Internet and democracy

This week’s readings are interesting. Barger & Barney (2013) described in an ideal way how media and citizens can make contributions to creating a democratic society. The point that I take issue with is that “…, the world can be divided into two very different types of cultural systems” (p, 191). Cultures are dynamic. There are, I believe, more than just two very different types of cultural systems in the world today. There are also subsystems under main systems. Cultural systems complex. Some cultures are big while others are not.  And cultures keep changing all the time. China is a telling example. Thanks to the policy of reforming and opening-up, I feel that a lot of ideas have been changed. Now Chinese culture has been infused with western ideas and opinions that would be seen as inappropriate several decades ago. Older generations in China felt that things changed now. Young people like me sometimes can feel that we are not able to keep up with the pace. If we are taking the cultural system identified in this article, China would fall into neither of the type. It is based on this personal understanding that I doubt this article. Types of cultural system are more complex than what has been described in this article, which I think can complicate the roles and responsibilities media and citizens play and have to building a democratic society. Mats Ekström (2008) wrote about a research conducted in Sweden on media and democracy. Surprisingly, main conclusions he had from the research also reflected what perceptions about media in China.  Sweden and China are so different in almost every aspect of society. Sweden are more developed than China. Cultures in these two countries are so different. You can refer to article “Cultural Gap between China and Sweden” to see the cultural differences in business context. And I resonated when Mats Ekström wrote about Internet as a contested terrain for political activities. I have the feeling that Internet and social media have become an important agent for people to spread information and gather support today, especially people rising from grassroots. Internet and social media involve more people. President Barack Obama also took advantage of social media in his elections. (Please refer to article “How Obama won social media battle in 2012 presidential campaign” to get more detailed information). I believe this is gonna to be a trend in politics. An increasing number of politicians may follow him, and more citizens would feel engaged.


  1. niweiman1990 · September 4, 2014

    Read your blog, I am interested in “culture”, I agree the cultures are dynamic, whatever culture system or patterns must endure over time, pass along from person to person. For example, China was governed by feudalization for over 2,000 years, until the 1911 Revolution, which began on Oct 10 with an armed pursing, ended 2,000 years of imperial rule and toppled the Qing Dynasty. Then, I would add that culture is also heterogeneous and a contested zone. For example, increasing numbers of people have multicultural densities, growing up to negotiate multiple cultural realities.
    From your example, “Sweden and China” could see that the relationship of culture and different context — social, political and historical.
    That is interesting about Internet, social media, political and power, I use the similar example about President Barack Obama used Facebook won his presidential campaign in 2008.


  2. bdelliott52 · September 5, 2014

    I agree that the world cannot be divided so easily into two categories. But, I think we are getting close. The internet has brought everyone together. Just in the past 25 years, the internet has entire world has changed completely. These changes aren’t just technological advancements affecting our personal lives. These changes are bringing the world together. Social media has played its role, connecting people all over the world. But other factors are bringing us together as well. As awareness for what we are doing to each other, and what we are doing to the planet continues to grow — vastly through the use of social media — political change will follow. People all over the world can no longer get away with what they are doing to take advantage of others. Ideally, if there is social injustice in the world, the world will step in to make it right. The United States has been trying to do this for a while, but it cannot be alone in its efforts. If it continues, it risks alienating itself from the rest of the world and thrusting the world backward into chaos. Only through awareness and time can we hope that everyone can one day realize that we should all be connected, and not be so guarded and hostile toward each other.


  3. Mindy McAdams · September 5, 2014

    Your comments were due at 5 p.m.


    • crystal120910214 · September 6, 2014

      There is s time setting mistake in my PC. I finished my computer before 3 P.M. Friday. And I posted the links as soon as I finished my comments. I don’t know why there is a time mistake here. I can explain this to you next week.


      • Mindy McAdams · September 6, 2014

        The time problem is in your WordPress settings, not your PC. Fix it in your Dashboard, please.


      • crystal120910214 · September 6, 2014

        I have fixed the time setting problem just now. It turned out that I chose a wrong timezone which is four hours faster than ours. I’m sorry to cause you any inconveniences. Will this problem degrade my comments?


  4. Mindy McAdams · September 6, 2014

    In the future, please use more than one paragraph in your post. It makes it easier for others to read. It also helps you refine your ideas.

    You spent the first half of your post discussing the change in the cultural system of China. This is interesting, although not exactly a main point in an article that’s about reciprocal obligations of journalists and the public in a democracy. The cultural system idea is mentioned in the introduction of the article.

    Your first link goes to an unpublished article that includes no information about its author or sponsors. It is relevant to cultural differences between China and Sweden, but we are not studying Sweden. Ekström’s observations about democracy can be extended to any democratic society. Your linked article mentions democracy, but from what you wrote, I can’t tell if you read the article. Please note that when you’re asked to include a link, you are expected to have read the linked material.

    Your second link, from The Media Psychology Blog, is not bad, but maybe you could have found a more well-known and respected source for the same information. Many people in both media and politics have written about both Obama campaigns’ skillful use of online media.

    I urge you to think more carefully about sentences such as “Internet and social media involve more people,” and “I believe this is gonna to be a trend in politics.” These sentences are rather empty. I would like you to try harder to say something meaningful in each sentence, not just fill the word count.


    • crystal120910214 · September 6, 2014

      Thanks for your feedback. I will pay extra attention to my problems next time I write my blogs.


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