Independent Disciplinary Review   no comments

Posted at 1:16 am in Politics,Sociology

This review will be focusing on how the Web is changing the way society is able to engage with the government, specifically with new forms of communications, such as E-Voting, E-Petitions (such as that on

Previously Society in general had a lack of contact with their government and local MP’s. However now with the Web, the general public can get in to direct contact with MP’s by the use of email, start political debate on Web based forums and have access to Government data / information much more easily. Furthermore as mentioned above, the ability now for E-Petitions could be seen to allow for a greater level of democracy. Furthermore from a MP’s prospectus, they can gain a greater national or even global reach very quickly, by use of such Web 2.0 tools as Twitter (or TweetMinster).

Not only are MP’s now using twitter to advertise their policies and everyday business involving government issues, but the general public are tweeting, blogging and using video media to actively engage and discuss such issues. Using trend trackers for tweets, governments have the ability to analyse key political topics which are being discussed. Reading different articles such as that of an article at corporate-eye suggests that such Web based tools are being used to a government party’s advantage.
Does this increase in communication methods available mean that the core structure of how governments operate is changing and do these changes change the fundamental principles of political and social structures? It is clear to say that the web is now one of the advertising/campaigning pathways for any government or political party, however what needs to be discussed is the changes that society will face in the near future.

There are several disciplines that can be examined, however two key disciplines, Politics and Sociology will be explored. The fundamental principles of both with be reviewed and then discussed in the context of the issue stated.

Exploring the sociological discipline, the topic of political sociology can be examined, which looks at the relations between state and society. Within this topic, there are certain areas which can be discussed in relation to Web Science: the socio-political formation of a state, how public movements and formal institutions outside the political power affect politics.

Exploring the Political discipline, political engagement is an area which may be changing due to the Web. Within this topic, such issues as Political campaigning can be discussed and then related to how the Web is changing the structure of such campaigns.
From gaining some understanding in the fundamentals of both disciplines, hopefully the key principles then can be applied to what is occurring on the Web (and in society) at present, hence forming a conclusion regarding whether the original political and sociological models are changing.


• Introduction to politics and society – Best, Shaun.
• Comparative Government and Politics, an Introduction – Hague, Rod.
• Internet politics: states, citizens, and new communication technologies – Chadwick, Andrew

• Thinking Sociologically – Zygmunt Bauman
• Introduction to Sociology – Theodor W. Adorno
• Approaching Sociology: a Critical Introduction – Coulson, Margaret A.
• Doing Sociology: A Practical Introduction, Harvey, Lee.

Written by rt506 on February 16th, 2010

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