[Air-l] Oxford Research Symposium CFP

Loader, Brian B.D.Loader at tees.ac.uk
Fri Nov 8 05:48:16 PST 2002

Dear colleagues I hope you will be interested in the following:


Information, Communication, Society
A Research Symposium

to be held at
Balliol College and the Oxford Internet Institute, 
1, St Giles, Oxford, 17th-20th September 2003

for the International Journal 
Information, Communication & Society (iCS)

Conference Chairs:

Brian Loader, Director 
The Community Informatics Research & Applications Unit (CIRA), 
University of Teesside 


Professor William Dutton, Director 
The Oxford Internet Institute
Sponsors include:

The Community Informatics Research & Applications Unit (CIRA)
The Oxford Internet Institute (OII)

Networks using information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as
the Internet, digital media, and mobile communication, have become part of
the essential infrastructure of many societies.  But do these new networks,
and their associated institutional and social processes enable a fundamental
transformation of our lives and interaction, or do they reinforce existing
societal patterns in a new technological guise?  What social and
institutional factors constrain or enable the transformational potential of
technical change?   Are patterns of stability and change similar across
different social and institutional settings, ranging from household to

This symposium seeks to take forward this debate by critically analysing key
issues emerging from new inter-relationships between information,
communication, and society.  It aims to:
	*	examine the robustness of claims about the transformative
effects and potential of the Internet and related wired and mobile ICTs; 
	*	identify and discuss the methodologies that could be used to
explore such claims; 
	*	assess the current state of empirical research and highlight
important gaps for future research; and
	*	provide an international forum for the exchange of ideas,
data, and analysis, including a space for exploring emerging frameworks and
perspectives applicable to social research about the Internet.

Symposium Tracks

This will be a multi-disciplinary research symposium.  Original papers are
sought from researchers in all subject areas of the iCS journal.  However,
papers are encouraged that address one or more of the five broad tracks
around which the symposium will be organised: governance; the household,
community, and workplace; learning and education; science and networks; and
issues of policy and regulation that cut across all these social settings.
Examples are given on the attached page of the sorts of questions which
papers might address, but this is a guide only, and should not limit the
range of issues considered for submission.  A final session will debate the
value of competing and complementary overall perspectives and theoretical
frameworks that could be helpful in Internet social research studies.

Submission of papers

Proposals for papers should be submitted as abstracts of no more than 500
words, and should include details of the proposer's name, position,
affiliation, and contact details.  Proposals should be submitted
electronically to b.d.loader at tees.ac.uk in RTF, Word or PDF format.   Papers
accepted for presentation at the research symposium will be eligible for
review for publication by iCS, should the author(s) wish to have an
expedited review.

Deadline for abstracts:			31st January 2003
Authors of accepted papers notified by:	1st March 2003

The Venue

A limited number of rooms have been reserved by Balliol College for
symposium participants at a very reasonable rate, which includes breakfast
at the College Hall.  Sessions will be held at Balliol College on Broad
Street, adjacent to the Oxford Internet Institute at 1, St Giles.  The venue
is ideal for supporting communication among the participants, but will limit
the number to about 50, including those giving papers.
Thematic Tracks for the Information, Communication, Society Symposium

	*	What evidence is there that the Internet and other ICTs have
created new forms of democratic participation or increased centralisation?
	*	Have the technologies been tied to any discernible changes
in the relationship between government and citizen at local, national, and
global levels? How can we assess this?
	*	What have the results been of e-Government initiatives in
terms of 'joined-up government', public accountability and the electronic
delivery of public services?
	*	Is the Internet encouraging new forms of civic or political

Learning and Education 
	*	How has increased ICT use in all levels of education
affected teaching methods and resources, and relationships between
educational institutions and their communities?
	*	What are the implications of online distributed and distance
learning ICT capabilities for the geography, culture, and practices of
schools and universities?
	*	To what extent do ICTs such as the Internet provide a
resource for self-education?
	*	Are ICTs reducing or exacerbating the under-achievement of
certain groups?

Household, Community, and the Workplace
	*	How do habits of usage for specific new ICTs differ across
different social groups and in different social settings? What knowledge and
skills are needed to participate actively in an 'e-society'?
	*	Are new social and geographical patterns of communication
and association emerging from the growing use of ICTs, for instance in
dispersed virtual communities? Do such changes strengthen or undermine
geographical community and family relationships?
	*	How are the Internet and other ICT networks reshaping the
location and nature of workplaces, who does the work, and when they do it?
	*	In what ways, if any, are ICTs transforming leisure

Science and Networks
	*	How are ICTs reshaping the ways scientists and other
researchers work, or the projects that they can undertake?
	*	What social, institutional, and technical features are
likely to increase or constrain the effectiveness of networks such as the
e-Science Grid?
	*	What main administrative and policy issues are raised by
Internet-based research, for instance ethical aspects of the rights of
participants in social science research? 
	*	How are developments in ICTs changing the funding context
for scientific and other research, and for the way results are disseminated?

Cross-Cutting Policy Issues 
	*	What resources are needed to address effectively equity,
community cohesion, and other areas of social policy? Who in the 'digital
divide' are excluded, why, what should be done about it, and what policies
and resources are needed to do it?
	*	How do existing methods of content regulation affect usage
of the Internet?
	*	What aspects of legislation need to be revised in the light
of new ICT capabilities, such as privacy, surveillance, data sharing, and
intellectual property rights (IPR)/digital rights management (DRM)? 
	*	How can trust and confidence in ICT networks be developed
and sustained?
	*	How does standards-setting influence outcomes of ICT use?

Brian D. Loader
Editor, iCS
University of Teesside,
Tees Valley, TS1 3BA
Tel: +44 (0) 1642 342710
Fax: +44 (0) 1642 342711
b.d.loader at tees.ac.uk

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