Decolonizing Digital Spaces
in Dubois, E. and Martin-Bariteau, F. (eds.), Citizenship in a Connected Canada: A Research and Policy Agenda, Ottawa, ON: University of Ottawa Press, 2020
21 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2020 Last revised: 6 Nov 2020
Date Written: June 5, 2020
Power without purpose. Aspiration without intention. Ubiquity without diversity. For too long, we have been enraptured by the promise of the digital age, failing to critically examine the roots, intentions and impact of an increasingly small number of for-profit firms. In a world in which digital spaces play such an integral role in all aspects of our lives, this accumulation of reach, power, and influence is something that poses critical questions and concerns relating to citizenship in a digital context, particularly within the context of Canada as a colonial state articulating a commitment to reconciliation. In this chapter, I will provide a brief overview of the history of digital spaces through a decolonized lens, a critical step towards grounding ourselves in the current realities and complexities around citizenship in a digital context. Focus will then shift with an eye to the future, identifying potential next steps for researchers and policymakers as to ways in which the private and public sectors can begin to mobilize around a more robust definition of citizenship in a digital context in Canada that will serve and support the emergence of decolonized digital spaces.
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