Revisiting the Emancipatory Potential of Digital Media in Asia – Introduction to the Inaugural Issue of Asiascape: Digital Asia

in Asiascape: Digital Asia
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



This introduction to the inaugural issue of Asiascape: Digital Asia reviews the debates about the impact that digital media have on culture, society, economics, and politics. The ubiquity of digital technology in various parts of the world has prompted questions about whether the ability to connect on a near-global scale with potentially billions of users has an emancipatory or even democratizing effect. In other words: are personal computers, smartphones, tablet computers, mobile gaming devices, and the digital infrastructure of the Internet ‘liberation technologies’? This introduction examines arguments by both optimists and pessimists, and argues that in order to overcome simple dichotomies in the study of digital media, we need to study such media in the diverse social and historical contexts in which they are situated. The review further showcases the five research papers that comprise this special issue of Asiascape: Digital Asia, each of which provides an insightful study of the diverse ways in which ict have been deployed by citizens in different Asian contexts to profoundly shaped social, cultural, and political processes. What the discussion shows, is the need for academics to rethink how they can fruitfully explore the challenges and opportunities that digital media present in various contexts, and how they can contribute innovative theories, useful approaches, and much needed ‘reality checks’ to ongoing public discourse.

Revisiting the Emancipatory Potential of Digital Media in Asia – Introduction to the Inaugural Issue of Asiascape: Digital Asia

in Asiascape: Digital Asia



AzumaHiroki Dōbutsu-ka suru posutomodan – otaku kara mita Nihon shakai The Animalizing Postmodern: Japanese Society as seen by the Otaku 2001 Tokyo Kōdansha

AzumaHiroki Gēmu-teki riarizumu no tanjō – dōbutsu-ka suru posuto modan 2 The Birth of Gamic-Realism: The Animalizing Postmodern vol.2 2007 Tokyo Kōdansha

BenklerYochai The Wealth of Networks – How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom 2006 New Haven & London Yale University Press

BennettW. LanceSegerbergAlexandra ‘The Logic of Connected Action’ Information Communication & Society 2012 15 5 739 768

BimberBruceFlanaginAndrewStohlCynthia Collective Action in Organizations: Interaction and Engagement and Engagement in an Era of Technological Change 2012 Cambridge et al. Cambridge University Press

BoydDanaCrawfordKate ‘Critical Questions for Big Data’ Information Communication & Society 2012 15 5 662 679

CarrNicholas The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember 2010 New York W.W. Norton

CastellsManuel Communication Power 2009 Oxford et al. Oxford University Press

DiamondLarry ‘Liberation Technology’ Journal of Democracy 2010 21 3 69 83

EarlJenniferKimportKatrina Digitally Enabled Social Change: Online and Offline Activism in the Age of the Internet 2011 Cambridge, MA MIT Press

FarrellHenryDreznerDaniel W. ‘The Power and Politics of Blogs’ Public Choice 2008 134 15 30

FarrellHenry ‘The Consequences of the Internet for Politics’ Annual Review of Political Science 2012 35 52

GladwellMalcolm ‘Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted’ The New Yorker 2010 October 4 Retrieved 2 December 2013 from

Goto-JonesChris ‘Beyond Utopia: New Politics, the Politics of Knowledge, and the Science Fictional Field of Japan’ Asiascape Ops 5 2009 Retrieved 2 December 2013 from

GranovetterMark S. ‘The Strength of Weak Ties’ American Journal of Sociology 1973 78 6 1360 1380

HindmanMatthew The Myth of Digital Democracy 2010 Princeton, NJ Princeton University Press

ItoMizukoHorstHeatherBittantiMatteoBoydDanahHerr-StephensonBeckyLangePatricia G.PascoeC.J. Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project 2008 Chicago The MacArthur Foundation Retrieved 2 December 2013 from

JenkinsHenry Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide 2006 New York ) London New York University Press

JenkinsHenryFordSamGreenJoshua Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture 2013 Kindle ed. New York ) London New York University Press

KozinetsRobert V. Netnography: Doing Ethnographic Research Online 2010 London et al. Sage

ManovichLev Software Takes Command 2013 Kindle ed. New York & London Bloomsbury Academic

MorozovEvgeny The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom 2011 Kindle ed. New York et al. Penguin Press

MorozovEvgeny To Save Everything, Click Here: Technology, Solutionism, and the Urge to Fix Problems that Don’t Exist 2013 Kindle ed. New York et al. Penguin Press

RogersRichard Digital Methods 2013 Cambridge, MA & London MIT Press

RosenJay ‘The People Formerly Known as the Audience’ PressThink: Ghost of Democracy in the Media Machine 2006 June 27 Retrieved 2 December 2013 from

ShirkyClay Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations 2008 New York et al. Penguin Press

ShirkyClay Cognitive Surplus: How Technology Makes Consumers into Collaborators 2010 Kindle ed. New York et al. Penguin Press

ShirkyClay ‘Facebook and Twitter Are Changing the Middle East’ The Wall Street Journal Digital Network 2011 Retrieved 2 December 2013 from

TurkleSherry Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other 2011 Kindle ed. New York Basic Books

Van DijkJoséPoellThomas ‘Understanding Social Media Logic’ Media and Communication 2013 1 1 2 14

VinerKatharine ‘Internet Has Changed Foreign Policy For Ever, Says Gordon Brown’ The Guardian 2009 June 19 Retrieved 2 December 2013 from


Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 31 31 7
Full Text Views 107 107 76
PDF Downloads 5 5 1
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0