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Culture, Technology, and Politics - Assignment - Essay Example

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For a long time, social protests have been identified to contribute significantly to the process of political participation, cultural and value system change and development of national and international civil society. In most cases, social movements emerge from the concept of…
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Cultural, technological and political review Culture, Technology, and Politics For a long time, social protests have been identifiedto contribute significantly to the process of political participation, cultural and value system change and development of national and international civil society. In most cases, social movements emerge from the concept of structural bias, which is rooted in political, organizational, cultural, and economic factors. Protests and social movements produce largely impact on the society in many different ways. For instance, movements of 1960s in USA led to the establishment of educational programs, which incorporated the minority and marginalized groups such as the African-Americans, the Hispanics and the Natives Americans. Politics on the other hand, influence culture in different ways ranging from education to religion to ways of life. Most governments prefer a clear separation of church and state. United States has free religion where everybody can be a member of any denomination. France goes a step further in separating state and religion by banning obvious religious symbols. This is different in England where there is a state church (Sclove, 1995).
Historically, technology has been a political tool. It has politically favored some politicians as well as worked against some. This is more so in the recent past where technology has advanced to greater heights. The advent of i tunes, podcasting websites, MySpace and YouTube has shifted the political playing field. Biggest political hurdles such as fundraising and reaching out to voters have been overcome through technology. This was more evident in the 2008 US presidential elections. Candidates used social networks to fundraise as well as educate voters on their agendas in an attempt to woo for votes. In a different example, Howard Dean initially rose to prominence by using Internet donations to fund his campaigns. The same technology later led to his downfall through excessive internet play of the “Dean Scream” video. On the other hand, technology might cause political downfall. For instance, Google’s algorithms are also used to spread negative information about somebody else. During elections, video recordings and old political speeches have used to show differing political stands of a politician. This highlights the downside of technology in politics (Sclove, 1995).
Politicians and governments use technology to further their cause. Governments use technological innovations as a regulatory tool. For example, United States government set up regulatory agencies like Federal Communication Commission and Federal Aviation Administration to regulate telecommunications and airline industry respectively (Sclove 1995). Governments and politicians use media to communicate their agenda to the public and to receive feedback from people (Sclove, 1995).
Technology also plays a major role in social protests. This can be through airing of individual grievances or instigation of the general mass protests. Social media has made it easier to organize and execute regime changes and thus bring down authoritarian regimes and usher in regimes that are more democratic. In the recent Egyptian protests, the protesters used internet to proliferate the protest. This led to unplugging of all internet service providers by the Egyptian authorities. This was also experienced in Tunisia and other Arabic countries around the world. Social media has emerged as a revolutionary tool of choice as it lowers the cost in terms of organization, participation, recruitment, and training. Instead of attending rallies and workshops, social media is used to motivate people to rise against oppressive regimes at a very low cost. This also gives a sense of anonymity hence low chances of victimization. Politics, culture, and technology are greatly intertwined and have a major influence on each other (Sclove, 1995).
References
Sclove, R. (1995). Technology as Politics and Culture. Retrieved from http://sci-tech-jamaica.net/Ch%204-1.html Read More
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