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Postgraduate Thesis: Cyber micropower: a new perspective of computer-mediated communication research
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TitleCyber micropower: a new perspective of computer-mediated communication research
 
AuthorsZhou, Hengyu.
周恒宇.
 
Issue Date2011
 
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
 
Abstract The relationship between Internet technology and human beings has been the main focus in the realm of Internet study. Those studies, generally speaking, either paid attention to the political, economical and social influences of the burgeoning Internet technology on human society, or focusing on the changing of human behavior, attitudes and psychological conditions in the Internet technological environment. Lacking of considering the core nature of Internet technology, most of studies, though proposed many insightful arguments, cannot explain why and in what way the Internet has such great influences on human beings. Since the Internet technology constructed the cyberspace, its relationship with human beings has been undoubtedly influenced by the inherent nature of the Internet. Examining the intrinsic nature and the bias of Internet technology, this study proposes the concept of cyber-micropower to describe the power relationships in the Internet field, and explores the origins of cyber-micropower. By investigating the formation and operational mechanism of the three kinds of cyber-micropower – information micropower, context micropower and subject micropower, this study provides a new analytical framework to the Internet study as well as understanding various cyberspace phenomena. The qualitative methods, especially critical literature research, online participant observation, and oral history are adopted to make thick description of various online phenomena, get empirical online data and develop the key concept of cyber-micropower. Particularly, the formation of information micropower is examined through the phenomenon of online free. Based on the analysis of online virtual identity, the formation process of context micropower and subject micropower can be developed. Then, the operational mechanism of cyber-micropower was mainly investigated through human flesh searching phenomenon. Briefly, this study argues that the bias of Internet technology is liquidity. As the core features of the Internet, both digitalization and networking of information directly reflect the widespread requiring for liquidity. This liquid Internet plays the role by empowering cyber subjects. Cyber-micropower, then, is the liquid networking relations among cyber subjects. During online interactions and the Internet use, cyber subjects always tend to make surveillance and self-surveillance, restriction and self-restriction, group participating and other ways, through which cyber subjects adapted to the new liquid cyber contexts and relations, as well as positioning their own locations in the liquid network. This new liquid disciplinary model in the “many watch the many” kind of cyberspace is the operational mechanism of cyber-micropower. Accordingly, disciplined cyber subjects and cyber conditions are like numerous panopticons superimposed together. Then, this study further argues that with the development of Internet technology, the liquid may be faster, and a larger scale of digitalization and intensive networking will follow. Such trends, though may liberate human beings initially, will go beyond humans’ ultimate state in the end. The liquid nature of information restricts cyber subjects’ ability of self-reflexive and understanding. And the liquid cyberspace may promote multiple and unstable virtual identities. As a result, cyber subjects’ cyber-micropower will become more fragile and sensitive. And the human nature may also be networked and liquefied gradually. Yet, when human beings become numerous nodes in the liquid network, not only their traditional ethics and morality are in the danger of reversing, but also the meaning of humans’ existence may be challenged.
 
AdvisorsTan, L
 
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
 
SubjectCyberspace - Social aspects.
Telematics - Social aspects.
Power (Social sciences)
Internet - Social aspects.
 
Dept/ProgramLinguistics
 
DC FieldValue
dc.contributor.advisorTan, L
 
dc.contributor.authorZhou, Hengyu.
 
dc.contributor.author周恒宇.
 
dc.date.hkucongregation2012
 
dc.date.issued2011
 
dc.description.abstract The relationship between Internet technology and human beings has been the main focus in the realm of Internet study. Those studies, generally speaking, either paid attention to the political, economical and social influences of the burgeoning Internet technology on human society, or focusing on the changing of human behavior, attitudes and psychological conditions in the Internet technological environment. Lacking of considering the core nature of Internet technology, most of studies, though proposed many insightful arguments, cannot explain why and in what way the Internet has such great influences on human beings. Since the Internet technology constructed the cyberspace, its relationship with human beings has been undoubtedly influenced by the inherent nature of the Internet. Examining the intrinsic nature and the bias of Internet technology, this study proposes the concept of cyber-micropower to describe the power relationships in the Internet field, and explores the origins of cyber-micropower. By investigating the formation and operational mechanism of the three kinds of cyber-micropower – information micropower, context micropower and subject micropower, this study provides a new analytical framework to the Internet study as well as understanding various cyberspace phenomena. The qualitative methods, especially critical literature research, online participant observation, and oral history are adopted to make thick description of various online phenomena, get empirical online data and develop the key concept of cyber-micropower. Particularly, the formation of information micropower is examined through the phenomenon of online free. Based on the analysis of online virtual identity, the formation process of context micropower and subject micropower can be developed. Then, the operational mechanism of cyber-micropower was mainly investigated through human flesh searching phenomenon. Briefly, this study argues that the bias of Internet technology is liquidity. As the core features of the Internet, both digitalization and networking of information directly reflect the widespread requiring for liquidity. This liquid Internet plays the role by empowering cyber subjects. Cyber-micropower, then, is the liquid networking relations among cyber subjects. During online interactions and the Internet use, cyber subjects always tend to make surveillance and self-surveillance, restriction and self-restriction, group participating and other ways, through which cyber subjects adapted to the new liquid cyber contexts and relations, as well as positioning their own locations in the liquid network. This new liquid disciplinary model in the “many watch the many” kind of cyberspace is the operational mechanism of cyber-micropower. Accordingly, disciplined cyber subjects and cyber conditions are like numerous panopticons superimposed together. Then, this study further argues that with the development of Internet technology, the liquid may be faster, and a larger scale of digitalization and intensive networking will follow. Such trends, though may liberate human beings initially, will go beyond humans’ ultimate state in the end. The liquid nature of information restricts cyber subjects’ ability of self-reflexive and understanding. And the liquid cyberspace may promote multiple and unstable virtual identities. As a result, cyber subjects’ cyber-micropower will become more fragile and sensitive. And the human nature may also be networked and liquefied gradually. Yet, when human beings become numerous nodes in the liquid network, not only their traditional ethics and morality are in the danger of reversing, but also the meaning of humans’ existence may be challenged.
 
