Call#: Van Pelt Library JK1764 .D37 2005
Ch. 1: “Electronic Political Discussion”
This chapter offers an overview of various online communications, including electronic email lists, Usenet and blogs. Davis addresses the question of whether or not online discussions make any difference in political processes, institutions or societal behavior and ultimately decides that the prophesized utopia of direct democracy has not yet been achieved. The obstacles facing such restructuring include: inequality in the levels of accessibility and the fragmented nature of electronic political discussion. Even the more tempered notion of deliberative democracy faces hurdles - most notably human reliance on technological solutions.
This chapter is a helpful summary of current online discussion forums and briefly pulls apart the kind of Trippi-esque claims of revolution. I'm going to utilize the rest of this book in order to examine the broad claims of internet revolution which, in the case of much writing about the internet, seem devoid of factors like accessibility.
This book is a great resource. It is one of the few books in the library about the emergence of discussion boards on the internet. Davis breaks down both the emergence and the influence of these types of forums upon American democracy and the way these new ways of mass communication influence politics. It's in depth analysis of the way in which blogs played an integral role in disseminating information during the 2004 Presidental election gives deep insight to the ways this medium can help shape a public's political consciousness.