Political Economy of the Internet
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Reviews the promise of the Internet within the context of commercialization, regulation, and access.... More...
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Political economy of the Internet.Reviews the promise of the Internet within the context of commercialization, regulation, and access. Changes in the Internet. Growing importance of computer literacy.
the political economy of the internet an examination of the fulfillment ofthe promise of the internet IntroductionSummary of the Literature Review Cass Sunstein observed that the promise of the Internet toprovides people in all walks of life with greater access to moreinformation than could have been imagined two decades ago is a double-edgedsword If realized as the potential of the Internet is envisioned abetter informed public could create a more just society Conversely Sunstein points out that the same technology could stifle
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Internet literacy and computerliteracy are "rapidly becoming parts of literacy itself" (Harrison, 2 2,p. What are the implications of the increasing efforts ofgovernment to regulate the use of the Internet for the future fulfillmentof the promise of the Internet? Students in all three disciplines perceived the digitaldivide as both real and a threat to future societal unity. Discussion of the Research An important development in the evolution of information technologywas the creation of the Internet. b. All computer operating systemsavailable on a wide scale today support Internet access. Bainbridge (2 2) wrote that the digital divide grows larger everyday. Following the completion of the discussion of the research questions,members of the focus groups were asked to make brief written statements oftheir assessments of the three research questions. (2 2, June-July). The data for the study were collected through the conduct of focusgroups. In June 2 2, theUnited States Department of Commerce announced that the digital divide wasclosing (Blau, 2 2). Black Issues in Higher Education, 19(6), 46-47.Sunstein, C. (2 1). (2 2, November 15). The summary of theresearch findings is as follows: 1. It wasconceived in the era of time-sharing, but has survived into the era ofpersonal computers, client-server, peer-to-peer computing, and the networkcomputer. For those children without access to computers in the home, thedigital divide is not closing. The problem ofthe digital divide must be addressed primarily in the home and in K-8education (Carew, 2 2). Should commercial use of the Internet be tax solely to support non-commercial information providers?2. Rather, the meaning of the statement is that eachday that passes increases the gap in the capacity to use informationtechnology between children who have access to computers in the home andchildren who have no access to computer in the home. This outcome results from the over-representation (in relationto their proportion in the total population) of African American andHispanic American households in the lower annual household income brackets. What effect does commercialization of the Internet have onthe fulfillment of the promise of the Internet? The meaning of this statement, however, is not that an increasingnumber of people in the United States are entering the classification ofcomputer illiterates. Methodology and Findings A sample of 6 university students was selected from among volunteersat a Canadian university. You cannot send groceries over the Internet, but ... The mostwidely used Web browser today in Microsoft's Internet Explorer. It is difficult to speculate the extent that theaccessibility and the usability of the knowledge base will be enhanced byfurther advances in these two technologies. a. The focus groups included representatives from each of the threesample groups. What is changing, however, is that theproportion of children without access to computers in the home is dropping. What are the implications of the increasing efforts ofgovernment to regulate the use of the Internet for the future fulfillmentof the promise of the Internet? These data weresynthesized and qualitatively assessed to develop answers to the threeresearch questions investigated. One major reason for the significant impact knowledge will have onfuture society is found in the growing size of the knowledge base.Considering its present size, even a significant reduction in the rate ofknowledge growth would not preclude a continued significant growth in theabsolute level of knowledge. William Harrison (2 2), Chair of JP Morgan Chase, stated thatInternet and computer usage now extend to three-quarters of the totalteenage population and to an even higher percentage of younger children."The people who are on the wrong side of the digital divide are,increasingly, the poor and disadvantaged. If the concept of the digital divide is valid, what is the likely social outcome of the phenomenon over the long-term? Facilitating the use of the expandingknowledge base are the advances in communications and computer technology.These advances add materially to the accessibility and usability of theknowledge base. ReferencesBainbridge, W. With respect to governmental regulation of the Internet, theconclusion drawn was that such regulation should be limited to acts offraud, larceny, and the exploitation of vulnerable populations such aschildren. American Libraries, 33(6), 5 -54.Carew, D. Should commercial use of the Internet be restricted? What effect does commercialization of the Internet have on the fulfillment of the promise of the Internet? Technos: Quarterly for Education and Technology, 11(2), 2 -22.Blau, A. While computer literacy is increasingly important in relation toemployment and wage levels, the place to address the issue of the digitaldivide is not in the workplace and it is not in university. Community College Week, 15(7), S3-S4.Carnegie Mellon students bring top-notch computing skills to homeless children in shelters, easing the digital divide. Closing the digital divide. It was envisioned as supporting a rangeof functions from file sharing and remote login to resource sharing andcollaboration, and has spawned electronic mail and the WWW (World WideWeb). 