We argue that the continued growth of the Internet, both as a form of mainstream media and as a tool for organizing democratic social interactions, requires that Internet politics be retheorized from a standpoint that is both critical and reconstructive. While we undertake an approach that is critical of corporate forms and hegemonic uses of the Internet, we advocate for new software developments such as blogs and trace the oppositional deployments of the Internet made by a wide variety of groups in the cause of progressive cultural and political struggle. In this regard, we describe how the Internet has facilitated the worldwide emergence of the anti-globalization, anti-war and anti-capitalism movements, even as it has coalesced local communities and groups, and so we conclude that the future of Internet politics must be thought dialectically as both global and local. We end by noting the relevance of the ideas of Guy Debord, with his focus on the construction of situations, the use of technology, media of communication and cultural forms to promote a revolution of everyday life.
Oppositional Politics and the Internet: A Critical/Reconstructive Approach
RICHARD KAHN IS A PH.D. STUDENT IN THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION, UCLA, WHO HAS RECENTLY WRITTEN THE ENTRY ON “INTERNET AND CYBERCULTURE” FOR THE FORTHCOMING GEORGE RITZER (ED.), ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SOCIAL THEORY, SAGE.
DOUGLAS KELLNER IS GEORGE KNELLER CHAIR IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION AT UCLA AND IS AUTHOR OF MANY BOOKS ON SOCIAL THEORY, POLITICS, HISTORY AND CULTURE, INCLUDING, MOST RECENTLY, MEDIA SPECTACLE AND FROM 9/11 TO TERROR WAR: THE DANGERS OF THE BUSH LEGACY.
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Richard Kahn, Douglas Kellner; Oppositional Politics and the Internet: A Critical/Reconstructive Approach. Cultural Politics 1 March 2005; 1 (1): 75–100. doi: https://doi.org/10.2752/174321905778054926
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