Special Issue "Cultural Studies of Digital Society"

A special issue of Information (ISSN 2078-2489). This special issue belongs to the section "Information Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Ilya Levin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel
Interests: fundamentals of computer systems; philosophy of information technologies; culture of digital society; education in digital age

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Presently, our society has transitioned into the Digital Age. This transition is considered to be а digital revolution initiated by unprecedented advances of emerging information and communication technologies hyperconnecting humanity and significantly changing humans’ life. The digital revolution has a meaning beyond its straightforward technological one and represents the revolution in human consciousness and culture. Today, it becomes clear that a progress in such fields as ubiquitous computing, artificial intelligence, and big data is impossible without deep studies in the field of culture.

The digital shift in spiritual, social, and technological components of human culture can be considered as follows.

The spiritual culture of the digital society is sensitive to human personalities. In the digital society, where the distinction between real and virtual objects is blurred, people recognize technological artefacts as functioning according to natural laws, and spiritual culture will definitely overcome serious changes that mainly manifest in a new form of personality—networked personality. 

Social digital culture is manifested in the emergence of the new media, which are probably the most tangible phenomenon of contemporary digital life. The new media are very different from the media of the past and have to be considered as the mainstream of the social culture of a digital society.  

The technological culture of a digital society is the most sensitive to the abundance of data and to free access to knowledge. From the Enlightenment age, the idea of encyclopedic knowledge has constantly been accompanied by both scientific research and the educational system. The abundance of data not only created a new scientific and technologic reality—it also changed the status of technological culture. 

In recent years, an understanding has emerged that the abundance of data is a fundamental shift characteristic of the technological culture of digital society. A new concept called “dataism” created by the emerging significance of Big Data was born and became widespread. Dataism declares that the new culture is based on data flows, and the value of any phenomenon or entity is determined by its contribution to data processing. Needless to say the above emerging issues are the focus of the research agenda of cultural studies.

This Special Issue on Culture of Digital Society is aimed at researchers applying their theoretical and practical works in the above field. The key areas of this Special Issue include but are not limited to:

fundamentals of digital culture; history and philosophy of digital age; spiritual, social, and technological cultures of digital society; digital metaphysics; digital anthropology; digital personality; data abundance; dataism; new media; artificial intelligence in digital culture; and hyperconnectivity.

Prof. Ilya Levin
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • digital culture
  • digital metaphysics
  • digital anthropology
  • data abundance
  • new media
  • hyperconnectivity