3. Social implications of the Internet. As advanced as both communications and computertechnologies appear to be in contemporary society, they are both actuallyin their infancies. W. (2 ). Because of the socioeconomic structure of American society, one mayinfer from the above data that, on average, children in African Americanand Hispanic American households have lower levels of access to computersin the home than is true for children in white and Asian Americanhouseholds. (2 2, Winter). University of Maryland-based Trio program tackles digital divide. CIO Magazine, 4-8. P. (2 , March). Much commerce is just the exchange of information, which makes the Internet an ideal means for conducting business. The students represented in equal numbers upperlevel undergraduates in humanities, information science, and commercedisciplines. The three research questions investigated through theconduct of this study, as well as supplemental questions related to theresearch questions, were presented to the members of the focus groups. Retrieved from the Internet 2 4- 3-24 at: http:/www.isoc.org/ internet/ history/brief.htmlPatelis, K. Conclusion With respect to the commercialization of the Internet, the conclusiondrawn was that commercial users of the Internet should be required to fundfree or low cost access to the Internet for non-commercial informationproviders. The term "digital divide" has almost as many meanings as there arepeople who use the term. a. Students in all three disciplines viewed increasedregulation of the Internet as a threat to the ability of the Internet toserve as a tool for societal improvement. Phi Delta Kappan, 84(4), 343-346. Data were collected from a sampleof socially aware and technologically proficient university studentsthrough the conduct of focus group discussions. b. This approach, however, does not help olderstudents and adults who remain computer illiterate. Internet-savvy students. Remedial education isrequired to address the issue of the digital divide for such individuals.Remedial computer literacy education, however, has no legitimate role inuniversity and four-year college curricula. Take back the Net. CarnegieMellon students tutor homeless children on the use of computer technologiesin these centers ("Carnegie Mellon Students Bring Top-Notch ComputingSkills to Homeless Children in Shelters, Easing the Digital Divide", 2 2). Ascribe Higher Education News Service, 1.DiMaggio, P., Hargittai, E., Neuman, W. What effect does commercialization of the Internet have onthe fulfillment of the promise of the Internet? Rather, such remedialeducation belongs in high schools, community colleges, and technicalcolleges (Roach, 2 2). R., & Robinson, J. Additionalsoftware is required for user who desire to design and maintain Web pages.The costs associated with the design and maintenance of Web pages rangefrom less than $3 per month for single, simple pages allowing individualsto post minimal levels of information to thousands of dollars per month forbusiness firms actively engaged in large-scale eCommerce over the WWW(Elifoglu, 2 2). you can order them online for next-day delivery (Umbach, 1998, p. How will the so-called digital divide, should it continue toexist, affect social cohesion in the future? (1999). Retrieved from the Internet on 2 4- 3- 25 at: http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue8_12/ gurstein/index.htmlHarrison, W. (2 1, December). M. Some of these criticsview the so-called digital divide as an economic chasm, which others see itas a racial or ethnic Berlin Wall (Gurstein, 2 3).Research Questions Based on the conflicting perceptions of the evolution of the Internet,this study examined the extent to which the promise of the Internet hasbeen fulfilled. Republic.com. Blau (2 2) provided data indicating that the real demarcation line inthe digital divide is annual household income levels. 41). 2. (2 2). The Internet, however, is just thelatest development in the long continuum of information technologydevelopment (Tarr, 2 ). Navigating the information superhighway. Overt regulation of the Internet can lead to astifling of public dissent, allow governmental misconduct to be hiddenbehind a veil of secrecy, and grant power to control the functioning of theInternet to favored corporate interests (Townsend, 2 1). Commerce students saw benefits in commercialization inthe form of increases in the volume of information made available. Effective use: A community informatics strategy beyond the digital divide. Commercialization of the Internet leads to control ofinformation, a crowding out of non-commercial information and informationthat is not controlled by commercial interests, and access costs thatexclude millions of potential users of the Internet (DiMaggio, Hargittai,Neuman, & Robinson, 2 1). With respect to the issue of the so-called digital divide, theconclusion drawn was that general tax revenues should be applied bygovernment to assure Internet access to all people who wish to use themedium. 