[artinfo] Fwd: Cultural Attitudes Towards Technology and Communication

Janos Sugar sj at c3.hu
Thu Jan 26 10:42:04 CET 2006

>International Conference on
>28 June - 1 July 2006
>University of Tartu, Estonia
>Conference theme:
>Neither Global Village nor Homogenizing Commodification:
>Diverse Cultural, Ethnic, Gender and Economic Environments
>The biennial CATaC conference series continues to provide an
>international forum for the presentation and discussion of current
>research on how diverse cultural attitudes shape the implementation and
>use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The conference
>series brings together scholars from around the globe who provide
>diverse perspectives, both in terms of the specific culture(s) they
>highlight in their presentations and discussions, and in terms of the
>discipline(s) through which they approach the conference theme.
>The 1990s' hopes for an "electronic global village" have largely been
>shunted aside by the Internet's explosive diffusion. This diffusion was
>well described by Marx - all that is solid melts into air - and was 
>predicted by
>postmodernists. The diffusion of CMC technologies quickly led to many
>and diverse internets. A single "Internet", whose identity and
>characteristics might be examined as a single unity, has not
>materialised. An initially culturally and gender homogenous Internet
>came more and more to resemble an urban metropolis. Along the way, in
>the commercialization of the Internet and the Web, "cultural diversity"
>gets watered down and exchanges strong diversity for a homogenous
>interchangeability. Such diversity thereby becomes commodified and
>serves a global capitalism that tends to foster cultural homogenization.
>CATaC'06 continues our focus on the intersections of culture,
>technology, and communication, beginning with an emphasis on continued
>critique of the assumptions, categories, methodologies, and theories
>frequently used to analyse these. At the same time, CATaC'06 takes up
>our characteristic focus on ethics and justice in the design and
>deployment of CMC technologies. We particularly focus on developing
>countries facilitated by "on the ground" approaches in the work of NGOs,
>governmental agencies, etc., in ways that preserve and foster cultural
>identity and diversity. By simultaneously critiquing and perhaps
>complexifying our theories and assumptions, on the one hand, and
>featuring "best practices" approaches to CMC in development work, on the
>other hand, CATaC'06 aims towards a middle ground between a putative
>"global village" and homogenizing commodification. Such middle ground
>fosters cultural diversity, economic and social development, and more
>successful cross-cultural communication online.
>Original full papers (especially those which connect theoretical
>frameworks with specific examples of cultural values, practices, etc.:
>10-20 pages) and short papers (e.g. describing current research projects
>and preliminary results: 3-5 pages) are invited.
>Topics of particular interest include but are not limited to:
>- Culture isn't 'culture' anymore
>- The Internet isn't the 'Internet' anymore
>- Gender, culture, empowerment and CMC
>- CMC and cultural diversity
>- Ethics and justice
>- Free/Open technology and communication
>- Internet research ethics
>- Cultural diversity and e-learning
>All submissions will be peer reviewed by an international panel of
>scholars and researchers and accepted papers will appear in the
>conference proceedings. Submission of a paper implies that it has not
>been submitted or published elsewhere. At least one author of each
>accepted paper is expected to present the paper at the conference.
>Full papers (10-20 formatted pages) - 13 February 2006
>Short papers (3-5 formatted pages) - 20 February 2006
>Workshop submissions  - 20 February 2006
>Notification of acceptance  - mid March 2006
>Final formatted papers  - 29 March 2006
>There will be the opportunity for selected papers from this 2006
>conference to appear in special issues of journals. Papers in previous
>conferences have appeared in journals (Journal of Computer Mediated
>Communication, Electronic Journal of Communication/La Revue Electronique
>de Communication, AI and Society, Javnost- The Public, and New Media and
>Society) and a book (Culture, Technology, Communication: towards an
>Intercultural Global Village, 2001, edited by Charles Ess with Fay
>Sudweeks, SUNY Press, New York). You may purchase the conference
>proceedings from the 2002 and 2004 conference from
>   Charles Ess, Drury University, USA, catac at it.murdoch.edu.au
>   Fay Sudweeks, Murdoch University, Australia, catac at it.murdoch.edu.au
>   Herbert Hrachovec, University of Vienna, Austria
>   Pille Runnel, Tartu University, Estonia
>   Pille Vengerfeldt, Tartu University, Estonia

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