Persuasive territories in European cultural politics: Critical and controlled knowledgescapes

Mikkel Thelle, Nanna Bonde Thylstrup

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose – This paper aims to view the concept of persuasive technology as a framework for discussing cultural politics on the internet. Taking digital collections as a point of departure, the cases of Europeana and Google Books are to be discussed as promoting different assemblies of information, practice and identity politics. Through this discussion the study aims to show how the internet becomes territorialized through persuasive mechanisms.

Design/methodology/approach – The study applies different concepts on the cases, derived from different fields of social theory, such as “soft power”, “assembly” and “folksonomy” in order to question the traditional view of persuasive technology as a concept instrumental to, for example, marketing agendas. Targeting the relation between policy and everyday practice, the paper aims to open a discussion of persuasive technology deeply embedded in digital cultural politics.

Findings – The study points through a conceptual investigation to a new scene for critically debating persuasive technology as digital cultural politics. The cases in question emphasize the relation between microscopic practices and global agendas on the internet, and the study concludes that the concepts employed can qualify such a future debate.

Research limitations/implications – The paper suggests a number of problems and questions, but since the cases have limited source material, the perspective is rather to suggest a change of terminology than analyzing Europeana or Google Books. What is found, though, is that a future critical debate of persuasive territories is more important than ever before.

Originality/value – This paper points to a new potential in the use of persuasion as a concept in the study of cultural power relations
Original languageEnglish
Article number10.1108/07378831111189705
JournalLibrary Hi Tech
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)573
Number of pages585
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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