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CFP: Cultural Attitudes Towards Technology and Communication

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International Conference on
12-15 July 2002
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Conference theme:
The Net(s) of Power: Language, Culture and Technology

The powers of the Nets can be construed in many ways - political, economic, and social. Power can also be construed in terms of Foucault's "positive power" and Bourdieu's notion of "cultural capital" - decentered forms of power that encourage "voluntary" submission, such as English as a _lingua franca_ on the Net. Similarly, Hofstede's category of "power distance" points to the role of status in encouraging technology diffusion, as low-status persons seek to emulate high-status persons. Through these diverse forms of power, the language(s) and media of the Net may reshape the cultural assumptions of its globally-distributed users - thus raising the dangers of "computer-mediated colonisation" ("Disneyfication" - a la Cees Hamelink).

This biennial conference series aims to provide an international forum for the presentation and discussion of cutting-edge research on how diverse cultural attitudes shape the implementation and use of information and communication technologies (ICT). "Cultural attitudes" here includes cultural values and communicative preferences that may be embedded in both the content and form of ICT - thus threatening to make ICT less the agent of a promised democratic global village and more an agent of cultural homogenisation and imperialism. The conference series brings together scholars from around the globe who provide diverse perspectives, both in terms of the specific culture(s) they highlight in their presentations and discussions, and in terms of the discipline(s) through which they approach the conference theme. The first conference in the series was held in London in 1998 ( For an overview of the themes and presentations of CATaC'98, see The second conference in the series was held in Perth in 2000 (

Original full papers (especially those which connect theoretical frameworks with specific examples of cultural values, practices, etc.) and short papers (e.g. describing current research projects and preliminary results) are invited. Papers should articulate the connections between specific cultural values as well as current and/or possible future communicative practices involving information and communication technologies. We seek papers which, taken together, will help readers, researchers, and practitioners of computer-mediated communication - especially in the service of "electronic democracy" - better understand the role of diverse cultural attitudes as hindering and/or furthering the implementation of global computer communications systems.

Topics of particular interested include but are not limited to:


All submissions will be peer reviewed by an international panel of scholars and researchers. There will be the opportunity for selected papers to appear in special issues of journals and a book. Papers in previous conferences have appeared in, for example, the Electronic Journal of Communication/La Revue Electronique de Communication, AI and Society Journal, Javnost- The Public, and New Media and Society. A book, Culture, Technology, Communication: towards an Intercultural Global Village, edited by Charles Ess with Fay Sudweeks, SUNY Press, New York, is due for release in July 2001.

Initial submissions are to be emailed to as an attachment (Word, HTML, PDF). Submission of a paper implies that it has not been submitted or published elsewhere. At least one author of each accepted paper is expected to present the paper at the conference.

Important Dates

Full papers: 15 March 2002
Short papers: 29 March 2002
Notification of acceptance: 5 April 2002
Final formatted papers: 26 April 2002


The venue is Montreal, Quebec.


Charles Ess, Drury University, USA,
Fay Sudweeks, Murdoch University, Australia,


Lorna Heaton, University of Montreal, Canada,

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Last updated: June 1, 2001 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0