A Spider's-Eye View of National Sociologies: Web 2.0 Technologies to Go Beyond Borders (ISA Forum of Sociology, 2016 Vienna) (under review)
Author: TANAKA Sigeto (Tohoku University)
Sociology is divided into a number of “national” sociologies, which are usually bounded by national boundaries and which have developed their own theories, concepts, and political/cultural focus according to a specific historical context. Sociology is also divided by linguistic boundaries, which prevent us from knowing the discourses of an unfamiliar language. These problems hinder “international” communication among sociologists. However, such borders are a source of the power of sociology; they maintain the diversity in sociological research that allows it to address various local problems. We should seek a way to communicate beyond borders, without sacrificing diversity.
This paper proposes utilization of so-called “Web 2.0” technologies to go beyond those borders and establish a common basis for communication and mutual respect between national sociologies. Web 2.0 technologies offer functions for broadcasting information in particular formats, such as RSS/Atom feeds. Consequently, we can obtain updated information and aggregate it efficiently. We can thus prepare systems to monitor information for each national sociology, to make it easier for us to share cross-border knowledge.
I am building online news-feed systems using Web 2.0 technologies to monitor trends in sociological studies (http://tsigeto.info/ns/). A prototype for the Japanese version of the system has operated successfully. To get useful daily updates, I carefully selected target URLs from sociological associations and institutions, government sites, publishers, book stores, libraries, repositories, data archives, news sites, social bookmarks, personal blogs, and some useful Twitter accounts. I am also making similar systems for other societies.
This paper demonstrates the experiential know-how involved in developing the system. It also discusses difficulties in expanding the system to cover other societies: differences in interfaces of libraries/repositories, problems in using online translation services, and linguistic/cultural diversity within society.
Keywords: Internet, communication, information technology, language
Session Selection: Academic Discourse
This proposal was rejected [added 2016-02-09]
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