The articles in this special issue are concerned with the effects of the internet and more specifically of the tools, practices, and skills collectively known as “Web 2.0” on Asian societies and cultures and are based on presentations given by the authors at the conference “The Role of New Technologies in Global Societies” held July 30–31, 2008 at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. They collectively and individually argue that instead of employing a crude technological determinism, it might be more useful to study the myriad ways in which both the internet and local cultures influence each other and contribute to the creation of new forms of techno-cultures and technosocieties.||The ‘Western’ origins of the internet and of Web 2.0 and their embeddedness in ‘Western’ cultural practices have led many in the mass media to the assumption that the adoption of the internet and of the ‘democratic’ practices of Web 2.0 would hasten the transformation of Asian societies along European and North-American lines (see e.g. Griffin 2005; Hadlock 2005; Kristof 2005; Young 2007). As the articles here presented show, though, the internet is not merely changing Asian societies, but is interacting with local cultures and societal structures across Asia to create new practices and communities of people sharing facets of their on- and off-line lives.||Before introducing the papers in this issue, though, this brief introduction wants to re-create some of the frame of reference provided by some of the past work done on how Web 2.0 has influenced Asian societies, as well as on how Asian societies have appropriated the internet into their own socio-cultural and political settings. Given that my own research is focused on the Chinese internet, my examples will mainly come from Chinese cyberspace, but attempts have been made to provide examples that apply beyond China to the rest of Asia as well.
- Web 2.0
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- History and Philosophy of Science
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)