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The telepresence era: global village or “media slums”?

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2 Author(s)
Baal-Schem, J. ; New Sch. of Media Studies, Coll. of Manage., Tel-Aviv, Israel ; Shinar, D.

The ongoing debate between technological determinists and cultural sociologists with regard to the impact of new technologies exposes much of the uncertainty involved in forecasting even the near future, of the dangers involved in simplistic interpretations of the technology-society-culture relationship, and of the difficulties involved in the attempt to reconcile these contrasting approaches. The issue of telepresence is an excellent illustration of this complexity. Telepresence is the generic term for a set of activities performed from a distance through the use of telecommunications. It refers to working (telecommuting), playing, providing and using services (telemedicine, teleshopping), and teaching and learning (tele-education)-all from a distance. A dialogue between a “true believer” in technology, and a sociology-oriented “devil's advocate” is used as a format for exploring and clarifying some of these matters

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Technology and Society Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 1 )