boundaries re-created on the Internet  Need a concept that covers both virtual and real-world “boundaries” – (Though really, all boundaries are virtual)  Information or cultural product is traveling, even if a person isn’t
  5. 5. Acculturation, real and virtual  Acculturation/socialization related to long-term, regular, non-threatening interpersonal communication  Melkote & Liu (2000): Chinese grad students “going home” over the Internet – Increased behavioral acculturation – Decreased value acculturation
  6. 6. Online Survey, November 2003  790 American college students: are they boundary-crossers? – 92% have traveled abroad – 49% use the Internet to communicate internationally – 20% read foreign news websites  Three different groups, or just one?
  7. 7. Boundary-crossers are travelers  Foreign news readers are people who have already been abroad  Traveling to more countries--> more likely to read foreign news  Same relationship, but weaker, for travel --> international communication
  8. 8. OOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOO OOOO * O O O O O OOOOO OOOOO OOOOO OOO OOO O O Travelers Foreign News Readers Communicators O O O O
  9. 9. Liberalization?  Travelers, communicators, foreign-news readers are all more liberal than non- boundary-crossers…  …but only if they are 25-and-under  Alwin & Krosnick (1991): 25-and- under’s most likely to change political identity
  10. 10. A map for boundary crossing  Travel abroad  Acculturation takes place  Return home  Media used to reinforce/revisit/expand travel experience  In “impressionable years,” liberalization takes place too
  11. 11. Issues/Problems/Questions  92% Travelers: representative sample?  Liberal/Conservative maybe an oversimplification of acculturation--but something is going on  Are online travelers “traveling” to new places, or “going home” to places they’ve already been?  Other types of boundary crossing?
  12. 12. Questions and, perhaps, answers

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