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Conservatism in Digital Trends: Findings from a differentialist analysis of influence graphs

Van Amstel, Frederick M.C. (upcoming). Conservatism in Digital Trends: Findings from a differentialist analysis of influence graphs. InfoDesign: Brazilian Journal of Information Design.

Abstract: Digital trends are signs of imminent social changes that appear linked to the use of digital technologies. It is believed that digital media, due to its decentralized structure, induces more radical differences than centralized analog media. The aim of this research is to assess the potential for social differentiation implied in the dissemination of trends by digital media. To achieve this end, the research analyzed a corpus of 1,700 digital trends mapped on graph visualizations. Interpreting the results through Henri Lefebvre’s materialist-dialectical differentialism, this research came to the conclusion that digital trends produce minimal differences, that is, they tend to maintain the status quo instead of questioning it, contradicting their association with phenomena such as revolution, disruption and innovation. In addition to investigating this specific issue, this research points towards possible collaborations between Information Design and Digital Humanities fields.

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Categories: Journal publications.

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