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Leonardo Reviews: The Participatory Condition in the Digital Age

By Dr. Gabriela Galati
Leonardo Reviews

The Participatory Condition in the Digital Age (Barney et al)The Participatory Condition in the Digital Age is a compilation of articles that tackles the issue of what does participation mean in an age of pervasive digital media. The editors state in their introduction that 'the participatory condition names a situation in which participation–being involved in doing something and taking part in something with others–has become both environmental (a state of affairs) and normative (a binding principle of right action)' (pp. vii). They advance that participation has always existed in social life, but what is new of the present condition is level up to which participation has and is being thematised in every order of society. Thus this sort of generalisation of participation seems to be bond to the extensive diffusion of digital media. In fact, digital media can foster the sensation that one now interacts and participates in a greater measure than before of social, economical, and political life––though participating implies some sort of power in decision–making, and thus what actually seems to happen is closer to "sharing" than to actually participating, at least for a great part of the actors/users.

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