Masthead CMC Magazine / February 1, 1996

Information Technology Systems as Publics

by John Monberg

The rhetoric of the information society technologies holds that global production networks, media outlets, and government databanks are central to the creation of a new era. These --technologies vanquish barriers of space and time, obliterate cultural boundaries, and generate new forms of social life.

My claim is that this view is not accurate; in fact, I claim that communication technology actually diminishes communication. I support this claim by examining the publics that are constituted/mediated by information technology. Framing questions in terms of these key tensions defining "public", I expand the territory open to communicative/rhetorical analysis, raising implications that would otherwise be silenced.

John Monberg ( is a PhD student in the Science and Technology Studies department of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

Copyright © 1996 by John Monberg. All Rights Reserved.

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