Changing Currents in Education and Public Life
Edited by Lynn Book and David Phillips
Chapter 12: Creative citizenry in the age of information and communication technologies
From its founding, the US has celebrated freedoms of press, expression, association and speech, underpinned by information and communication, as essential to both a robust, active citizenry and a vital democracy. As Cass Sunstein insists, echoing James Madison, ‘the essential factor’ for maintaining a republic is ‘a well-functioning system of free expression’ (2007, p. 222). Today, in large part because of new and emerging information and communication technologies (ICTs), individuals and communities have more and more varied opportunities for expression. Myriad uses from blogging and commenting on news articles, social networking sites and grassroots campaigns to mixing and re-imagining information in new ways have done more than made expression easier and faster. They have ushered in a new age of citizenship. Creative, participatory uses of ICTs have the potential to change the quality and kind of citizen interactions and challenge the notion that citizens’ identities are discrete yet homogeneous.
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