Conviviality of internet social networks: An exploratory study of internet campaigns in Iran

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In this study, we focus on the relationship between Internet social networks and societal change by examining case studies of the impact of Internet-based campaigns in Iran. Ivan Illich's theory of Conviviality of Tools enables an analysis of the conviviality of the Internet. Subsequently, this conceptual lens is used to examine empirical data from two Internet-based campaigns. The paper contributes theoretical and practical implications regarding conviviality of Internet social networks and the accomplishment of conviviality in society. Our findings show that Internet conviviality cannot be treated as an independent variable with deterministic outcomes on society, but as a technology that is shaped by ongoing economic and political forces. The Iranian Internet social networks are not universally accessible, frequently induce fragmented, nonsensical, and enraged discussion and its potential as a tool of liberation is tempered by the Iranian government adaption of systems of surveillance and censorship. We argue that the findings of this study have some general implications of value to researchers studying computerisation movements and Internet social networks in other countries. © 2010 JIT Palgrave Macmillan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-257
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Information Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • computerisation movements
  • conviviality
  • internet social networks
  • iran
  • Ivan Illich


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