“Citizenship, as it has been conceived through the history of modern nation-states, no longer has a clear place in the context of the Internet and other global digital media.”

Arlene Nesrala
CM 221
Research Paper

“Citizenship, as it has been conceived through the history of modern nation-states, no longer has a clear place in the context of the Internet and other global digital media.”

           Starting In the 19th Century the modern concept of nation-states was created to designate smaller territories than an empire.  Members of the nation-states developed a strong sense of national identity, viewed the world through the angle of their territorial location and cultural concepts, obeyed a central ruler, and were unified by legal and economic regulations. The concept of nation-states still designates the geographical locality in which a unified group of people are politically enclosed.  However, the digital era has facilitated global integration because now distant localities form part of the daily life of individuals. Today, businessmen carryout transaction through the internet, children share experiences with “cyber-peers” from a diversity of places, worldwide digital communication is immediate, and each important event is broadcasted on the internet throughout the world as it happens. Then, has the global digital media given birth to new concept of territorial identity, which differs from that of the modern nation-state terminology that came to be in the 19th Century?  Certainly digital technology has brought the inhabitants of the Earth together; it has created an awareness that all humans live in the same planet. Nevertheless, cultural individuality has not been lost – more than ever people acknowledge their particular ethnicity but at the same time have a vast comprehension of cultural diversity. Digital technology is embracing a new political- economic society. Joshua Meyrowitz affirms that technology has not made people lose their feeling of locality, yet it has opened the doors to the dynamic participation with far away communities. Digital technology is displaying the world and enabling a dynamic global participation among human beings, therefore, it will change the existing citizenship conception intrinsic to the nation-states regional division to accommodate the new multicultural perception that people have.  

            The individual regions constituting each nation-state have developed a set of regulations aiming to integrate under a unified control all its members and to put restrictions on foreigners entering their territory. These laws and guidelines touch most central aspects of the inhabitants’ life. Trading and economic issues are areas deeply affected by the measures enforced. Since the technology revolution, people are bombarded with intercontinental information, thus it has deeply impacted the commercial market and the social environment.  The world market is now open to everyone that which to participate in it. As a result, nation-states are more prompt to make dialogues and agreements to enhance secure and profitable business transactions.  This new business trend has enriched people with a new self-perception. They see themselves as members of a nation, but at the same time as participant of the world. This leads to a new citizenship concept:  the person not only has regional responsibilities but also global ones.  People are digital citizens of all the world parts they interact with.  People now have a global digital citizenship. This citizenship welcomes all the individuals that enter the internet space, regardless of age, gender, race, or any other particular distinction. The digital citizenship has motivated interdependence among people across the world; nation-states in the other hand had a more territorial independence- people only compromised to obey the rules of their authorities. Konica Minolta explain that an inter-world dependency exist today in order to survive as meaningful members of the modern society.  Territorial boundaries, that characterized the nation-states, are not banned by global citizenship. The boundaries that politically separate geographical places are a constant reminder in the actual technological community, yet at the same time people have a greater awareness of the cultural diversity outside their frontiers (J. Meyrowitz 2004). Today people have not lost their national identity, but they as well understand that they are part of the larger world across their walls.

           In the nation-states people respected the regulations which guaranteed a better living standard within their demarcated area. In past decades, the knowledge of other cultures existed but today everyone has their hand’s reach a detailed account of every place, no matter how distant it is. The digital communication media has expanded people’s living landscape. New laws have been formulated that relate to the problems that arise in the new “digital village”.  This set of regulation reflects that a new citizenship is emerging. The digital citizenship demands accepting obligations and responsibilities towards the entire world. Mike Ribble explains on his the book “Becoming a Digital Citizen in a Technological World”, that the internet provides a virtual setting where people can interact with one another and become significantly linked. Accordingly, this given benefit asks for a definite code of conduct. Ribble says, “Anyone using these digital technologies needs to understand the parameters of appropriate use so that they can become more constructive digital citizens.” In reference to this point, it is noticeable that a different concept of citizenship defines people in our day. These guidelines offered, which in certain cases are strict laws, make the cyber navigation secure and advantageous.  

