Doesn’t really do it justice, but here are sections five and six of The Network Society in 250 words:
E-learning is a significant factor in education, though teaching and learning have not radically changed. E-learning provides flexibility in education but employs many of the methods of the traditional classroom. Bates’ wonders: who benefits from an e-learning environment?
Centralized health websites have great information but not the popularity or psychological support of decentralized sites. Doctors approve of the self-health care initiative but really don’t want emails from their patients. Katz, Rice and Acord say the greatest potential of e-health is still unrealized: universal access to individualized patient information management and resource tools.
Servon and Pinkett argue access to and the ability to use technology is necessary to combat income inequality. Community technology centers help, providing services from access and assistance to job training and placement. While somewhat successful, they lack both funding and a repeatable model.
Technology-based social movements are an alternative political structure, with the anarchist ideals of grassroots autonomy and direct democracy. As global media networks, they exchange mobilization messages with a diverse audience. Juris says they will spark changes in – not replace – current political institutions and processes.
The internet is a new political space, used most commonly as simply another delivery method for top-down information, but with the potential – as demonstrated by Howard Dean in 2003 – to facilitate uncontrolled democratic participation in the political process; to circumvent the media-determined confines of political discussion; and, most importantly, to fundraise. These functions, Sey and Castells argue, will address the crisis of legitimacy in today’s politics created by media framing.