Permanent Connectivity: From Modes of Restrictions to Strategies of Resistance

  • Thomas SteinmaurerEmail author
  • Helena Atteneder
Part of the Ethik in mediatisierten Welten book series (EMW)


The current level of permanent connectivity can be conceptualized as a new dispositif of communication defined by a new status of individual integration into the technological infrastructures of digital networks. On the one hand, new potentials and options for everyday life are offered at the level of digital connectivities. At the same time, numerous risks and disruptions are arising out of the techno-economic impact forces of the Internet. This leads to various imbalances, like new power structures of surveillance or erosions of privacy, impelling us to develop different ways of integrating digital technologies into everyday life. Against this background we suggest adopting Hall’s model of encoding/decoding of communication within the context of digital network structures, in order to differentiate between various modes of network ‘behavior’—reaching from unreflected and full adoption of power structures to modes of rejection of and resistance to network structures in different ways. In most of the cases, we observed that it is challenging for users to develop new ‘technologies of the self’ to strengthen their skills and literacies to meet the dominant impact forces in network structures. In addition, the ethical implications of current developments are considerable and require concepts of digital ethics and resilience to be further developed in digital network environments.


Permanent connectivity Dispositif Digital network behavior Encoding/decoding Technologies of the self Surveillance Privacy Techno-economic power structures 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication Science, Center for ICT&SUniversität SalzburgSalzburgAustria

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