      Since the internet is available to children, the education system has integrated in the course workload throughout all the school levels classes to train them in the proper management of this complex tool. As the digital technology continues its progressive development, adults have the commitment to make this virtual space safe and convenient for the children that navigate through it. The educator and writer Jason Ohler says, “Our challenge is to find ways to teach our children how to navigate the rapidly moving digital present, consciously and reflectively.” Ohlers states that digital technology has to be integrated into the “general flow of the school.” Schools must see digital technology as an inclusive aspect of the daily school life. The next generation adults need to be considered as respectful citizens of a virtual domain. Mike Ribble has designed a structured format to train people, including y children, in the correct use of digital technology[1].  In is evident that the new digital citizenship concept will outline the interests and commitments of the upcoming generations.

        The new digital technology is creating a new business modality, one that is already requiring updated management strategies, as well as pertinent financial and commercial policies to navigate in the interrelate cyber world. For example, Richard Foster [2] says that often shareholders have a negative perception of the digital business, they believe that: “The explosion of digital media has had a significant impact on the media business, and not in a good way.”  Foster, in relation to this negative perception says that the digital media has not demolished the traditional media outlets, but it does call for innovative media companies to the appropriate take measures and undergo the necessary reformation to enter the digital age. One factor that nations must weigh is the need to be integrated in the digital race. The lack of technological progress will be the line separating future political states. In current years the world market and economy are strongly influenced by internet transactions. No longer are commercial enterprises restrained to a specific region, not even to a particular geographical zone. As Konica Minolta expresses, “Technology has not only brought the world closer together, but it has allowed the world’s economy to become a single interdependent system.” Certainly the new communication technology has brought drastic transformation in the business scenario (Technology Source n.d.) since countries separated by long distances are able to share interact commercially.  The nation-states notion implies a restricted control of trading boundaries, so the individual or organization involved in digital media commercial endeavors has adopted a global citizenship, which has divergent characteristic that differentiates it from the traditional “nation” concept.

       Economic alliances among nations are formulating laws that related to the global spectrum. The rulers of nations, considering the term in its conventional definition, dictated cannons that only regarded their population; when they referred to foreign entities were usually to delimit national security standards. International trading has existed from the time man realized that people lived on the other side of their boundaries, but the new digital commerce represents a whole new commercial approach.  From an office someone makes a commercial transaction with someone on the other side of the world. It is important to evaluate the importance of global intellectual property regimes and to have an accurate understanding of global trading agreements (Minolta). As individuals step into the new era of digital communication, the awareness of the global citizenship is undeniable.

            National loyalty is a feature that describes nation-state citizenship. People of these societies feel they are emotionally affiliated to their land. Their countries have priority over other territories. Joshua Meyrowitz (2004) explains that modern man has not totally abandoned the territorial loyalty of the past, although people view their position in the world differently. More than ever Meyrowitz says people grasp their regional belonging. The digital media accurately determines the place where each person stands. The new factor introduced, is that people can observe their position and ethnic traits in contrast to that of others. In the past usually people believed that they were the center of the world, today it is known fact that all nation need to interact to survive. Meyrowitz (2004) says, “We now live in glocalities.”  As people gain a more precise concept of themselves, and at the same time observe the image of others a new self-concept develops (Meyrowitz 2004). Therefore, people do maintain a cultural perception of who they are. However, the image reflected on the mirror has added attributes that come from the recent global view acquired. Now a “global morality” has emerged (Meyrowitz 2004).  Meyrowitz (2004) says that members of this “glocalities” move to distant places, but can keep the links that attach them to it. The digital communication makes possible to continue interacting with those left back home. In past years if people left their homeland important emotional ties were lost due to the lack of communication.

