Culture, Technology, Communication

Towards an Intercultural Global Village

Edited by Charles Ess
With Fay Sudweeks
Foreword by Susan Herring

Subjects: Communication
Series: SUNY series in Computer-Mediated Communication
Paperback : 9780791450161, 355 pages, June 2001
Hardcover : 9780791450154, 355 pages, June 2001

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Table of contents



Introduction: What's Culture Got to Do with It? Cultural Collisions in the Electronic Global Village, Creative Interferences, and the Rise of Culturally-Mediated Computing
Charles Ess

I. Theoretical Approaches:
Postmodernism, Habermas, Luhmann, Hofstede

Understanding Micropolis and Compunity
Steve Jones

Electronic Networks and Civil Society: Reflections on Structural Changes in the Public Sphere
Barbara Becker and Josef Wehner

National Level Culture and Global Diffusion: The Case of the Internet
Carleen F. Maitland and Johannes M. Bauer

II. Theory/Praxis

a. Europe

New Kids in the Net: Deutschsprachige Philosophie elektronish
Herbert Hrachovec

Cultural Attitudes toward Technology and Communication: A Study in the “Multi-cultural” Environment of Switzerland
Lucienne Rey

b. Gender/Gender and Muslim World

Diversity in On-Line Discussions: A Study of Cultural and Gender Differences in Listservs
Concetta Stewart, Stella F. Shields, Nandini Sen

New Technologies, Old Culture: A Look at Women, Gender, and the Internet in Kuwait
Deborah Wheeler

c. East-West/East

Preserving Communication Context: Virtual Workspace and Interpersonal Space in Japanese CSCW
Lorna Heaton

Internet Discourse and the Habitus of Korea's New Generation
Sunny Yoon

“Culture,” Computer Literacy, and the Media in Creating Public Attitudes toward CMC in Japan and Korea
Robert J. Fouser

III. Cultural Collisions and Creative Interferences on the (Silk) Road to the Global Village: India and Thailand

Language, Power, and Software
Kenneth Keniston

Global Culture, Local Cultures, and the Internet: The Thai Example
Soraj Hongladarom



Provides cross-cultural perspectives on computer-mediated communication.


Stability and success in our electronic global village increasingly depends on the complex interactions of culture, communication, and technology. This book offers both theoretical approaches and case studies of these interactions from diverse cultural domains, including Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the United States. This global perspective helps to counteract the Anglo-American presumptions that have dominated discussion and literature on computer-mediated communication (CMC) technologies. The contributors uncover and challenge the culture-bound values and communicative preferences inherent in CMC technologies—including values and preferences related to gender—and also document non-Western examples of implementing these technologies in ways that catalyze global communication while preserving and enhancing local cultures. Taken together, these essays articulate the interdisciplinary foundations and practical models necessary to design and use CMC technologies in ways that help us to avoid the choice between a global but culturally homogenous "McWorld" and fragmented local cultures whose identities are preserved only in their opposition to globalization.

Charles Ess is Professor of Philosophy and Religion and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Drury University, and editor of Philosophical Perspectives on Computer-Mediated Communication, also published by SUNY Press. Fay Sudweeks is Senior Lecturer in Information Systems at Murdoch University.


"This book provides a well-needed cultural context for computer-mediated communication. It places the Internet and its meaning in the wider area of different countries and cultures, and points out issues of access and attitudes that would otherwise be missed in the current discussions of the Information Revolution. " — Robert Cavalier, Carnegie Mellon University

"Thoughtful and intelligent. ..the many examples of how different cultures interact with information technology are stimulating. " — Thomas L. Jacobson, University at Buffalo, State University of New York