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WSIS: Whose Vision of an Information Society?

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The United Nations (UN) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in their development of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), are contributing to the on–going discourse of the "Information Society." This study analyzes how WSIS contributes to the on–going Information Society discourse, especially how it frames a vision of an Information Society and the global "digital divide." The methodology of this study is a broad, comprehensive, and critical content analysis of the two main documents of WSIS, its Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action. The content analysis utilizes discourse analysis and ideology critique, and quantitative and qualitative methods. The results of the analysis show that WSIS paints a wholly utopian, technologically deterministic picture of an "Information Society" that oversimplifies and generalizes a complex issue and phenomenon, about which no clear consensus exists.

Citation of this paper:

WSIS: Whose vision of an information society? by Ajit K. Pyati First Monday, Volume 10, Number 5 - 2 May 2005

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