Ramesh Srinivasan: "Empowering Culture and Context"
Featuring guest Ramesh Srinivasan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA.
The power of culture and context dramatically shape technology's influence on networks and power worldwide. Having just spent a month in the field in and around Egypt, and building on earlier work in Kyrgyzstan, I will describe how 'social media' shapes and impacts but one limited set of networks within the many that characterize everyday life. I will discuss in both cases how social movements are fueled by layers of networks, and that digital networks tend to directly speak to those of higher economic and educational class, indirectly influencing poorer masses though not unproblematically. From these critical perspectives, I will try to tell a story how technologies can be re-envisioned and sociotechnically deisgned to better empower diverse cultural ontologies and value systems by presenting fieldwork done in India and with a group of Native Americans.
The Civic Media Thursday lunch series welcomes those working in the civic media field, who share food and company with staff, researchers, and visitors at the Center's headquarters in the MIT Media Lab.