Publication Date

Spring 2012

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Janaki Natarajan

Abstract

The research presented in this project draws heavily on themes of social justice and human rights. The purpose of this inquiry is twofold. For one, it functions as an SIT Graduate Institute “Capstone,” which meets the graduation requirements for a Master’s degree from the school. Secondly, the function of this project is to provide a space to investigate how the theory and practice of contemporary social change utilizes today’s most powerful non-militaristic technology. The focus of my research is particularly concerned with my own participant observation in the Occupy Wall Street movement, which emerged in the United States in late 2011. The body of this document is divided into three sections, corresponding with the research methodology of a qualitative inquiry. Data is first presented in the form of an experiential testimony. This data is then interpreted as themes are extrapolated and framed in terms of how human rights are related to modern technology. Finally, my findings are then analyzed and discussed in terms of two established theoretical frameworks. These frameworks—which are identified as the Dialectical Method and Technological Determinism—represent two vastly different perspectives of how technology evolves. Yet, the data and analysis presented in this project show how these two frameworks arrive at similar conclusions when considered in conjunction with human rights and social change.

Disciplines

Communication Technology and New Media | Inequality and Stratification | Mass Communication | Social Influence and Political Communication