Luciano Paccagnella

Internet tra "mass communication research" e nuovi poteri

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This paper illustrates some of the problems that arise when we see computer networks (e.g. the Internet) through the theories developed by traditional mass communication research during the 20th century. More specifically, I will discuss some of the effects commonly attributed to the Internet. I will begin describing the vision (and fears) of a "powerful" Internet, moving then to examine the arguments in favor of its "limited effects". I will try to show as both these perspectives leave out important aspects relating to the relationship between new communication technologies, power, and society. These aspects can be understood only when we leave the quantitative and materialistic idea of information.

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