Archive for the ‘feedback seminar follow-up’ Category

politics and resistance in cyberspace

September 27, 2007

september 20th, veronica alfaro ahumada (new school for social research) presented parts of her research on ‘politics and resistance in cyberspace’.

the abstract of veronica’s presentation is as follows.

“This research project is located between the macro sociological and the micro-individual studies, in the space of communities of practice that use technology as a tool and cyberspace as a space to construct meaningful social links. This paper is devoted to communities that use the Internet as a tool for doing politics – the movements that use cyberspace as an agora, a virtual public sphere, and a field of struggle. Focusing on key social movements, I critically analyze the virtual practices of Electronic Civil Disobedience (such as hacktivism, netwar, noopolitiks), through the Zapatista-supporting activities of the Electronic Disturbance Theater in 1997, and the protests against the WTO in 1999.

I start by analyzing how the use of electronic communications has impacted the network society (a term coined by Manuel Castells), particularly the creation of a new type of public sphere where communicative abilities are put into practice. I refer to this as the cybersphere, a space of thought, action, and appearance, where people can potentially practice a civic virtuosity.

Then, I explore the particularities of the new contentious repertoires of social movements. What are the implications of disembodied action? How is solidarity thought of, in an era of virtual communities? How is action articulated in cyberspace? What are the causes where cyberactivism has been put to practice? In short, this paper explores the ways in which virtual actions are combined with traditional activism, and the possibilities that the cybersphere has opened up as part of a communication flow that has the potential to be meaningful to the extent that the actors appropriate these new spaces.”

seven people participated in the seminar, and we are all looking forward to sarah stonbely’s (nyu) presentation on ‘the epistemology of media sociology’ on october 25th.