William H Dutton on power shifts in the Fifth Estate

Professor William H Dutton, Director of the Quello Centre at Michigan State University, was the keynote speaker at the Networked Society Symposium 2016. The event showcased research conducted by the Melbourne Networked Society Institute at the University of Melbourne. This podcast episode is his keynote speech, titled 'Power shifts in a networked society: The rise of a Fifth Estate'.

Innovations in communication and information technology have generated controversies over their political implications. From the printing press to the Internet, debate has revolved around utopian versus dystopian – democratic versus autocratic biases, technologically deterministic versus socially shaped power shifts, and normative forecasts versus patterns that are inductively anchored in empirical research.

This talk tracks the most prominent expectations tied to communication and technology, particularly with respect to the rise of the Internet in network societies. Professor Dutton focuses on the use of the Internet and related technologies in shaping an emerging Fifth Estate, composed of networked individuals able to use the Internet strategically to hold institutions, and other estates and of the Internet realm, more accountable.

Useful Links

Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk can be found here.

Quello Center at Michigan State University

Oxford Internet Institute

Bill Dutton blog

More Information

Kate Murray

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