Monday, February 14, 2011

Voicing and Placement in Online Networks

"Voicing and Placement in Online Networks"

Rather than spend this time simply regurgitating the chapter, especially since this one was written by our fearless leader, I thought I would rather write about how the chapter has made me reflect upon my own work.

Network theory is an interesting perspective, especially when applied to the internet. I have read some Castells and networked activism theory in the past, but I haven't given much thought to the internet theoretically as a network. I suppose this is the most obvious way to understand the web, because it is literally a networked group of computers, severs, data centers, etc. However, I had always been more interested in looking at the more micro instances of this space. In the past few weeks, especially with talking about affective studies, I have begun to think more about the connected nature of mankind and emotions. With this, we can see how one could view and feel compelled to donate money to this family or another. However, under the surface is the interplay between affect (or what I am labeling affect to be- emotions) and power. I think that the danger of some affective studies is that perhaps we are moving to the someone logical conclusion of post-modernity - that everything is meaningless and therefore not worth studying. On the other hand, if we use the ideas of affect in order to question the appropriation of affect by the capitalistic system, then we can challenged some of the established norms set in place by neo-liberalism.

That being said, I am interested to apply some of these ideas in my examination of the Medical Foundation website. I would like to examine the MF website as a type of global network, since it is an organization that is established for a global clientele and audience.

What I am having trouble with is trying to connect some of these ideas of global networks to issues of race, class, and gender. I understand how this works in other forms of media and entertainment, but being able to deconstruct a nonprofit website is somewhat more challenging. In our other class, we just read Logics of Empowerment: Development, Gender, and Governance in Neoliberal India which has helped me to think through some more ideas about how to deconstruct the problematic nature of nonprofits, but I am still trying to work through some of my own issues in terms of being able to code some of the material. She does a great job of both pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of her nonprofit in order to create a very complicated matrix of power. This network of power is what I am interested in. I want to resist creating binaries, but rather a more sophisticated outlook of these struggles.

I think I need to read more articles and books like these in order to really be able to do justice to my topic.

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