Blog 7: Public sphere and network society

Habermas defines public sphere as the public and the state, public sphere is the middle ground for the two. It is how the state and the public communicate with each other. The public sphere influences a lot and includes our public opinion and how we come together as citizens. Public sphere is important when it comes to a democratic society because it helps citizens give their opinion, which is what makes society works. It is important that citizens get a say in the way a democracy works so that their voice is heard. Public sphere is important in a society because everyone should have a say in a democratic society and everyone’s voice should be heard.

 

https://civic.mit.edu/blog/samuelbarros/civic-media-functions-inside-the-public-sphere-model-0

Castells defines network society as a more virtual way of communicating and it involves more networks instead of in person. We rely more on networks now, which makes sense. Over the years, we have gone from communicating with each other face to face, but over time that has changed and we are now living in a more technology based society. We have seen this change when it comes to classrooms; students are using laptops more in the classrooms, which didn’t happen when I was in school. There is an increase in technology and it will continue to increase over the years.

I do think that by having a network system it can have the potential to improve the lives of people but it can also negatively affect people also. I think it is good to have technology and a virtual way of communicating with others, but I also think that it is possible to be too reliant on technology and that is where the problem lies. It also improves the lives of people who have access to technology, but that is another problem because not everyone has access to Internet so it improves the lives of some people not everyone.

 

Nawaz, A., Khan, M. Z., & Gilani, I. (2012). From Habermas model to new public sphere: A paradigm shift. Global journal of human social science , 12(5), 43-51. Retrieved from https://globaljournals.org/GJHSS_Volume12/6-From-Habermas-Model-to-New.pdf.

Blog 4: Bowling alone

Social capital refers to social organizations such as networks, norms, and social tie that facilitate coordination and cooperation.”(Putnam, 2000) It makes sense that we are influenced by the networks around us, and our interactions in those networks. Putnam talks about how Alexis De Tocqueville was impressed by how Democracy in America worked so well. Over time, though, Putnam talks about the decline in participation when it comes to politics and our civil responsibilities. Because of this, people are bowling alone and not in a group. There isn’t much community participation anymore like there used to be.

Social Capital: What It Is & Why Your Employees Need It

We hear all the time that “it isn’t what you know, its whom you know.”(Kadushin, 2012) This makes sense when it comes to social networks. It seems like when people know others in high positions that they may get further ahead than those who do not know someone high up. According to Kadushin, there are two levels of networks, which include community/group and individual. This is important in social networks because communities and groups are important in our daily lives. It seems like we interact with others who are similar to us. Individual networks are also equally important.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?157570-1/bowling-alone-collapse-american-community

The Internet allows us to reach many other people. While the Internet is not as personal since we are not face to face with someone, it still helps us make connections with others. The Internet has come a long way over the years and there will continue to be improvements as the years go on. I think the Internet has contributed in some way to us not being as connected as we once were. I think it can also contribute to the decline in participation in our democracy.

For my research when I was looking at my paper and deciding what I wanted to do, I wanted to see if our interactions with others are as similar as we would think they are. According to Kadushin, people usually associate with others similar to them, and this is what I was basing my research on.

 

Kadushin, C. (2012). Understanding social networks: theories concepts and findings. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital. Culture and Politics, 223-234. doi:10.1007/978-1-349-62965-7_12

Week 1 blog: Linked

When I first started reading Linked by Barabasi, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the book was to understand for someone who is just starting to understand networks. Barabasi talks about how networks are everywhere, even in science and math, which I was surprised about. For Barabasi to be able to relate phase transition when he talks about how physicists see connections to a sociologist seeing a community was really interesting. When I came into this course, my understanding of a network meant computers and the Internet, after reading Linked, I had learned that networks are so much more.

        In this picture, nodes and links are shown. It makes it easy to see that the links are what connects us (http://mathinsight.org/network_introduction)

Euler, who was a mathematician, introduced the idea of graph theory, which is composed of nodes and links; these are the basis of network theory. We can use nodes and links to talk about different networks. A computer is linked by wires; a business can be linked to other businesses and consumers. Barabasi talks about how if we are at a party and we don’t know anyone there, that humans have a desire to talk to each other so they will start having conversations with each other and form connections. In this situation the guests are the nodes and each time they interact with others, that would be a link. It relates to the idea that people in the U.S. can be connected by six handshakes, which is known as six degrees of separation. Networks are everywhere in our daily lives, they are what connects us to each other.

            In this picture, it shows the six degrees of separation. This picture shows the six in the middle and from there, many connections are shown between them. (http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1807-17752011000300009)

Networks have evolved throughout the years and they will continue to do so. There will be new technology and new ideas each year. Even since this book came out there have been many advances through the years. I am excited to see the many changes that are still to come. It goes to show that networks really are everywhere just as Barabasi suggests.

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