Posts Tagged ‘hybrid spaces’

Technology, Hybrid Spaces, and Globalization in SPDS

April 9, 2014

Facilitator: Julie Warner

In our discussion scheduled for Friday, April 11, 10:30 am EST, we will focus on three readings that explore the idea of the hybrid spaces occasioned by networked computers and local explorations of “global” spaces.

In Castells’ (2010) “Globalisation, networking, urbanisation: Reflections on the spatial dynamics of the information age,” he describes the “new spatial architecture” (p. 2737) of networked computers.  He explores the interaction between technology, space, and society and puts forth the space of flows as the emerging spatial logic.  He makes  clear the connection between the materiality of networks, the nodes in the network, and resources in the material places connected to those nodes. In the past, we have discussed the idea of spatial justice and the distribution of resources. Recent Pew findings (Zickhur, 2013) tell us that 62% of people in rural places have high speed internet access (thus access to the concomitant new hybrid spaces). But going further, Castells (2010) asserts “the points of connection in this global architecture of networks are the points that attract wealth, power, culture, innovation, and people, innovative or not, to these places” (p. 2742). Some places are “excluded from the dominant logic of global spatial integration” (p. 2737). Thus, he explains how the economic realities of a global knowledge economy play out in local contexts. This was helpful for me in thinking about the ways digital literacy-rich environments (to riff off of Jocson and Thorne-Wallington, 2013) map on to other resources and opportunities linked to physical places. 

Appadurai (1990) also explores the idea of flows. His work makes me question what “global flows” mean for local places. In my experience, schools use firewalls and means of disabling the internet on tech devices to scale the internet. Rather than offering powerful, potentially transformative access to the space of flows/hybrid global-local spaces, the internet is highly localized. The spaces are just a digital mirror of the physical space. Is the goal for students in the 21st century to become cosmopolitan and have an amplified global voice? At the same time, I think about what related to global flows is relevant in the rural world

Gordon and de Souza e Silva’s chapter on Globalization from Net Locality shows how the local influences the global. This piece helped me to think about how social (and as we’ve described them literacy) practices intersect with technologies to create space(s). Web 2.0 is powered by/comprised of user contributions. In my own work I’ve wondered about how legible the intersections between the local and the global are for youth. They share the realities of their physical  and social worlds on social media, contributing to an industry they understand little about.  And relatedly, in thinking about spaces in relation to this idea, most youth stay on the “front end” and don’t engage on the “back end.” Even though we celebrate youth media work as production, from this perspective, zooming out a little, we can think about the importance of the legibility of the larger structures of youth digital media production. To that end, I’ve recently found Rushoff’s ideas (“program or be programmed”) to be salient. 

Appadurai, A. (1990). Disjuncture and difference in the global cultural economy. Public Culture, 2(2), 1-24.

Castells, M. (2010). Globalisation, networking, urbanisation: Reflections on the spatial dynamics of the information age. Urban Studies, 47 (13), 2737–2745.

Gordon, E., &  de Souza e Silva, A. (2011). Globalization. In Net Locality: Why Location Matters in a Networked World (p. 168-183). Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.