3. If government is allowed to regulate content available on the Internet, to what areas of content should such regulation be restricted?3. The Internet and history. Commerce is now the driving force behind the Internet's continuing growth, especially its Worldwide Web aspect. (2 2, Summer). Other critics of the evolution of the Internet perceive accessdisparities within the context of a social divide. Should government be allowed to regulate content available on the Internet? Retrieved from the Internet on 2 4- 3-25 at: http://amsterdam.nettime. (2 2, November 11). First Monday, 8(12), 1-16. Patelis (1999) contends, however, that commercialism and overtregulation of the Internet are crippling the promise of the Internet in itsinfancy even for those people who want to use the medium to improve societyand themselves. As a part of this examination, the following researchquestions were investigated: 1. The Internet has changed since it came into existence. The members of the purposive sample selected for this studywere socially aware and technologically proficient. b. It was designed before local area networks (LANs) existed, buthas accommodated that new network technology, as well as the more recentATM and frame-switched services. Computer skills key to 21st century literacy. Appendix: Interview Questions1. b. The internet: A California policy perspective. London, England: Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmith College, University of London. History Review, 26-28.Townsend, A. Santa Monica, California: Goodyear Publishing.Van Horn, R. American Review of Sociology, 27, 3 7-336.Elifoglu, L. Essentially, however, the terms means that somemembers of society gain advantages over other members of society becausethey (a) have greater access to information technology tools, (b) becomemore proficient in the use of such tools, and (c) develop a greater senseof self-efficacy in their ability to apply such tools to problem solving(Van Horn, 2 3). Carnegie Mellon University implemented a program to develop computerskills among homeless children. Conversely,Sunstein (2 2) points out that the same technology could stifle publicdiscourse by allowing users of the Internet to have all informationdelivered via the Internet "tailored" so that, if desired, an individualwould never encounter ideas or opinions with which they disagree. Access isn't enough: Merely connecting people and computers won't close the digital divide. Executive Speeches, 17(1), 23-25.Leiner, B. Review of Business, 23(1), 67-71.Gurstein, M. org/Lists-Archives/nettime-bold- 3/msg 439.htmlRoach, R. L. the political economy of the internet: an examination of the fulfillment ofthe promise of the internet IntroductionSummary of the Literature Review Cass Sunstein (2 2) observed that the promise of the Internet toprovides people in all walks of life with greater access to moreinformation than could have been imagined two decades ago is a double-edgedsword. 2. Within this broad context, the term "digital divide"refers to all information technology tools, as opposed simply to access tothe internet, to ability to extract information from a CD-ROM data base ina school library, the ability to access a database as a part of one's workresponsibilities, the ability to write a term paper using a computer-basedword processor, or any one of a myriad other activities (Van Horn, 2 3). One should not conclude that the Internet has finished changing. One thing, however, appears tobe certain - the qualitative character of the knowledge base in futuresociety will differ markedly from that of the past (DiMaggio, Hargittai,Neuman, & Robinson, 2 1). These writtenassessments were synthesized to (a) determine the prevailing perceptionsand (b) to identify variations in perceptions in relation to thedisciplines represented by the members of the sample. B., Jr. a. Although physical goods cannot be sent over the wires, information vital to design, production, selection, sale, purchase, and delivery of such goods certainly can be. The university funds the operation ofcomputer neighborhood learning centers for homeless children. The use of theWWW also requires the use of a software package called a browser. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Tarr, R. Itis now changing to provide such new services as real time transport to moreeffectively support audio and video streams (Leiner, 2 ). How will the so-called digital divide, should it continue toexist, affect social cohesion in the future?Summary of the Methodology A qualitative methodology based in phenomenology was followed in theinvestigation of the research questions. (2 2, May 9). If realized as the potential of the Internet is envisioned, abetter informed public could create a more just society. (2 3, January). They were qualified toprovide informed opinions and perceptions related to the research questionsinvestigated through the conduct of this study. a. Retrieved from the Internet on 2 4- 3- 25 at: http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue8_12/gurstein/Umbach, K. (2 3, December). Again, one must interpret the true meaning of thisstatement. Brief History of the Internet. 23). Leaving children behind. Organizations and individuals who want to use the Internet and WWWmust have a means of accessing the network. How valid is the concept of the so-called digital divide? The political economy of e-mediation. (1998 November). What are the implications of the increasing efforts of government to regulate the use of the Internet for the future fulfillment of the promise of the Internet? Students in the humanities and information technologyviewed increased commercialization as a threat to the free flow of andaccess to information. (2 2, August-September). As an example, thelevel of Internet use is 82.5 percent among children in households withannual incomes of $75, and higher. H. Everything except physical goods can be delivered across communications lines in the form of digital information. How will the so-called digital divide, should it continue to exist, affect social cohesion in the future? Among children in households withannual incomes of $15, or less, however, the level of Internet use isonly 21.4 percent.
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