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version
 
dc.description.thesisdisciplineLinguistics
 
dc.description.thesisleveldoctoral
 
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy
 
dc.identifier.hkulb4775274
 
dc.languageeng
 
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
 
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)
 
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.
 
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License
 
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47752749
 
dc.subject.lcshCyberspace - Social aspects.
 
dc.subject.lcshTelematics - Social aspects.
 
dc.subject.lcshPower (Social sciences)
 
dc.subject.lcshInternet - Social aspects.
 
dc.titleCyber micropower: a new perspective of computer-mediated communication research
 
dc.typePG_Thesis
 
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<item><contributor.advisor>Tan, L</contributor.advisor>
<contributor.author>Zhou, Hengyu.</contributor.author>
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<date.issued>2011</date.issued>
<description.abstract>&#65279;

 The relationship between Internet technology and human beings has been the main focus in the realm of Internet study. Those studies, generally speaking, either paid attention to the political, economical and social influences of the burgeoning Internet technology on human society, or focusing on the changing of human behavior, attitudes and psychological conditions in the Internet technological environment. Lacking of considering the core nature of Internet technology, most of studies, though proposed many insightful arguments, cannot explain why and in what way the Internet has such great influences on human beings.





 Since the Internet technology constructed the cyberspace, its relationship with human beings has been undoubtedly influenced by the inherent nature of the Internet. Examining the intrinsic nature and the bias of Internet technology, this study proposes the concept of cyber-micropower to describe the power relationships in the Internet field, and explores the origins of cyber-micropower. By investigating the formation and operational mechanism of the three kinds of cyber-micropower &#8211; information micropower, context micropower and subject micropower, this study provides a new analytical framework to the Internet study as well as understanding various cyberspace phenomena.



The qualitative methods, especially critical literature research, online participant observation, and oral history are adopted to make thick description of various online phenomena, get empirical online data and develop the key concept of cyber-micropower. Particularly, the formation of information micropower is examined through the phenomenon of online free. Based on the analysis of online virtual identity, the formation process of context micropower and subject micropower can be developed. Then, the operational mechanism of cyber-micropower was mainly investigated through human flesh searching phenomenon.



Briefly, this study argues that the bias of Internet technology is liquidity. As the core features of the Internet, both digitalization and networking of information directly reflect the widespread requiring for liquidity. This liquid Internet plays the role by empowering cyber subjects. Cyber-micropower, then, is the liquid networking relations among cyber subjects. During online interactions and the Internet use, cyber subjects always tend to make surveillance and self-surveillance, restriction and self-restriction, group participating and other ways, through which cyber subjects adapted to the new liquid cyber contexts and relations, as well as positioning their own locations in the liquid network. This new liquid disciplinary model in the &#8220;many watch the many&#8221; kind of cyberspace is the operational mechanism of cyber-micropower. Accordingly, disciplined cyber subjects and cyber conditions are like numerous panopticons superimposed together.



Then, this study further argues that with the development of Internet technology, the liquid may be faster, and a larger scale of digitalization and intensive networking will follow. Such trends, though may liberate human beings initially, will go beyond humans&#8217; ultimate state in the end. The liquid nature of information restricts cyber subjects&#8217; ability of self-reflexive and understanding. And the liquid cyberspace may promote multiple and unstable virtual identities. As a result, cyber subjects&#8217; cyber-micropower will become more fragile and sensitive. And the human nature may also be networked and liquefied gradually. Yet, when human beings become numerous nodes in the liquid network, not only their traditional ethics and morality are in the danger of reversing, but also the meaning of humans&#8217; existence may be challenged.</description.abstract>
<language>eng</language>
<publisher>The University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)</publisher>
<relation.ispartof>HKU Theses Online (HKUTO)</relation.ispartof>
<rights>The author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.</rights>
<rights>Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License</rights>
<source.uri>http://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47752749</source.uri>
<subject.lcsh>Cyberspace - Social aspects.</subject.lcsh>
<subject.lcsh>Telematics - Social aspects.</subject.lcsh>
<subject.lcsh>Power (Social sciences)</subject.lcsh>
<subject.lcsh>Internet - Social aspects.</subject.lcsh>
<title>Cyber micropower: a new perspective of computer-mediated communication research</title>
<type>PG_Thesis</type>
<identifier.hkul>b4775274</identifier.hkul>
<description.thesisname>Doctor of Philosophy</description.thesisname>
<description.thesislevel>doctoral</description.thesislevel>
<description.thesisdiscipline>Linguistics</description.thesisdiscipline>
<description.nature>published_or_final_version</description.nature>
<date.hkucongregation>2012</date.hkucongregation>
<bitstream.url>http://hub.hku.hk/bitstream/10722/174455/1/FullText.pdf</bitstream.url>
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