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The Production And Consumption Of Cyberspace

Posted on:2006-10-07Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:M F WangFull Text:PDF
GTID:1116360152493097Subject:Human Geography
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
With rapid advances in information and telecommunication technologies (ICTs), human beings have increasingly been brought into an information-networked global society. Since the 1990's, the rapid growth of the Internet has not only had strong impacts on our social system and economical structure, but also restructured the organizations of global physical and virtual spaces. Undoubtedly, the information revolution gradually made global economic activities footloose. Therefore, some researchers claim in surprise "the end of geography" or "the death of distance". Though the claim is in a sense related to technological determinism, it still stimulates spatial economists and economic geographers to begin to cast more light on information activities. In recent years, the academic research on the geography of Internet has been becoming a popular topic in the Western countries. However, almost all literature focuses on the developed countries, and China still has few research of this sort. To fill the gap, this dissertation seeks to understand the impacts of the Internet on the urban and regional development in China from a spatial perspective, and gives some suggestions to the development of urban cyberspace.As an introduction, Chapter 1 constitutes focusing on reviewing literature on the subject of Internet geography, which is a new sub-discipline of geography that focuses on the study of spaces of the digital world, or cybergeography. The chapter also outlines the objectives and the approach of the study as a whole. In chapter 2, we define the concept of cyberspace, and provide a useful classification of theoretical approaches identified by geographers to the topic. While theorizing the role of cyberspace and the nature of its spatiality, it is recognized that space is itself constructed through social and political economic forces: cyberspace is produced and consumed.The three following chapters demonstrate a hypothesis that Internet as an information technology network has had a powerful influence on the evolving spatial organization of cities and regions around the world. These theoretical contributions are explored in turn according to three thematic strands: information, technology, and network. Therefore, chapter 3 focuses on the spatial dimensions of information and geographic characters of cities and regions in the information era. Chapter 4 shifts to the theorizing of relationships between information technology and urban development and form. Chapter 5 aims to find out the spatial logic of networks and interpret the impacts of the new paradigm on the changing of global urban system.Chapters 6-9 of the study focus on the empirical contribution, which are at the heart of this study. The three chapters explore and analyze the uneven geography of Internet in China, with a spatial perspective on the areas of infrastructure, content industry, and internet users. Chapter 6 analyses the spatial structure of the Internet backbone and applies network analysis methods to evaluate Internet connectivity and node accessibility. Results indicate that the investments in infrastructure are already rewriting the map of competitive advantage of cities. An urban network of theinformation network cities is emerging in which the geographical factor plays an important role.Chapter 7 provides an empirical research on the spatial uneven development of production of Internet content and its impact on urban and regional development in China. Firstly, based on domain name measurement, the chapter analyses the geographical concentration, or the "urban bias" of Internet activities in the developing country. Secondly, using a combination of data from three key portal websites and a famous magazine, a typology of Internet cities is constructed. This two analyses show that the bulk of Internet commercial activities are concentrated in the eastern coastal cities, but very few in the middle and the west in China. The spatial dynamics of Internet development in a city is complex and depends on a mixture of urban characteristics and various correlati...
Keywords/Search Tags:cyberspace, Internet, network city, digital divide, spatial organization
PDF Full Text Request
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