            The opportunity to see how people live in other parts of the world motivates a more exact cultural definition of us. Instead of people trading their cultural components for those of others, a cultural amalgam is formed. Some positive or appealing characteristic could be adopted, while others are kept. Consequently, in the new society emerging national has a different tone: cultural diversity is recognized as a reality, but some ethnic traits are strengthened. Citizens can still be incited to defend national rights even when they are not at home. The media outlets provide constant communication from the original places. This is the reason why cultural and religious wars deeply affect modern age societies. A Palestine or Jew can see devastation in their homeland, even when living in Europe or the American continent. The new global citizenship has two faces, the international and the domestic one.

            The idea of citizenship has a new definition in the global society; people live in one place but can be emotionally connected to others. Digital technology has brought people together, it can be said that it has helped to unify families and cultural groups. Today people are resident of one place but their emotional attachments and compromises are in in other countries. It is not the same as the past longing for the original homeland, because before digital technology people could not be constantly informed of the events happening on the other side.  Time after they left the original home grounds, the passionate feelings of nationality was forgotten. Can this happen today? No, people remain linked to their previous surroundings. On TV, radio, internet, and all media broadcasting channel they can see images to related to their cultural roots. Maybe the concept of citizenship implied the nation-states demanded more patriotic feelings towards the land where people lived. Nowadays, a person can be living in China in direct contact with Puerto Rico.  Digital technology has created a distinct line between the citizenship of the place where someone resides and citizenship of the original backgrounds, and citizenship of our global village.

            The digital media outlets present the common land of all human beings. This is the idea behind global citizenship, to have everyone making the Earth a better place. People must visualize that the in the planet everything is interrelated, therefore the incident affecting one nation most surely affect others. The limited view of citizenship has to be broadened with the advances of modern technology.  People can have cultural attachments to their ethnic groups, but the responsibility towards the welfare of all humans should guide their path they take in life. The various media companies worldwide are taking action to prompted world understanding. For example, NBC News in 2010 launched a campaign promoting digital technology understating among the population, it specially centered on educating youth to handle digital media to their advantage[3].

            Citizenship cannot be perceived under the same light as it has been conceived in the modern nation-states notion.  The digital media has generated a new communication era; this era has a different view of the world and personal responsibilities.   People are seen as interconnected pieces essential to the larger picture. The easiness to carry out intercontinental trading has pushed the formation of laws to control these activities. The market is exposed in a global manner, permitting anyone that navigates the internet to perform a transaction overseas.  Now more than ever commercial laws must take into account the global interaction that exists. In the nation-states citizenship was very much restricted to a piece of land governed by one ruler, the scenario is another one today.  Careful international agreements and regulations are constantly been created to assure that digital village is a safe place to have commercial relations. The educational system has to the commitment to teach children the accurate use of communication technology. This way, they will grow up understanding their privileges and responsibilities of being global citizens.  Media companies are doing their part of the job by providing programs and awareness campaigns directed to youngsters. The school systems are also capacitating their teachers to promote digital citizenship in the classrooms. Children have to know that the world market is open to everyone, but citizens must respect the regulations placed. In the virtual space there are laws, if broken penalties are enacted (Jane Zahner 2009). Cultural distinctions apparently are not that easily barred, but as people interact more in a cultural diverse setting the more comprehensive is their outlooks on human differences. Undoubtedly, the media transformation has spurred new political concept of the world.  The global digital media has changed the concept of citizenship conceived in the modern nation-states, people now have the opportunity to see how the world progress in a wide range screen. With the new global perception of humanity, people now observe their own image in a global mirror. 


