Accepted Paper:

Forced compliance: how the city shapes the network that shapes the city  


Sally Applin (University of Kent, Canterbury)
Michael Fischer (University of Kent)

Paper short abstract:

Many claim that the Internet is changing cities and cultural behavior. There is less understanding of how those cities shaped the Internet in the first place. This paper addresses the cultural and social practices that contribute to constant online engagement within daily city life.

Paper long abstract:

Previously, most people in the United States could exist and function in contemporary society without needing to own or operate a computer or go online. Many civic governments have had continual budget cuts and many businesses have tried to maximize profits. These fiscal constraints combined with the pervasiveness of computers in business have led to the notion that many computer processes for transactions can be offloaded to the citizen. In doing so, the citizen is now forced to spend more time online to complete these transactions as part of their daily life. The result of this Forced Compliance is combined with other factors as people now must spend more and more time online for government processes, order and return communications, and other prosumption type labor which impacts their participation in the local locale. We examine the outcome of this behavior and relate it to PolySocial Reality (PoSR), a structural model of multiplexed, multiple synchronous and asynchronous continual communication between humans/humans, humans/machines, and machines/machines.

Panel P121
Global cities: digital urbanisation in the 21st century (Commission on Urban Anthropology)