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Electronic Communication

Political, Social and Educational uses

Sami Zlitni and Fabien Liénard

Whether they are citizens or political, client or company, learner or teacher, men now converse with a variety of stakeholders by using ICT. All these electronic tools promote uses and practices which give them considerable power of speech, strong freedom of expression and choice. So each of us participates actively, wherever we are and whenever we want, in the construction of «new intermediate spaces» making permeable classical border from public to private space.
All this justifies this collective work that proposes to examine electronic communication from various angles. Thus, twenty-three researchers were involved in the drafting of the nine chapters of this volume we introduce, in collaboration with Marina Haan. The transcription of an Yves Winkin conference contextualizes it. This conference took place in June 2014 and was held on the occasion of an international conference on Electronic Communication, Cultures and Identities. The chapters proposed here are not answers but insights from experience and research worldwide. The chapters are grouped into two main parts: ICT and political communication and Education, identity and electronic communication. Two parts which ultimately correspond to areas that use electronic communication with various initial communication objectives.
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Prolegomena. “Do we really need to fly from communicational utopia?”




Good morning everyone, and thank you for your kind hospitality. Fabien Liénard thanked me (profusely) for coming over, but that should be the other way round. I should thank you all for bearing with me the time of a whole keynote address while I am not a member of your community of experts on “electronic communication”. As you may know, I am on the “interpersonal” side of communication. I called it years ago the “anthropology of communication” in order to carve a niche for myself in the field. And I have always been uncomfortable with “mediated” communication, “liquid medias”, “cyberculture”, and the like. So when Fabien Liénard asked me to come over, I delivered a rather obfuscated title and an even more abstruse abstract, in order to let myself provisionally off the hook. But my idea was the following: one way or another, the anthropology of communication as I suggested it has to deal with electronic communication; it cannot just walk away from it. Either a dialogue, a partnership, a joint ground is established with you, as experts in the field, or the anthropology of communication is going to die out pretty soon, just like many other conceptual dinosaurs which didn’t keep up with evolution (I am willing to accept, by the way, that many such conceptual dinosaurs died out of the stinch of their farts, as the kids’ joke goes).

So my program is the following.

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