[1] In this book by M. Ribble,  “Digital Citizenship in the 21st Century” , the rules of the correct intern usage are given:

https://public.rcas.org/hs/shs/staffwebsites/reynodeb/ICT%202/Shared%20Documents/Unit%203%20Digital%20Citizenship/Cybersafety/TL2Handout.pdf

[2] Richard Foster, Senior Faculty Fellow School of Management, Yale University

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Why Youth Heart Social Networking Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life

                                                                                                                                                          Arlene Nesrala

Reading Response week 8

Why Youth Heart Social Networking Sites: The Role of Networked Publics

in Teenage Social Life    by Danah Boyd

Danah Boyd studies the role of social network sites on the life of American Teenagers.  Since “Friendster” was launches in 2002, these arenas have captivated teenagers. Boyd is aware of the risks that they present to youth; nevertheless, these settings provide character building tools, and avid surfers learn how to portray an identity.  Youngsters are acquiring the dexterity of evaluating social norms and making appropriate decisions concerning public image. The identity built through social networks appraises more complex aspects than the ones encountered on other medias-searchability, replicability, persistence, and invisible audience. More so, social networks endow a sense of belonging and self-confidence.

           

Boyd brings up a side of social networks that the media researchers often miss. She has strong arguments favoring social network sites, contrary to many articles that ban the use of them by teenagers.   I believe that she has a broad understanding of the present-day technological era and of the factors involved in the process of teenager’s identity formation. Although only “MySpace” is used as representative of the socializing sites, she states all the aspects that it has in common with the rest of the social networks. All of the internet social communities share important core characteristics.

 Boyd uses the term “identity performance” to explain the process of creating a profile. I consider that this validates her assertions and is an outstanding manner to highlight the positive points of social networking. At the moment of making a profile, the person must ponder which factors are to be emphasized and projected. In Boyd’s word, “…best effort at what we want to say about who we are” (128).  She further states that this internet navigation teach social clue interpretation in a practical manner. They will master the art of understanding tacit clues in daily life situations. Boyd points out a convincing argument when she says that networking enriches teenagers with a broader range of social insights and topics, only possible to experience in the type of social cultures.    

I consider that the concept of “networked publics” outstandingly explains how networking contributes to global understanding. : Teenagers realize that all of them are similar in many ways.   The possibility to interact in such an extensive platform has negative and positive consequences. I think that Boyd fails to presents solid negative aspects of social networking. Although, I agree that young people must learn to use social networking wisely, instead of limiting their access to them.

It is important that teenagers get direction on how to display their image on social networks. Obviously, these strong-minded youth need sound knowledge to accept incursions into their private domain. Many institutions surf these places to gather information related to the behavior of their members or prospective candidates. The young person many times displays pictures or/and comments with negative accents.  Recently, the news reported that a girl in Staten Island, New York was expelled from her high school because she put on the social network unsuitable pictures in school uniform. This case stands out that the wrong image exposed to the public can lead to condemnations.

Work count: 509

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David Lyon’s The Electronic Eye: The Rise of Surveillance Society: From Big Brother to Electronic Panopticon

      “The Electronic Eye: The Rise of Surveillance Society” by David Lyon is an analysis of the subtle invasion of privacy through information technology.  It compares the utopia of Orwell in “Nineteen Eighty-Four” and the Bentham penitentiary system, “Panopticon”, to modern surveillance.  Lyon claims that the electronic technology presents an undetectable invasion in people’s life.  The consumer willing puts his identity in a database.  Now controlling forces are governmental and commercial.  Lyon says that “…technology represents the generic mode of discipline… the instrumental language of profit and loss replaces the moral language of criminal justice”. (Lyon 67) 

