The Leisure Commons: A Spatial History of Web 2.0
- Payal Arora
- 9 X 6.1 X 0.7 inches
- 0.92 pounds
- Social Science > Sociology - General
There is much excitement about Web 2.0 as an unprecedented, novel, community-building space for experiencing, producing, and consuming leisure, particularly through social network sites. What is needed is a perspective that is invested in neither a utopian or dystopian posture but sees historical continuity to this cyberleisure geography. This book investigates the digital public sphere by drawing parallels to another leisure space that shares its rhetoric of being open, democratic, and free for all: the urban park. It makes the case that the history and politics of public parks as an urban commons provides fresh insight into contemporary debates on corporatization, democratization and privatization of the digital commons. This book takes the reader on a metaphorical journey through multiple forms of public parks such as Protest Parks, Walled Gardens, Corporate Parks, Fantasy Parks, and Global Parks, addressing issues such as virtual activism, online privacy/surveillance, digital labor, branding, and globalization of digital networks. Ranging from the 19th century British factory garden to Tokyo Disneyland, this book offers numerous spatial metaphors to bring to life aspects of new media spaces. Readers looking for an interdisciplinary, historical and spatial approach to staid Web 2.0 discourses will undoubtedly benefit from this text.
Payal Arora is a digital anthropologist and an author, speaker and professor. She holds the Chair in Technology, Values, and Global Media Cultures at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her expertise lies in user experience of & inclusive design for low-income communities worldwide and comes with more than two decades of fieldwork experience in such contexts.
She is the author of a number of award-winning books including the ‘Leisure Commons’ and more recently the “The Next Billion Users” with Harvard Press. Engadget (Top 5 in the ‘Technorati top 100’ and Times endorsed ‘best blogs on tech’) stated that her Harvard book is one of “the most interesting, thought provoking books on science and technology we can find.”
Forbes named her the “next billion champion” and “the right kind of person to reform tech.” Several international media outlets have covered her work including The BBC, Financial Times, The Economist, Quartz, Tech Crunch, The Boston Globe, F.A.Z, The Nation and CBC. She has consulted on tech innovation for diverse organizations such as UNESCO, KPMG, GE, and HP.
She has given more than 200 talks in 109 cities in 59 countries alongside figures like Jimmy Wales and Steve Wozniak and a TEDx talk on the future of the internet. She is the co-founder of FemLab.Co, a global future of work initiative. She sits on several boards such as Columbia University’s Earth Institute and World Women Global Council in New York.
She has held Fellow positions at GE, ZEMKI, ITSRio, and NYU and is a section editor for Global Perspectives, a University of California Press journal. She has a MA in International Policy from Harvard University and a PhD in Language, Literacy and Technology from Columbia University. She is Indian and American and currently lives in Amsterdam.
2005-2009 Columbia University in New York City PhD (International and Transcultural Studies:
Kellogg funded Doctorate)
2003-2004 Harvard University, Cambridge MA (International Policy: Deans List)
1996-1999 Mount Carmel College Bangalore BA (English Literature)
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