[iDC] Henry Jenkins interviews Sonia Livingstone

Howard Rheingold howard at rheingold.com
Tue Jun 16 00:47:04 UTC 2009

I recommend this interview, and if it piques your interest, Sonia  
Livingstone's new book. I haven't read it yet, but I have followed her  
for years, and I'm always interested in what she has to say. Her  
conclusions follow empirical work, and she doesn't allow herself to be  
trapped into simple-minded overgeneralization about what Trebor calls  
"non-existing polarities of utopia and dystopia."

Interview: http://henryjenkins.org/2009/06/an_interview_with_sonia_living.html

Brief quote from Livingstone:

>     Many of us have argued for some time now that the concept of  
> 'impacts' seems to treat the internet (or any technology) as if it  
> came from outer space, uninfluenced by human (or social and  
> political) understandings. Of course it doesn't. So, the concept of  
> affordances usefully recognises that the online environment has been  
> conceived, designed and marketed with certain uses and users in  
> mind, and with certain benefits (influence, profits, whatever) going  
> to the producer.
>     Affordances also recognises that interfaces or technologies  
> don't determine consequences 100%, though they may be influential,  
> strongly guiding or framing or preferring one use or one  
> interpretation over another. That's not to say that I'd rule out all  
> questions of consequences, more that we need to find more subtle  
> ways of asking the questions here. Problematically too, there is  
> still very little research that looks long-term at changes  
> associated with the widespread use of the internet, making it  
> surprisingly hard to say whether, for example, my children's  
> childhood is really so different from mine was, and why.

Howard Rheingold howard at rheingold.com http://twitter.com/hrheingold
http://www.rheingold.com  http://www.smartmobs.com
what it is ---> is --->up to us

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