                Lyon puts forth a strong argument on the reality of electronic surveillance.  People feel watched; but ignored to what magnitud. Lyon motivates the reader to evaluate the ways in which the economic market is controlling people’s existence. Lyons begins with a correlation of the present world to Orwell’s utopia. At first, it is a shocking contrast for the reader.  Lyon makes an outstanding reflection of the modern technological society compared to Oceania.  People today also confront an invasive surveillance; all our movements are detected by the multiple electronic devices. The computers serve to collect and categorize all the citizens’ pertinent details.  Lyon gives sustainable evidence; his argument is readily understood and accepted. Not only does Lyon convinces the reader about the effects of placing all personal information to the service of the commercial entrepreneurs, Lyon leads the reader to comprehend that surveillance is progressively assaulting privacy and personal dignity.  Today, according to Lyon the surveillance is imperceptible; people conform believing that they are free. Lyon cites Gary T. Marx, to explain the authoritarian thirst inherent to capitalism.  The surveillance no longer work as a centralized power…the individualism is used to locate each citizen. He explains, “… this refers to the linking of records from different databases to track offenders or to limit abuses such as tax evasion or welfare fraud. Employment records may be checked, for example, to prevent welfare claims being made by people receiving salaries. (43) All the details people enter in electronic gadgets are integrated to identify them.

     I believe that by bring up the current issue of electronic devices on prisoners; the interest of the on the issue of electronic surveillance is spurred. It refers to Bentham’s Panopticon prison plan and how it is similar to the electronic controlled idea. . In this particular point, I feel that Lyon should illustrate more on the dangers intrinsic to electronic surveillance.  The meticulous electronic surveillance in the workplace is also evaluated; in conclusion we are overly supervised.

     After reading this article, I had a more accurate conception of electronic manipulation. Recently, in the Dominican Republic the government has created an ingenious game.  People are invited to play a lottery. The game consists of entering in a web pool the business registration ID of their usual consuming places, and the personal ID number. Monthly, one person gets RD$50,000.  Through this pastime, the government gets asset to business tax retribution and locates the economic scale of the consumers. From my perspective, this exemplifies the idea of subtle electronic surveillance. People are induced into a game that leads to citizen surveillance.

Word Count: 526

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Cybertyping and the Work of Race in the Age of Digital Reproduction

Arlene Nesrala

   Reading Response

“Cybertyping and the Work of Race in the Age of Digital Reproduction” by Lisa Nakamura

Cybertyping and the Work of Race in the Age of Digital Reproduction by Lisa Nakamura, presents an analysis of the internet cybertypes.  Its focal topic is the impact of the internet on human stereotyped identity conceptions.  Nakamura studied the mental process of creating cybertypes.  The cybertype image spur from the blend of our inner identity notions and presents fantasies related to the search of the authentic-self.  Cybertypes provide a sense of familiarity in the fast world of communication technology. ybertypes play a central role in the concepts of racism. The white male western has control of many internet aspects, because he represents its economic backbone. The advertising strategy is applied to suppress and threaten with authority, and to captivate a labor market of what the general public views as diligent workers.

      Nakamura explains cybertyping in a practical manner; the arguments presented throughout the reading, bring a deeper understanding of the topic of discrimination in the cyberspaces.  The Kozmo.com case is a solid support and evidence of racism in websites. People from low-income neighborhoods in Washington D.C. are excluded from the Kozmo.com customer list, because their zip code is outside their delivery zone. Two African-Americans, J. Warren and W. Lake that were unable to have merchandize shipped to their address, sued the company for racial “redlining”. Nakamura states that it is an obvious case where “actual hardware access is a necessary but not sufficient component of online citizenship”. (Nakamura 322) Nakamura explains that, poor African-Americans living in Washington D.C. live in city areas that diminish their social status, and are readily recognized as unacceptable by most online sites. Consequently, they are the subject of racism online.   The Asians on the other side of the world feel allured by the implicit message. Cosmetic Multiculturalism is an advertising technique to cover up “the entrenched racial problems of black and white Americans.” (327)  The internet portraits each ethnic group and each minority in distinct cybertypes, some are the solution and others are the problem of the Western countries, specifically the United States.  Nakamura says that false conception is that Asians are the solution, and that blacks are the American problem. (328)

     Nakamura starts by explaining the relation internet-cybertypes, and later show proof of the validity of the statements.  It includes an internet vocabulary guide, which becomes very practical throughout the reading.  These terms also make the reader more passionate about the topic. The term “remastered” means to make the needed modifications to put images and text in modern digital versions. (333)  The conclusion ties-up the globalization ideas and racism in the internet. The leading nations use the internet to present an appealing face to the part of the world they want to attract. The racial connotations are accentuated, to perpetuate the cybertypes.                               

