“Something other than real life:” digital life resistance in the civil sphere
|Článek v odborném periodiku
|Časopis / Zdroj
|American Journal of Cultural Sociology
|Fakulta / Pracoviště MU
|Digital life; Cultural sociology; Civil sphere; Technology resistance; Social media
|The pervasive use of digital life technologies, such as social media and smartphones, have fostered a social debate on the drawbacks of such modes of interaction and how the infiltration into social spaces by such technologies might be countered. This study employs Alexander’s civil sphere theory to study public expressions of antipathy towards digital technology communicated via online forums such as blogs and online mass media publications. Providing an innovative interpretation of technology resistance, the study departs from the well-researched realm of actors’ motivations and goals to uncover the cultural meaning that pervades resistance activities. In resisting, actors employ codes of the cultural sacred to claim meaningful attributes and identities for themselves and to malign those who engage in digital life as inhabiting profane cultural codes. Pushing beyond motivations, the findings of this study connect motivations to cultural meaning and show how two central concerns—authenticity and self-determination—structure anti-digital life discourse. In describing the discursive reiteration and application of these concepts vis-a-vis digital life, I extend the application of Alexander’s civil sphere theory to ongoing debates on technology and interpersonal communication in the digital age and, thereby, initiate the development of a cultural sociology of digital life resistance.