Information and Communication Studies Research Collection
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- PublicationBeyond the individual: Culture, nationalism, communitySocial changes over the past fifty years have seemed to encourage people to live increasingly isolated lives. Since World War II, people have left their urban neighbourhoods to live in anonymous suburbs. They have moved locations as their employers expect them to work anywhere in the world. With new technologies, people can work from home, shop from home, bank from home, and even socialize from home. The common experiences that created bonds amongst people in the same place seems to be diminishing. Yet, human beings are social creatures; we want to live in webs of social interaction, even if we have to create them ourselves.
- PublicationBiomedical Information and Its Users(Taylor and Francis, 2009-12-09)The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the information science reader to the wide range of data and other resources that constitute “biological information”. Attention is paid to both paper and digital sources and the use of digital libraries and cyberinfrastructure for the creation, use, and re-use of information. The chapter discusses various user communities and their needs, including scientists, educators and students, policymakers, and other secondary users. The chapter concludes with challenges for data sharing, preservation, and access.
- PublicationBrokerage(Sage, 2007-09-15)Brokerage is a process in which individuals (brokers) act as intermediaries between individuals or groups who do not have direct access to each other. The broker provides a link between these segmented or isolated groups or individuals, so that access to goods, services or information is enabled. Brokers possess specialist knowledge or resources that enable them to act more effectively than individuals or groups could themselves.
- PublicationThe Constituency Role of Dáil Deputies(Routledge, 2017-12-06)
; ; ;In Chapter 7 we examined the legislative and scrutinising roles of Dáil deputies. In this chapter we concentrate on a different aspect of the work of TDs, looking at the business on which they spend a lot of their time, namely constituency work. Some people wonder whether constituency work is really part of the duties of a TD at all; after all, the Irish constitution says nothing about it. Yet, judging by the large amount of time it occupies, it seems in practice to be more important in the working life of a TD than narrowly-defined parliamentary duties such as speaking in the Dáil chamber or examining legislation. In most countries, it is taken for granted that parliamentarians will work assiduously to protect and further the interests of their constituents, and that constituency work forms part of an MP’s parliamentary duties rather than conflicting with them, but in Ireland there is a body of opinion that sees a constituency role as aberrant and outdated, labels it ‘clientelism’, or believes that it is taken to excess. We shall ask whether there is anything distinctive about Irish practice in this area, looking at the reasons why TDs do so much constituency work, and then consider the consequences it has for the political system. 1265
- PublicationDublin(Grolier, Inc., 2002-01-01)Dublin is the capital city of Ireland, and is not only the largest in both population and size, but it is also the center for administrative, political, economic, and cultural activities in Ireland. It is also the main transportation link between Ireland and the rest of the world, with direct flights to numerous United States, British, and continental European cities. It is also linked, via ferries, with Great Britain, but remains the only member of the European Union without a direct rail or automobile link with other member states.
- PublicationDublin Politics: symbolic dimensions of clientelism(Galway University Press, 1989)Irish politics has often been characterized, in both academic analysis and popular discourse, as clientelist. clientelism, as a means by which people gain access to scarce and valued resources, as been a useful means of understanding some aspects of Irish politics. The term has also been used, especially in Ireland, to signify the corrupt abuse of power by using public resources for personal electoral gain. In this view, people go through 'friends of friends' to obtain, informally, what they would not obtain via the formal system. So strongly held is the folk belief in clientelism that most successes, even if evidence is lacking, are seen as the result of 'strings being pulled', or 'special connections'. This view of political life is rarely challenged; it can be considered a basic premise, or world-view, of Irish politics. It is this strong belief in clientelism that will be explored: how is it created and maintained? In order to explore the imagery and symbolism of clientelism, this paper will describe political interactions among voters, political activists, polticians, and public officials in Dublin. The goal of such decriptions will be to demonstrate how politicians use the various resources at their disposal to maintain a belief system that suits their purposes. The premise of this paper will be that, whatever historical reasons (cultural, economic, and political) may explain the development of clientelist beliefs, these beliefs must also be supported and maintained through daily interaction. Politicians must make themselves mediators between voters and the state, and encourage a belief in their efficacy and the relative powerlessness of voters as actors on their own or as a collective group. Community and political life in various parts of Dublin will be explored to demonstrate this process; special emphasises will be placed on politicians' clinics, party meetings, resident's groups, and meetings between voters and politicians in Dail Eireann as well as local Councils. Such descriptions will illustrate how politicians use their own personal abilities, the resources provided by their position, and the shared ideology of Irish culture to reinforce clientelist beliefs, regardless of the accuracy of such beliefs.
