Distant suffering online: The unfortunate irony of cyber-utopian narratives

Scott, Martin (2015) Distant suffering online: The unfortunate irony of cyber-utopian narratives. International Communication Gazette, 77 (7). pp. 637-653. ISSN 1748-0485

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Abstract

The internet is often celebrated for the abundant opportunities it appears to offer citizens to become more informed about and inspired to act on issues related to international development and distant suffering. But to what extent do users actually make use of such opportunities? And what social processes are such decisions governed by? This article begins to answer these questions by analysing the results of a two month study of UK internet users’ online behaviour. The results reveal, not just a general resistance to using the internet to develop a cosmopolitan consciousness, but also the dominant modes of avoidance that participants used to justify their inactivity. I conclude that the potential for digital cosmopolitanism appears to be primarily governed, not by the peculiarities of individual texts or even the properties of the technology, but by the nature and acceptability of pre-existing discursive resources and how they are deployed by users.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: development studies,internet,media literacy,cosmopolitanism,social sciences(all) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2016 23:06
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2020 00:16
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/59493
DOI: 10.1177/1748048515601557

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