Official/ Unofficial: Information Management and Social Association

Kay Hearn


This paper explores the debates around civil society and corporatism as ways of understanding changes in social association, including non-governmental organisations and protest groups, and information management in relation to the development of the Internet. Both concepts have been used to examine the changes that have taken place since the implementation of the Open Door Policy and more recently the development of the Internet, and have shed light on the way in which new forms of social association operate, and on their relationship to the government. However, both concepts tend to be deterministic and reductionist positions. Instead, I use a centre-margin analysis based on medium theory to explore the relationship between the state and society as a way of shedding light on the interaction between the government and NGOs and on how the state manages the flow of information in order to shape public discourse.

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