This dissertation examines how culture helps shape the way people use and understand new information technologies. It is based on twenty months of online and offline ethnographic fieldwork conducted in 2004 and 2005 among French voluntary associations that promote free software. I argue that, energized by the worldwide accessibility of the internet and informed by developments in US-led global communications policy, free software advocates in France articulate their cause in terms of long-standing French debates about civic solidarity and stewarding of the common good, investing these with renewed significance in relation to processes of EU integration, post-Cold War "free market" globalization, and transformations of consumer advocacy. More broadly, through a focus on mobilization around global digital networks, my study contributes to understanding of (culturally diverse) ideas about cooperation, technical expertise, democratic engagement, and globalization.
|Advisor:||Rogers, Susan C.|
|Commitee:||Chapman, Herrick, Ginsburg, Faye, Merry, Sally E., Rapp, Rayna|
|School:||New York University|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 69/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Cultural anthropology, European history, Science history, Mass communications|
|Keywords:||Common good, Cooperative sharing, European Union, France, Free software, Networked digital media|
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