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

Locating the Nexus Of Heritage, Citizenship, And Technology

, pages: 75-86

In an era when citizenship no longer guarantees access to all of what were considered basic services, the emphasis on heritage to enhance social cohesion seems to have grown. Apart from reinforcing traditional heritage activities, the custodians of national culture are attempting to foster belonging through the digital dissemination of cultural artefacts. Ironically, the same market-driven neo-liberalism which favoured the dismantling of the welfare state seems to underlie the production of electronic culture. Moving the heritage-technology link from the context of commerce to that of citizenship allows for the consideration of broader societal interests. Such a process can lead to a renewed social contract between citizen and state that would reassert social rights as well as institute a cultural right to access essential communicative resources for citizenship. These rights would be reciprocated by responsibilities of citizens for the ethical and conscientious use of common resources for the public good.

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