- PublicationThe Experience of Virtual Communities: Cosmopolitan or Voyeur?(Peter Lang, 2010-11-10)There are many perspectives on being cosmopolitan; even the commonplace sense of the word, with its implication of the sophisticated traveller, who is conversant with and adapts with relative ease to many different cultures, stands in notable opposition to the idea of the provincial, whose perspectives are typically narrower and more limited. This commonplace sense is ultimately derived from the Greek Stoics’ assertion that one should not be a citizen of any one state but of the whole world. Often, knowledge of different spheres was the result of physical travel, enabling face-to-face interaction with people in a different society over some period of time. With faster and richer means of electronic communication, and the global diffusion of material culture, such participation would seem to be getting easier, without the requirement of physical travel. In addition, new technologies are enabling the creation of new electronic communities. Increasingly, then, it would appear that one could be ‘cosmopolitan’ without leaving one’s armchair, simply dipping in and out of a variety of cultures, experiences and communities, including electronic communities. Is it possible to consider participation in virtual communities, and typically in electronic communities, in the context of cosmopolitanism? This is the issue which I shall explore in this essay.
- PublicationIndividuals and social changeIn recent chapters, discussion of the Digital Revolution and Information Society has moved from technology, economics, and politics to broader social issues such as rural development, life-long learning, and working from home. Such issues are crucial, since to lose sight of the social dimension is to reduce the Information Society to computers and the market. This is a social transformation - a transformation in the way people live, the way they relate to either other, and they way they perceive the world at large - or else it does not warrant the attention that it has received. How are individuals’ lives outside of work changing, and are these changes significant or superficial?
- PublicationInformation Society Policy(Edward Elgar, 2008-05-30)In this chapter, current developments in information technology and information systems will be discussed, focusing especially on the social and political implications of such developments. Current technological developments have led to a shift in focus from information to the communication of information; the most visible evidence of this shift is the development of social networking sites that enable individuals to contribute and share information. This is the popular tip of a more fundamental iceberg, which has implications for privacy, security, governance, digital divide, surveillance, and increased dependency of individuals on technology and the organisations which design, produce, and support such technologies.
- PublicationMigration, Community and Social Media(University de Deusto, 2012-03-09)
;New information and communications technologies (ICTs) have been linked with the “annihilation of space” so that distance no longer limits communication and interaction between people, the exchange of goods, services and information amongst people, or the movement of people from one locality to another. The result, it is often suggested, is the emergence of new forms of society. Whatever debates may have developed regarding the accuracies of such claims, people vary in the extent to which such claims might apply to them. Those living in small communities who interact largely with neighbours they see daily may feel little impact of any “death of distance” (Cairncross 1997: ii). On the other hand, the lives of individuals who feel connected with people or places at a distance may be greatly altered as a result of new technologies. There is little doubt that individuals, who due to limitations imposed by distance, previously would have had little possibility of contact with each other, can now communicate and maintain social relations. Thus, the social capital debate (Portes & Landolt 1996; Putnam 2000) has been extended to include “network capital” (Larsen & Urry 2008). In most cases, individuals use multiple modes (face to face, email, texting, and so on) to communicate with each other (e.g., Boase et al. 2006; Lenhart et al. 2007; Slater & Tacchi 2004). 569
- PublicationPersonalism and brokerage in Dublin politics(Institute of Irish Studies, Queen's University Belfast, 1993-12-31)The Republic of Ireland is often portrayed, by residents and outsiders alike, as a society where everybody knows everyone else, and, especially, knows everybody else's business. In the political arena, this has been phrased as 'personalism'. In academic discourse, this has often been translated into the terms clientelism and brokerage: voters going to politicians in order to obtain benefits from the government. There has been a wealth of discussion about clientelism and brokerage in Irish politics; indeed, it is one of the major topics for ethnographic research in the Republic of Ireland (see, for instance, Gibbon and Higgins 1974; Bax 1976; Sacks 1976; Higgins 1982; Komito 1984, 1989a, 1989b; and Wilson 1989). Although 'personalism' is often used as a coded allusion