Social networks and Internet: Shaping new ways of cultural influence

// Posted by on 04/05/2013 (2:06 AM)


It has been said that perspective has a direct influence in the interpretation of the social processes, but within globalization and the new ways to communicate between actors it has been possible to form a complete panorama before analyzing a certain event, sharing information and contrasting viewpoints, the citizenship empowers in order to break any existing barrier and even creating new ways to keep the world moving. In this post, one of the most relevant topics will be discussed, the influence of the internet and non controlled communication media in the power relation between government and population and also the cultural diffusion between nations, where geopolitical divisions are no longer a limitation and oceans don’t seem to stop the flow of information between countries. After reading about the Occupy Wall street movement and the chain reaction it began by including every American suffering the substitution of democratic principles by corporatism I couldn’t avoid relating it with the “Arab spring” we lived back in the presidential campaign months, which has been discussed by other classmates and basically meant the awakening of social actors who never had the chance to express their opinions and that, motivated by the possibility of living in a country where the information could be accessed and criticized, took the streets changing the political game mainly dominated by only one party. I will not insist on explaining the “Yosoy132″ movement, but its effects, which include the new ways of organization and communication that represent a barrier against the power abuses and the change of governance relation, no longer on a vertical hierarchy but on an horizontal cooperation. The open spaces that have surged after everyone noticed there was a need of change, include political debates in social networks, groups of NGO’s analyzing every aspect of a certain public administrator (I participate in one of them), and also a more liberal education with the inclusion of left wing ideology courses and the acknowledgement of the civil rights we possess and the obligations we must accept. The challenge we have been experiencing lately in México is that, no matter how hard society tries to create communication channels with the government, if they don’t accept to share the information about their actions it will be almost impossible to have a prosper political culture. I approach the cultural exchange between México and US as a person who has lived more than 13 years in a border city, where an international bridge separates prosperity from danger, fancy malls and huge convenience stores from drug traffickers and low scholar levels. I have seen the two sides of a coin, where some Mexicans try to emulate the American practices and sincerely admire the social stability and respect for values, listen to your music, sometimes without even understanding their lyrics, and will also be proud to have something bought in the US; I have also heard the other version, the one that refuses to accept that within globalization there will be a tendency to follow the working economy models and by saying that, they accuse the American capitalism for generating an income gap which now exists in our country and will eventually blame the ones in the bottom for feeding the crime machinery and slowing down the progress of the country. It’s all about where we stand, from which perspective you analyze the friendly neighbor, what will make you form an opinion and shape your citizen behavior.

My name is Iván A. Torres (A00515895) and I am so glad of being involved in this activity. I am looking forward for reading your posts and also providing you feedback from my viewpoint. 



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Celia said...

As someone that lives in a border city, do you consider yourself more susceptible to influence from the US? Do you think in the past 13 years you have sought to achieve such “American-isms” as the American Dream or reach the same freedoms felt in the US? I can understand both sentiments towards the US, but what role do you think geographic location plays in that opinion versus heritage or digital culture?

// 04/08/2013 at 11:53 pm

Tec de Monterrey said...

Hello Celia, thanks for leaving me a comment.
I must add to my previous post that the other 7 years of my life I lived in Guanajuato state, it’s located less than two hours away from the Nation capital and they tend to be more conservatives ideologically. After letting you know that experience I’ve had, I must say that geographic location has a greater incidence in the cultural exchange with the United States, therefore the closer you’re to the border doesn’t imply that you will prefer living the American dream, because as a border citizen you’re already aware of the States lifestyle and in general, border citizens are able to travel to the United States more usually, rather than the southern Mexicans that have in mind that the best job opportunities are “in the other side of the river” and will eventually make great efforts to travel all way up to find better life conditions in your country. When studying nationalism in Mexico, the results might differ from the common belief: the cities that are the closest to the border have a better political culture and respect the patriotic symbols and legacy, rather than the southern cities where there is a lack of civil education and only a few participate in the decision taking processes concerning their cities. I have concluded that border citizens don’t take American culture as ours, but we make use of the commodities that being so close to the United States implies; we might buy technology, clothes, household supplies and even food; but we don’t compare the two nations willing to be in the world’s superpower rather than in our developing country. Therefore the geographic location has a more incidence in our lives because we can easily communicate and interact with American people, every day we visit the malls or go to the schools, we find people born in the USA and that has a lot of history and culture to share. By using the internet and other communication ways you might get to know the facts and some opinion on certain issue, but it will never be compared with the real interaction that the border cities have.
I hope this text describes the differences that I’ve found in the cities I have lived in and studied. I am really liking this exercise and even though it is close to its due date I would like to keep in touch with you guys.
Iván Alejandro Torres García (A00515895)

// 04/09/2013 at 10:15 pm

Andrew said...


As someone who lives in an American border city (Houston), I thought your point that “border citizens don’t take American culture as ours” really resonated with me. I feel like that works both ways when it comes to cities on either side of the border: because Mexicans are so close to home, they never really embrace American culture. Their homes in Mexico are just a few miles away, so why adjust? I feel that this may reflect contemporary Mexican culture as a whole. While they may come to the United States in search of jobs, homes, etc, they still hold on to their heritage. It’s hard to completely adjust to American society as an individual (even though our culture has shaped much of Mexican culture as a whole).

// 04/11/2013 at 12:11 am

Vicky said...

Hola Iván, I found your post to be very interesting and informative. When you talk about the Mexican government not wanting to embrace digital technology and open channels do you think this is because they are afraid it is a threat to their authority? We talk a lot in class about the Internet posing a threat to and even undermining hierarchal powers. Has the Mexican government tried to limit your access to the internet more after seeing the #YoSoy132″ movement? Also you talk about a lot of Mexican citizens now embracing American culture due to the Internet. Do you think that digital technology and the Internet will diminish borders and create less allegiance to your country?

// 04/11/2013 at 11:12 am