Are We Citizen Scientists, Citizen Sensors or Something Else Entirely?

Popular Sensing and Citizenship for the Internet of Things

Authored by: Catherine D’Ignazio , Ethan Zuckerman

International Handbook of Media Literacy Education

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  April  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138645493
eBook ISBN: 9781315628110
Adobe ISBN: 9781317240068

10.4324/9781315628110.ch14

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Abstract

In his book The Good Citizen (1998), Michael Schudson suggests that citizens who may appear to be disengaged from civic life may in fact be monitoring media and information streams, waiting for issues that they care about to surface. The “monitorial citizen” stands in contrast to the inherited ideal of the “informed citizen.” Rather than informing oneself about all of the relevant civic issues of the day, the monitorial citizen is operating in a world of information abundance in which knowing the details about everything from climate change to trade agreements to city councilors is impractical. She “keeps an eye on the scene” (Schudson, 1998) and is poised for action should her needs or interests be directly at stake. Schudson and scholars that followed him (Graber, 2003; Zaller, 2003; Mihailidis, 2008; Keane, 2009) primarily discuss monitorial citizenship in relation to news and participatory media, and Zuckerman (2014) relates acts of monitoring to social and mobile media.

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