Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lei's questions

(1) Cammerts and Cohen both talked about blogs as a whole. My impression is that blogs are in numerous forms that appear as diaries, journalism and etc. as Cohen said. A blog “not public enough” differentiates greatly from a blog which is too public. I feel like “blog” appears to be a too broad term to include everything. Are we now at the era to deconstruct blog in communication studies?

(2) / (3) when speculating on the operation of blogs, we come to a familiar topic: politics and economy. Cohen is concerned with blog and big media. Commerts concluded that “capitalism, states, employers, or established elites … erode the participative and democratic potentials of the Internet.” I feel like within the capitalism society, it is inevitable for public spaces (of any kind) to be permeated by the influence of political economy. So the question becomes: to much extent can we survive or even take advantage of political economy to boost citizen participation in new media?

By the same token, I am concerned with Herman & Sloop’s analysis of rock culture and their discussion of “authenticity” vs. commodification. “The imaginary boundary dividing and distinguishing authentic and inauthentic has always been fluid and mobile; today’s transgressive band, genre, style, label or subculture is tomorrow's co-opted “sell-out.” Actually, in the consumerism society, it seems meaningless to distinguish such “authenticity” and “inauthenticity”. Without distributing in the public, it is even impossible for the general public to know the existence of, say, rock band. My question is can we understand commodification (i.e. the promotion or distribution method) as a form to authenticity as content?

(4)In alternative press classes, the Nation is regarded as an alternative media. However in Goss’s article, even this magazine serves to “reproduces US sociological propaganda implicated in the ‘American Way of Life’. In my view, there are two explanations to this study result. (a) It confirms the idea again that “influence” and “progressiveness” are irreconcilable. (b) It is nearly impossible for any media, even alternative media, to breakthrough the basic hegemony of the society. I wonder which one is more applicable.
(5) In addition to political economy discussions of the blogosphere, Cammerts offered other analysis. “Two examples of disruptive online tactics by citizens were also provided: online intimidation by fellow bloggers, and the use of offensive wounding language by antipublics. In relation to the former, victims of intimidation campaigns may stop “talking” altogether, deactivate the interactive function of their blogs, or start practicing self-censorship. In the second instance, whole groups in society may be insulted or denigrated, and as a result racist discourses and ideologies may become normalized in society.” It reminds me the application of the spiral of silence theory in the online media. If people viewed their opinion as a group, it seems that they can still make the marginalized opinions silent even in an anonymous online environment. This conclusion seems to cancel the possibility that new technology could offer the condition for progressiveness. Thus, does that mean there is no reason for us to expect next utopia?

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