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Technologies of despair and hope: Liberatory potentials and practices of CMC in the Middle East

Ess, C. and Sudweeks, F. (2003) Technologies of despair and hope: Liberatory potentials and practices of CMC in the Middle East. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 8 (3).

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    Abstract

    The first conference on Cultural Attitudes towards Technology and Communication (CATaC) in 1998 was organized in response to a troubling recognition. On the one hand, contrary to the then-prevailing belief in technology as a value-free and culturally-neutral tool, it was becoming increasingly clear that cultural values and communication preferences played fundamental roles in the design, implementation, and responses to the technologies of computer-mediated communication (CMC) just as, after all, cultural values and communication preferences play such roles in every other aspect of our lives. On the other hand, there was very little attention to culture and communication vis-a-vis CMC, either on the level of theoretical analyses or on the level of empirical investigations into how these elements interacted with one another 'on the ground,' i.e., in specific cultural contexts. This relative dearth of discussion in both theory and praxis, of course, was in part precisely because of the view that prevailed in at least the English-language literature of the time- i.e., the view that technology is a value- and culturally-neutral tool.

    Publication Type: Journal Article
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Information Technology
    Publisher: International Communication Association
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/1083
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