Globalizing Cyberspaces

As its name suggests, the World Wide Web is indeed a global phenomenon, and other aspects of digital culture also have proven to have a world wide reach. Yet statistics also make clear that the spread of cybercultures around the globe has been deeply uneven, with vast differences across continents, across countries, and along class, gender and ethnic lines within regions and nations.

Digital technologies and the nearly instantaneous transnational communication links they enable have been almost universally cited as a key factor enabling the economic, political and cultural processes that make up the contemporary version of "globalization."

The political economic impacts of globalization have varied immensely, especially between the populations of the global north most of whom have benefitted immensely from economic globalization, and the peoples of the global south who apart from a few elites have suffered new forms of domination under the guise of globalization. These differing impacts are at once a contributor to and a result of the uneven spread of ICTs and digital cultures.

Those negatively impacted by globalization, however, have hardly suffered in silence. They have used these same tools of digitized communication to create a worldwide Global Justice Movement that has embodied unprecedented solidarity across national borders in an increasingly interconnected world.

The web sites, articles and books cited below reflect on the complexities of digital cultures around the global, address the negative impacts of globalization, often fostered by ICTs, and trace resistance to those impacts from world wide webs of activists. This includes, for example, issues of cyber-surveillance and cyber-censorship by authoritarian states, on the one hand, and, on the other, the role of digital cultures in undermining and even overthrowing such regimes, as in the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011.

Global Cybercultures, Global Issues

Best, Curwen. The Politics of Caribbean Cyberculture. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

Boyd-Barrett, O. "Cyberspace, Globalization and Empire." Global Media and Communication 2(1) (2006): 21-41.

---. "US Global Cyberspace." In D. Shuler and P. Day, eds. Shaping the Network Society. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004.

Castells, Manuel. The Rise of the Network Society: Volume I: The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture. 2nd ed. Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. Best sociological study of the overall impact of cyberscultures on global society.

Collins, Francis. “Connecting 'Home' With 'Here': Personal Homepages in Everyday Transnational Lives.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 35.6 (2009): 839-859.

Chow-White, P. A. "Race, Gender and Sex On the net: Semantic Networks of Selling and Storytelling Sex Tourism." Media Culture Society November 1, 2006; 28(6): 883-905.

de Kloet, Jeroen. Digitization and Its Asian Discontents: The Internet, Politics and Hacking in China and Indonesia First Monday (2002).

Ebo, Bosah. Cyberimperialism? Global Relations in the New Electronic Frontier. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2001.

Enteen, Jillana. “Siam Remapped: Cyber-Interventions by Thai Women.” New Media & Society 7.4 (2005): 457-482.

Franklin, Marianne. Postcolonial Politics, The Internet and Everyday Life: Pacific Traversals. NY: Routledge, 2004.

Gajjala, Radhika. "South Asian Digital Diasporas and Cyberfeminist Webs." Contemporary South Asia 12(1) (2003):41-56.

Gray, Chris Hables. Cyborg Citizens: Politics in a Posthuman Age. NY: Routledge, 2001.

Hartley, John and Kelly McWilliam. eds. Story Circle: Digital Storytelling Around the World. West Sussex, UK Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.

Kalathil, Shanthi. for Dictators Foreign Policy Magazine (March/April 2003).

Kalathil, Shanthi, and Taylor C. Boas. Open Networks, Closed Regimes: The Impact of the Internet on Autoritaran Rule FIrst Monday (2003). Later published in book form by the Carnegie Endowment for Peace.

Kayode, Olaoye Ismail. Globalization, ICT and the Economic Empowerment of Women in Nigeria. Globalization 8.1 (2010).

Law, Lisa. "Transnational Cyberpublics: New Political Space for Labour Migrants in Asia." Ethnic and Racial Studies 26(2) (2003): 234-252.

Lo, Kwai-Cheung. “The Web Marriage Game, the Gendered Self, and Chinese Modernity.” Cultural Studies 23.3 (2009): 381-403.

Magnet, Shoshona. “Playing at Colonization: Interpreting Imaginary Landscapes in the Video Game Tropico.” Journal of Communication Inquiry 30.2 (2006): 142-162.

Making the Macintosh. Stanford U project led by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang tracing the rise and success of the Macintosh computer worldwide.

Matthews, Julie. “Visual Culture and Critical Pedagogy in ‘Terrorist Times’.” Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 26.2 (2005): 203-224.

Mclelland, Mark. Japanese Cybercultures. Routledge, 2003.

Morris, Douglas. "Globalization and Media Democracy: The Case of Indymedia." In D. Shuler and P. Day, eds. Shaping the Network Society. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004: 325-352.

Nayar, Pramod. "Postcolonializing the Internet." LittCrit 34(1) (2008): 3-15.

Norris, Pippa. Digital Divide: Civic Engagement, Information Poverty, and the Internet Worldwide. Cambridge University Press. 2001;2008. The best study of the uneven impact of the Internet on political cultures worldwide.

Roy, Sumit. Globalization, ICT and Developing Nations. New Delhi: Sage, 2005.

Shome, Raka. "Thinking through the Diaspora. Call Centers, India, and a New Politics of Hybridity." International Journal of Cultural Studies 12(3) (2006): 105-124.

Stratton, Jon. "Cyberspace and the Globalization of Culture." In D. ed. Internet Culture. NY: Routledge, 1997: 253-275.

Tai, Zixue. The Internet in China: Cyberspace and Civil Society. Routledge, 2006.

Taylor, Claire and Thea Pittman, eds. Latin American Cyberculture and Cyberliterature. Liverpool: Liverpool U Press, 2007.

Warf, Barney and P. Vincent. Multiple Geographies of the Arab Internet. Area 39(1) (2007): 83-96.