Plural Monocultures

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Plural Monocultures = the self-aggregation of groups through the internet interpreted as inhibiting a wider dialogue, because it excludes difference (coined by Amartya Sen).


From an email discussion at (May 2006):

"Online, super-special interest groups form. Here, nobody is off-topic and everybody is an expert at whatever bonding glue holds the group together. Racial tensions, and economical disparities are not an issue and conflict can be kept at a minimum. In cozy isolation issues can be discussed in a focused, yet exclusive way. These archipelagos of the Internet form what Harvard Professor for Economy Amartya Sen, in another context, calls "plural monocultures." The Internet hosts such strange multiculturalism. Often, no two opinions have to confront each other. In their own inner chamber people can forget about racial, ethnic or economical differences and just talk about the very narrow interest set that connects them. Such focus is appealing at times when every minute counts and already unbelievably many hours are spent web drifting. Thereis too little time to deal with all the information that is thrown at those inhabiting the web. These super-special interest groups are monocultures just like Denmark (Holmes added). Conversations take place next to each other, cross-overs are expelled as being "off-topic" (Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam describes this in detail in his book Bowling Alone) and in this expert culture other voices are assumed to be non-experts. In monocultures, each living in parallel to the other, people do not listen to each other. They just hear their own voices. Neatly labeled special interest groups, just like shelves in a Barnes & Nobles store, are ideal marketing devices into which one only needs to insert the advertisement needle. Corporations think hard about the most viral formatting of information for distribution and the most catching methods of recommendation."