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Communication and Social Policy, Vol. 4 - 1997, No. 4

Citizenship And The Technopoles

, pages: 35-45

In a world in which people are increasingly identified as consumers and audiences, it is more important than every to invoke them as citizens. Citizenship elevates human activity to include legal, political, and social rights to participate fully in a democratic society. However, citizenship is also a discipline and a tool of discrimination that permits governments to exercise extensive control over who can participate and the extent of that participation. This article addresses the dual nature of citizenship as it applies to critical new spaces shaped by high technology. Specifically, it takes up citizenship in what Castells and Halls call the "technopoles" or regional concentrations of science, technology, and venture capital whose icon is Silicon Valley. The article uses citizenship to critique new manifestations of the technopole phenomenon and concludes by considering different forms of regionally based citizenship that provide alternatives ways to think about progressive social development.

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