Digital-Political Fantasies in Istanbul : An analysis of the perceived role of ICT in changing institutional politics, activism, and identity

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Title: Digital-Political Fantasies in Istanbul : An analysis of the perceived role of ICT in changing institutional politics, activism, and identity
Author: Akdogan, Itir
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies, Media and Communication Studies
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2012-03-24
Language: en
Thesis level: Doctoral dissertation (monograph)
Abstract: This research analyses how different groups of people perceive the role of new information and communication technologies (ICT) in social change, and how they make sense out of these claimed changes in society. There are claims for social change in many areas. This research frames its analysis in three areas of social change namely the local-global relation; politics and the political, and ICT. The study first looks at the theoretical discussions on how different perspectives conceptualize social change in these areas. The theoretical framework then looks at the three dimensions that emerge from the interaction of these three areas; institutional politics, activism, and identity. There are different frameworks for making sense of social change. Lacanian fantasy is one that allows deeper analysis of perceptions and fluidity between the various perceptions. As all fantasies are frustrated, the concept also allows a critical analysis. The theoretical framework finally also looks at what fantasies the theoretical discussions create, regarding social change in the above three areas and dimensions. At the empirical level, the research focuses on the perceptions of the role of ICT in the changing institutional politics, activism, and identity in Istanbul from the local-global relation, politics and the political, and ICT perspectives. The research then discusses what fantasies come out of these perceptions. The research uses the grounded theory methodology. This is a methodology that allows researchers to discover new concepts that are not initially included in the theoretical framework so that they can extend and develop their theoretical frameworks. Once researchers find a new concept, they first need to theorize it by going back to the theoretical level, and analyse the empirical data deeper after that theorization. Fantasy is the new concept that was grounded in the empirical data of this research. That is how the concept was first theorized and used for the deeper analysis of the empirical data. The study collected the empirical data from 57 in-depth interviews with institutional politicians, activists, and ordinary citizens that each primarily fed one dimension of the study. The research also used secondary data for the chapter of the contextual background on Istanbul and Turkey. The results of the analysis suggest that all three groups in Istanbul create fantasies in their perception of the role of ICT in social change. The research concludes that institutional politicians, activists, and ordinary citizens all create fantasies of political power, technological power, and harmony. The research also concludes that among the different groups there are variations and contradictions in the fantasies that all are frustrated by several local challenges, especially the political culture.Tutkimus tarkastelee sitä, miten eri ihmisryhmät näkevät informaatio- ja viestintäteknologian (ICT) merkityksen yhteiskunnallisessa muutoksessa. Tutkimus keskittyy kolmeen yhteiskunnallisen muutoksen osa-alueeseen: globaalin ja lokaalin väliseen suhteeseen, politiikkaan ja poliittisuuteen sekä informaatio- ja viestintäteknologiaan. Näitä muutoksia tarkastellaan institutionaalisen politiikan, aktivismin ja identiteetin näkökulmasta. Tutkimus perustuu kriittiseen demokratiatutkimukseen ja Lacanin fantasia-käsitteeseen. Fantasialla tarkoitetaan tutkimuksessa odotuksia, joita kansalaisilla, aktivisteilla ja poliitikoilla on informaatio- ja viestintäteknologian tuomista mahdollisuuksista demokratian edistämisessä. Tutkimuksen tulokset osoittavat, että kaikki kolme ryhmää Istanbulissa loivat fantasioita informaatio- ja viestintäteknologian tuomista mahdollisuuksista paikallisessa demokratiassa. Nämä fantasiat ovat: poliittinen valta, teknologinen valta ja harmonia lokaalin ja globaalin välillä. Paikallinen poliittinen kulttuuri ja useat paikalliset haasteet tekevät näiden fantasioiden toteutumisen mahdottomaksi
Subject: viestintä
Rights: This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for Your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.

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