Call for Proposed Abstracts for a Special Section on
“Weber and the Digital Divide: Class, Status, and Power in the Digital Age”
International Journal of Communication - http://ijoc.org
Special Editors: Massimo Ragnedda, Northumbria Univ. (UK) & Glenn W. Muschert, Miami Univ. (USA)
Much of the literature on stratification in the digital sphere (i.e., digital divides) has focused on the fundamental material relations of inequality present in the digital divide, often relying on Marxist/conflict schools of thought. To broaden the scope, the current project turns to Max Weber for new perspectives on stratification in the digital sphere. The project will stimulate scholarly exchange about how social stratification in the digital age is reproduced not only based on class dynamics (economic aspects), but also by status/prestige (cultural aspects), and in group affiliations (political aspects). Access to the economic means of production can indeed limit digital participation; however, Weber also posits that the process of stratification expresses itself in two other forms, namely “status” and “party.” Potential contributors are invited to explore the importance of status and political influence in a liquid society, such as the importance of prestige in digital participation (or exclusion), or the influence of political affiliation upon digital divides. Papers may be theoretical and/or analytical in nature, and should examine digital divides in relation to dynamics social class (lifestyle and culture), social status (prestige and market influence), and/or power (political impact/legitimacy). Submissions are welcomed from scholars at all stages of their careers, and from various relevant disciplines (sociology, communications, media studies, etc.). Possible topics for articles include, but are not limited to:
· Interplay among economic (class), cultural (status), and/or political (party) factors of digital divides.
· The role of digital participation/exclusion on individual and/or group life chances.
· The relevance of skills (digital literacy), certifications, and and legitimating credentials in digital divides.
· The role of status and prestige hierarchies in digital participation/exclusion (or vice versa).
· Cultural meanings (including religious and/or secular value systems) and digital divides.
· Political life (i.e., power relations) and dynamics of digital inclusion/exclusion.
· Bureaucratic/institutional relationships and digital divides.
· Forms of rationality in the digital (e.g., Zweckrationalität vs. Wertrationalität / ends vs. means rationality).
· The influence of worldview (Weltanschauung) on digital participation/exclusion.
Submissions should be in the form of extended abstracts of around 750 words in MS Word, sent as an email attachment to Massimo Ragnedda (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Glenn Muschert (muschegw@MiamiOH.edu).
The deadline for submissions is 1 April 2014.
Abstracts will be judged on criteria of relevance and originality of topic.
Notification of initially-approved abstracts will be announced in mid-April, after which contributors will be asked to move forward to the peer-review submission phase. Contributions of 7000 words (maxi mum including abstract, footnotes, tables/figures with captions, references, and appendices, if any) will be due 1 July 2014. All submissions must adhere to APA (6th edition) formatting to include:
· Any endnotes should be converted to footnotes.
· Authors must include their profile, including affiliation and rank, when submitting a manuscript.
· All articles should include an abstract of 150 words.
· All articles must include a bibliography at the end that conforms to the most current APA style.
· All spellings must be rendered in American English. To change British or Commonwealth spellings to their
American equivalents, please see the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.
· Only one submission per author will be considered at a time.
Contributions will be subject to double-blind peer review, and to encourage coherence in the special section, all contributors will be requested to act as a peer reviewer for at least one other article. After all necessary revisions and editing, the special section is scheduled to publish in 2015.
Also, please feel welcome to post this call for papers widely and to forward it to interested colleagues and students. We hope to see some proposals from many of you, and for now, please feel welcome to be in contact if you have any questions for us.
With best regards,
Massimo Ragnedda and Glenn Muschert