INSPIRING FUTURES

RETHINKING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE: FROM PHILANTHROPY TO ISONOMIA.

Duff, Alistair (2009) RETHINKING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE: FROM PHILANTHROPY TO ISONOMIA. [Proceedings of the] International Conference New Media & Information: Convergences & Divergences, 6-9 May, Athens. (Unpublished)

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    Abstract/Description

    The digital divide has been, at least until very recently, a major theme in policy as well as interdisciplinary academic circles across the world, as well as at a collective global level, as attested by the World Summit on the Information Society. Numerous research papers and volumes have attempted to conceptualise the digital divide and to offer reasoned prescriptive and normative responses. What has been lacking in many of these studies, it is submitted, is a rigorous negotiation of moral and political philosophy, the result being a failure to situate the digital divide - or rather, more widely, information imbalances - in a holistic understanding of social structures of power and wealth. In practice, prescriptive offerings have been little more than philanthropic in tendency, whether private or corporate philanthropy. Instead, a theory of distributive justice is required, one that recovers the tradition of emancipatory, democratic struggle. This much has been said before. What is new here, however, is that the paper suggests a specific formula, the Rawls-Tawney theorem, as a solution at the level of analytical moral-political philosophy. Building on the work of John Rawls and R. H. Tawney, this avoids both the Charybdis of Marxism and the Scylla of liberalism. It delineates some of the details of the meaning of social justice in the information age. Promulgating a conception of isonomia, which while egalitarian eschews arithmetic equality (the equality of misery), the paper hopes to contribute to the emerging ideal of communicative justice in the media-saturated, post-industrial epoch.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Information imbalance; Social structures; Moral philosophy; Political philosophy;Rawls-Tawney theorem; Legal equality; Communicative justice;
    University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Arts & Creative Industries
    Dewey Decimal Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 306 Culture & institutions
    100 Philosophy & psychology > 100 Philosophy
    Library of Congress Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
    H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
    Item ID: 2534
    Depositing User: Dr. David A. Cumming
    Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2009 10:31
    Last Modified: 12 Jan 2011 04:50
    URI: http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/id/eprint/2534

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