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Internet, Public Space and Contention in Cuba: Bridging Asymmetries of Access to Public Space through Transnational Dynamics of Contention

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Article of journalGeoffray, Marie Laure. (IHEAL-Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle, Francia). Internet, Public Space and Contention in Cuba: Bridging Asymmetries of Access to Public Space through Transnational Dynamics of Contention.  / Internet, espacio público y contención en Cuba: Reducir las asimetrías de acceso al espacio público a través de dinámicas transnacionales de contención desiguALdades.net Working Paper Series, 2013 no. 42 Keywords:
Cuba
Information, Communication, Media | Sociology, Social issues
Internet / espacio público / contención

Abstract:

This paper explores the Cuban case to understand how contentious voices have managed to bridge asymmetries of access to public space thanks to their critical use of new information and communication technologies (NICTs) Internet. I argue that we need to look at how contentious uses of NICTs have reinforced existing processes on the island, while creating new channels of expression and linkage. The paper shows that the transnational dynamics of linkage put into place by a lively web of émigrés, Cuban activists and intellectuals as well as foreign journalists and scholars have allowed for the convergence of contentious micro arenas which already existed but were formerly segmented. This process of convergence has in turn allowed for the emergence of a more intricate public space and for the creation of a somewhat autonomous contentious space. Although this evolution of the Cuban regime is positive as far as freedom of speech, it is clear that new inequalities in access to voice emerge: the protagonists of those new social spaces are limited to specific social categories, namely the urban, young and highly educated.

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