Internet Society: The Internet in Everyday Life by Maria Bakardjieva

By Maria Bakardjieva

Internet Society investigates web use and its implications for society via insights into the day-by-day reviews of normal clients. Drawing on an unique examine of non-professional, 'ordinary' clients at domestic, this booklet examines how humans interpret, cultivate, and creatively acceptable the web by way of integrating it into the initiatives and actions in their daily lives.

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Internet Society: The Internet in Everyday Life

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It is my contention that such use genres can indeed be observed in all spheres of activity involving technology. In their everyday life, socially situated subjects put technologies into use in the course of their interaction with their environment, both physical and social. With time, social custom and circumstances contribute to the stabilization of certain forms of technology use to some appreciable degree. qxd 1/10/2005 12:25 PM Page 31 CONCEPTUALIZING USER AGENCY immediate social milieu. 10 The stabilization of some use genres, and the fading of others, is intertwined with the processes of invention, selection, stabilization and re-consideration of concrete technological forms on the production side of the generative process of technology.

When, how and why do such reincorporations occur? Feenberg (1999) points to three mechanisms constituting contemporary ‘technical micropolitics’: technological controversy, innovative dialogue and creative appropriation (pp. 120–129). Technological controversies draw attention to violations of the rights and health of those affected by a technological enterprise. The resulting public pressure calls forth new technical solutions, which take into account the demands of the victims. Innovative dialogue brings together the lay person and the expert, and initiates a process of continuous revision of technology in which technological design incorporates different values and comes to reflect a broader range of interests.

Connotative codes are not equal among themselves. Any society tends … to impose its segmentations, its classifications of the cultural and political world upon its members. There remains a dominant cultural order,’ Hall (1973, p. 13) insisted. Thus, while there is a clear correspondence between the idea of different decodings of media texts developed by the school of British Cultural Studies, and the social constructivists’ notion of interpretative flexibility of artefacts, cultural studies researchers were explicitly oriented towards the structurally produced inequalities between groups of readers.

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