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Does ‘Joining in the #Conversation’ really matter? Reflections on social influence and media injustices in Sheffield Annie Cruz-Porter, AICP Department.

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Presentation on theme: "Does ‘Joining in the #Conversation’ really matter? Reflections on social influence and media injustices in Sheffield Annie Cruz-Porter, AICP Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 Does ‘Joining in the #Conversation’ really matter? Reflections on social influence and media injustices in Sheffield Annie Cruz-Porter, AICP Department of Town and Regional Planning University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK E:

2 Economic development in the media age – why is social media and networking at all? W. Phillips Davison suggested in 1983 that media’s most compelling effects take place because people believe that media are influential messages of ‘pass-along value’ become central to its existence: to whom they are passed and how they circulate of central importance (Dourish 2011) Digital inequalities extend to the realm of social networking and elements of media-prestige exist (Couldry 2012)

3 Who is digitally excluded in Sheffield? Approximately 350,000 (20%) of people in Sheffield City Region include: Those who have NEVER used a computer – 61% Lapsed users- 3% Narrow users – 35% Disabled – 25% No educational qualifications – 40% % Annual income of less than £12.5k ($20k) - 42%

4 Sheffield Deprivation Map 2010 (Rae)

5 Case Study: It's happening in Heeley! It's happening in Heeley Heeley Development Trust provides mobile, community-based computer classes throughout the City Social housing TARA leaders and residents participate in Heeley’s classes funded by Sheffield Homes as part of a push toward e-government services: – 42,000 dwellings impacted – 65 organised TARAs throughout City representing residents

6 TARA Leaders and austerity mode: want government to listen to them! Leadership crisis – lack of local community credibility and influence Loss of engagement with decision-making processes – disbandment of local assembly forums Welfare reform - Sheffield City Council lost £173 million in central government funding per annum which equates to £470 per working age adult

7 The #conversation about #bedroomtax

8 The #bedroomtax phenomena: a war on the Please Retweet this if you are Opposed to the #BedroomTax. yesterday was my first protest but it definetly won't be my last as you can see I did my bit #bedroomtax Protest outside #sheffield town hall against #bedroomtax. We have joined it from big unite the resistance conference! can you to Margaret - Sheffield Against the #BedroomTax Its timely for a big #BedroomTax protest in London on the 30th March. #Momentum

9 Digital capital and assets Tangibles Broadband network Broadband speed Big Data Software ICT equipment Emerging Intangibles Ability to build professional reputation online on LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs Authority and credibility Social influence Clout Ability to mediate public and/or collective identity Confidence to challenge forms of social hierarchy

10 Digital injustices? Role of planning? What do planners/city administrators know about tech driven economic development projects such as broadband in the UK? What media investments should cities make? Who benefits the most from various from digital schemes? Should cities ‘take whatever we can get’ in terms of investments? Planning, as a field, needs to be involved in the decision- making processes and contribute to active research in this area!


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