      Globalization is the motor of the modern world; the internet is the propeller behind this force.   The high-speed communication technology brings news from across the world in matter of seconds. Unfortunately, not all nations have equal access to online shopping. The Dominican Republic, my home country, is one of those territories that merchandize face many restrictions to be shipped or simply to be bought with a credit card. The people can view offers placed in the United States, but when the person writes the Billing Address – the transaction is invalidated. The Kozco.com case that was brought up by Nakamura, correlates to what happens to the Dominican Republic on the web market. The United States and the Dominican Republic are partners in the global free market, on the other hand when the market is on cyberspace, it is impossible to do business.  Both, the Dominican Republic and the low-income neighbors of Washington D.C. have been left out of a commercial enterprise because their location is “out of reach”.  On this Nakamura comments, “Online identities can never be truly fluid if you live in the wrong zip code.”  (322)  This implies that the Dominican Republic is not a “truly fluid” cyber participant. We are not web citizens because we cannot move freely on the web.

WORK COUNT: 662

      REFERENCE PAGE:

Nakamura, Lisa.  Cybertyping and the Work of Race in the Age of Digital Reproduction .New York. Hui, W., Chung & Keenan (ED) New Media, Old Media. A History and Theory Reader. 2006  ( p.317-333)

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The evolution of the Internet

Arlene Nesrala

CM 221 Reading Response:

Lessons from the History of the Internet by Manuel Castells

Word Count: 502

What is known today as the World Wide Web (www), the user-friendly version of sharing information between global networks in 1991, was possible after years of research and innovation that started in the 1960’s. In Lessons from the History of the Internet, Manuel Castells discloses the outline of events involving scientists, hackers, research, students and people who created advances and influential ideas that led to the internet today. He explains how the Internet “was born at the unlikely intersection of big science, military research, and libertarian culture” (Castells 17). These innovations helped the internet transcend from its original purpose of serving the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) with a computer network for military advantage over the Soviet Union into the release of the www browser software available over the net.

Castells explains the importance of a few movements such as “when the military puts security above any other consideration, as happened in the Soviet Union, and could have happened in the US, creativity cannot survive. And when government, or public service corporations, follow their basic, bureaucratic instincts, […] adaptation takes precedence over innovation” (Castells, 23). In addition, through the promoting of individual freedom mainly among university students, he argues that “this student culture took up computer networking as a tool of free communication and […]as a tool of liberation, which, together with the PC, would provide people with the power of information to free themselves both from governments and corporations” (Castells, 25).

It is true that there has been a self-evolution of the Internet, how the network has been shaped by its users. Castells argues how there are three conditions that make the internet grow at an immeasurable speed: “first, the networking architecture must be open-ended, decentralized, distributed, and multi-directional in its interactivity; secondly , all communication protocols and their implementations must be open, distributed, and susceptible of modification; thirdly, the institutions of governance of the network must be built in accordance with the principles of openness and cooperation that are embedded in the internet” (Castells, 28-29). This argument supports major arguments that Castells argues and it also clarifies the basics of the terms and conditions that many users could easily acknowledge through their experiences with internet use.

The use of the Internet to acquire and share information, its openness policy that enables users to navigate the web freely, convinces me that the “Internet is, above all else, a cultural creation” (Castells, 31). The selling of songs, albums, movies, TV series, and many more through the web using for example,  ITunes, is a perfect example of a medium that help people from all around the world share media without violating any protocols or freedom rights if used correctly. Through programs such as ITunes and stores such as Amazon.com, fans can reach author’s productions easier. This has made a huge advancement for the artistic world and the evolution of the Internet, because it has cooperated with the shaping and evolution of the internet through its use without violating copyrights or restrictions.

  

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