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Culture and Society in the Digital Age
Information 2021, 12(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/info12020068 - 05 Feb 2021
Viewed by 835
Abstract
This paper aims to examine a theoretical framework of digital society and the ramifications of the digital revolution. The paper proposes that more attention has to be paid to cultural studies as a means for the understanding of digital society. The approach is [...] Read more.
This paper aims to examine a theoretical framework of digital society and the ramifications of the digital revolution. The paper proposes that more attention has to be paid to cultural studies as a means for the understanding of digital society. The approach is based on the idea that the digital revolution’s essence is fully manifested in the cultural changes that take place in society. Cultural changes are discussed in connection with the digital society’s transformations, such as blurring the distinction between reality and virtuality and among people, nature, and artifacts, and the reversal from informational scarcity to abundance. The presented study develops a general model of culture. This model describes the spiritual, social, and technological facets of culture. Such new phenomena as individualization, transparisation, and so-called cognification (intellectualization of the surrounding environment) are suggested as the prominent trends characterizing the above cultural facets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Studies of Digital Society)
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Article
School in Digital Age: How Big Data Help to Transform the Curriculum
Information 2021, 12(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/info12010033 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 864
Abstract
The transition to digital society is characterised by the development of new methods and tools for big data processing. New technologies have a substantial impact on the education sector. The article represents the results of applying big data to analyse and transform the [...] Read more.
The transition to digital society is characterised by the development of new methods and tools for big data processing. New technologies have a substantial impact on the education sector. The article represents the results of applying big data to analyse and transform the learning content of Moscow’s schools. The analysis of the school curriculum comprised the following: (a) identifying one-topic lesson scripts, (b) analysing cross-disciplinary connections between subjects, (c) verifying the compliance of the lesson script digital content to the Federal Educational Standards. The analysed material included 36,644 lesson scripts. The analysis has been conducted using specifically designed digital tools featuring data mining algorithms. The article considers the issue of applying data mining algorithms to analyse school curriculum for the improvement of its quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Studies of Digital Society)
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Article
Digital Memory in the Post-Witness Era: How Holocaust Museums Use Social Media as New Memory Ecologies
Information 2021, 12(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/info12010031 - 13 Jan 2021
Viewed by 919
Abstract
With the passing of the last testimonies, Holocaust remembrance and Holocaust education progressively rely on digital technologies to engage people in immersive, simulative, and even counterfactual memories of the Holocaust. This preliminary study investigates how three prominent Holocaust museums use social media to [...] Read more.
With the passing of the last testimonies, Holocaust remembrance and Holocaust education progressively rely on digital technologies to engage people in immersive, simulative, and even counterfactual memories of the Holocaust. This preliminary study investigates how three prominent Holocaust museums use social media to enhance the general public’s knowledge and understanding of historical and remembrance events. A mixed-method approach based on a combination of social media analytics and latent semantic analysis was used to investigate the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube profiles of Yad Vashem, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Auschwitz–Birkenau Memorial and Museum. This social media analysis adopted a combination of metrics and was focused on how these social media profiles engage the public at both the page-content and relational levels, while their communication strategies were analysed in terms of generated content, interactivity, and popularity. Latent semantic analysis was used to analyse the most frequently used hashtags and words to investigate what topics and phrases appear most often in the content posted by the three museums. Overall, the results show that the three organisations are more active on Twitter than on Facebook and Instagram, with the Auschwitz–Birkenau Museum and Memorial occupying a prominent position in Twitter discourse while Yad Vashem and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum had stronger presences on YouTube. Although the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum exhibits some interactivity with its Facebook fan community, there is a general tendency to use social media as a one-way broadcast mode of communication. Finally, the analysis of terms and hashtags revealed the centrality of “Auschwitz” as a broad topic of Holocaust discourse, overshadowing other topics, especially those related to recent events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Studies of Digital Society)
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Article
Release of the Fourth Season of Money Heist: Analysis of Its Social Audience on Twitter during Lockdown in Spain
Information 2020, 11(12), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11120579 - 11 Dec 2020
Viewed by 900
Abstract
Nowadays we are witnessing a significant change in content consumption. This, together with the global health situation, has caused some behaviors to accelerate. This research focuses on the specific case of the lockdown in Spain and the coincidence with the launch of the [...] Read more.
Nowadays we are witnessing a significant change in content consumption. This, together with the global health situation, has caused some behaviors to accelerate. This research focuses on the specific case of the lockdown in Spain and the coincidence with the launch of the fourth season of Money Heist compared to the launch of season three. Starting with a review of the theoretical framework, in which the related concepts of coronavirus, television, and Video on Demand (VOD) platforms are presented, the importance of transmedia communication is also introduced. The methodological aspect is developed through content analysis and in-depth interviews. The tool used on the first methodology has been Twlets. With regard to the sources, the specific bibliography of the audiovisual sector, the official profile of the series on Twitter and personal interviews with professionals from the communication department of the production company, Vancouver Media, and from the series directing were taken into account. The methodology used to carry out this work has been the analysis of quantitative–qualitative content of the various sources consulted. The results of the study are presented in graphs, crossing the data from the different sources to detect the strategies of marketing and communication used for the release of the fourth season of the series. These results reflect the change in the communication strategy, the behavior of the social audience of the Twitter account of Money Heist (La Casa de Papel) and its relationship with the period of lockdown in Spain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Studies of Digital Society)
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Article
Get out of Church! The Case of #EmptyThePews: Twitter Hashtag between Resistance and Community
Information 2020, 11(6), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11060335 - 23 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1472
Abstract
This study explores the relationship between politics and religion, resistance and community, on social media through the case study of #EmptyThePews. #EmptyThePews was created in August 2017 after the events in Charlottesville, calling users who attend Trump-supporting churches to leave those churches as [...] Read more.
This study explores the relationship between politics and religion, resistance and community, on social media through the case study of #EmptyThePews. #EmptyThePews was created in August 2017 after the events in Charlottesville, calling users who attend Trump-supporting churches to leave those churches as a form of protest. What starts out as a call of action, becomes a polysemic online signifier for sharing stories of religious abuse, and thus a format for identity and community construction. An analysis of 250 tweets with #EmptyThePews revels five different uses of the hashtag, including highlighting racial, gender, and sexual identity-based discrimination; sharing stories of religious or sexual abuse; constructing a community and identity; and actively calling for people to empty churches. This Twitter hashtag did not facilitate an active movement of people leaving churches, but instead created a Twitter community. Giving voice and space to this community, however, can be seen as a form of resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Studies of Digital Society)
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Article
Media Education in the ICT Era: Theoretical Structure for Innovative Teaching Styles
Information 2020, 11(5), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11050276 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1394
Abstract
The era of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in which we live has transformed the foundations of education. This article starts from the premise that there is a convergence between technologies and media that makes ICTs adopt strategies and forms similar to traditional [...] Read more.
The era of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in which we live has transformed the foundations of education. This article starts from the premise that there is a convergence between technologies and media that makes ICTs adopt strategies and forms similar to traditional media, especially in their quest to create influence on citizens. For this reason, curricular objectives should include a critical analysis of this new reality in order to train new generations. We propose, based on the traditional parameters of media education, a new theoretical framework for their development that includes innovative teaching styles to achieve these goals. We used a critical pedagogy methodology with a qualitative and descriptive approach through the analysis of the content of theoretical studies and field work through which to establish an innovative pedagogical structure. The main result is that the influence that ICTs have on children and young people today is as strong as, or stronger than, that traditionally received by the classical media, and that there is a lack of adequate framework to address the problem. In this sense, and as a conclusion, we consider that they must create critical attitudes before the power of influence that ICT has from very early ages, which generate problems like consumerism, addiction, cyber-bullying, and ignorance of the reality. This requires new teaching styles in line with the current social context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Studies of Digital Society)
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