to political clientelism, it can be used simply to emphasize the personal and informal dimension of Irish politics (e.g., Schmitt 1973). This is especially true in the relationships between politicians and both partisan supporters and also voters. It is this personal dimension, as evidenced in Dublin politics, which this article addresses. Most descriptions of Irish politics provided by anthropologists have derived from rural ethnographies, and the extent to which similar behaviours would exist in urban settings has not been clear. Research in Dublin shows that urban politics is both similar and different from rural politics. The nature of party politics appears to be the same; a rural party activist would feel quite at home at a urban constituency meeting. However, urban politicians and activists have less contact with constituents than their rural counterparts. The converse is also true: urban constituents have less contact with politicians and activists than their rural counterparts. This raises an interesting question: if urban constituents are less likely to have personal links with politicians, what are the consequences for the clientelist behaviour that has been characteristic of rural politics? Do constituents learn that they can go directly to state bureaucrats, or do they continue to use politicians as brokers? The interesting answer is that they do neither. Instead, they continue to look for personal mediators or brokers, if those brokers are no longer politicians. The search for trusted intermediaries remains important, although the strategies of that search are different. This raises the general issue of personalism and trust being a feature of Dublin politics, for both middle-class and working-class individuals. Why should that be the case? In order to develop these points, this paper will first examine the daily activities of Dublin politicians, to illustrate the amount of constituency work that politicians engage in. Then, a short description of Dublin party politics provides evidence of the similarity between urban and rural party activities. However, there is a decrease in the amount of contact between politicians and voters in Dublin, as compared with rural Ireland. In this context, urban voters, like their rural counterparts, continue to look for advocates, but use different strategies and find different intermediaries or brokers. The class dimension of urban brokerage will be discussed and, finally, some general issues about Irish and urban politics will be addressed.
- PublicationPolitical participationThere has been an Information Revolution and we are either living in an Information Society or are about to enter an Information Society. At least, so proclaim newspaper and magazine articles, as well as television and radio programmes. Popular books describe the ‘death of distance’(Cairncross 1997) as well as the ‘third wave’ which is coming after the agricultural and industrial ‘waves’ (Toffler 1980), and newspapers and magazines are zealous in their discussion of new gadgets and the transformation (sometimes good and sometimes bad) that these technological marvels herald. Academic writers are less certain, with some arguing that current technologies are leading to economic and social transformation (Castells 1996; Poster 1990) while others (Schiller 1985; Wood 1997) argue that the Information Revolution is just the Industrial Revolution with a few new frills. Some have argued that new technologies will lead to freedom and empowerment (Bell 1973), while others have drawn attention to these technologies increasing the power of states or multinational corporations, at the expense of individuals (Lyon 2002; 1994; Lyon and Zureik 1996). This book is not intended to be an exhaustive or definitive discussion of the digital revolution or the Information Society, nor is it intended to proclaim or denounce the new Information Society. However, whether there is a new economic, political, and social order emerging, or not; whether the new order is beneficial or detrimental to citizens; all agree that significant changes are taking place. Often, however, it is as though we are all bystanders, watching change taking place, with very little public participation in the process. The central issue in this book is that technology, including the new information and communications technology linked with the Information Society, is not a force external to society and beyond the control of society; technology is an integral part of society and is acted upon and altered by social forces (Winner 1977; Williams 1974).
- PublicationTeaching Data Journalism(Abramis Academic Publishing, 2017-10-04)Data journalism is a relatively new term, yet there are multiple definitions at play. Before we delve into a discussion of data journalism and pedagogy in this chapter, I’ll specify my usage: I define data journalism as finding – in data – stories that are of interest to the public and presenting them in the most appropriate manner for public use and reuse. Similar to any other journalistic work, data journalism puts the tenets of journalism first: it is about the investigation, the story, and communicating that story to the public. In data journalism, data is the source, and computational methods and applications are the tools to aid journalists in their work.