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Cultured technology: Internet & religious fundamentalism

TitleCultured technology: Internet & religious fundamentalism
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsBarzilai-Nahon, Karine. and Barzilai, G
JournalThe Information Society
Keywordscontrol and censorship, cultured technology, cyberspace, digital divide, discipline, hierarchy, localization, online interactions, patriarchy, religious fundamentalism, social capital, virtual communities

In this article we identify four principal dimensions of religious fundamentalism as they interact with the Internet: hierarchy, patriarchy, discipline, and seclusion. We also develop the concept of cultured technology, and analyze the ways communities reshape a technology and make it a part of their culture, while at the same time changing their customary ways of life and unwritten laws to adapt to it. Later, we give examples for our theoretical framework through an empirical examination of ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Israel. Our empirical study is based on a data set of 686,192 users and 60,346 virtual communities. The results show the complexity of interactions between religious fundamentalism and the Internet, and invite further discussions of cultured technology as a means to understand how the Internet has been culturally constructed, modified, and adapted to the needs of fundamentalist communities and how they in turn have been affected by it.