The Impacts of Global Inequality in Social Networks: Examined in Three Major Theories

Document Type: Original article

Author

Professor of Communications. Faculty of Communications and Culture, Imam Sadeq University

Abstract

The rapid growth of modern long-distance communication technologies
both in term of quality and quantity and the consequent emergence
of cyberspace in parallel with the real world, has led to new forms of
inequality which can be interpreted in three different ways. Using the
three-generation theory of social networks (Oral networks; Longdistance
networks; and, Digital networks), one can make domestic
comparisons, and find countries in which the majority of the population
are within the third category or the digital network. On the other side
of the extreme, are nations who are still under the limited conditions
of the first and second categories of oral and long-distance networking.
This paper presents a chart using a combination of different statistical
indicators to illustrate the inequality in question. The focus of this paper
has been on the two countries of Iran and the United States as its case
study. The conclusion at the end suggests that tackling and reducing the
inequality in question has to do with ‘national will and national facilities’
as well as ‘individual will and individual facilities’.

Keywords


Adler, R. B., & Rodman, G. (2009). Understanding Human
Communication. (Tenth Edition). New York: Oxford University
Press.
Ameli, S. R. (2011). A Dual Spacized Approach to Harms, Crimes,
Laws and Policies of the Cyberspace. Tehran: Amir Kabir
Publications.
Blew, R. D. (1996). On the definition of ecosystem. Bulletin of the
Ecological Society of America, 77(3), 171-173.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). (2015a). The World Fact book.
Available at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the world-factbook/geos/er.html.

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). (2015b). The World Fact book.
Available at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/theworld-
factbook/geos/us.html.
Fastmetrics. (2016). Internet speeds by country. Available at
https://www.fastmetrics.com/internet-connection-speedby-
country.php.
Fourth Plan Report (n. d). The Report on the Pahlavi Government’s
Fourth Development Plan. Tehran: Management and Planning
Organization Publication.
Hardeman, A. A. (2003). The Worldwide History of
Telecommunications. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Historical Statistics. (1976). U.S. Bureau of the Census. Historical
Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970.
Bicentennial edition. Washington: GPO.
Kheyrkhah, T. (1998). Mobile Phones and their Impact on Relations
among University Students. The Case of Students in Tehran.
Master Thesis. Faculty of Social Sciences, University of
Tehran. Iran.
McLuhan, H. M. (1998). For Understanding the Media. Tehran:
Islamic Republic Broadcasting Center for Evaluation, Study
and Research. (Translated into Persian by Saeid Azari)
Mohsenian Rad, M. (2005). Market of the Message and the Future
of Intercultural Communications. Journal of Social Sciences,
31, 1-38.
Mohsenian Rad, M. (2012). Three Generations of Social Networking;
an Overlapped Presence in Developing Countries: The Case
of Iran. Journal of Social Sciences, 57, 47-74.
Mohsenian Rad, M. (2015). Communication Ecosystem Contexts:
From Mass Audiences to Mass Messages. GSTF Journal on
Media & Communications, 17 (2), 9-17.
Neubeck, K. J. & Glasberg, D.S. (2004). Sociology: Diversity, Conflict,
and Change, with PowerWeb. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher
Education.
Mo’tamedi, E. (1997). Ministry of Post, Telegraph and Telephone:
Past, Present and Future. Tehran: Madreseh Publications.
Mosaheb, G. H. (2002). Persian Encyclopedia. First Volume. Tehran:
Amir Kabir.
Panteli, N. (Ed.). (2009). Virtual Social Networks: Mediated, Massive and Multiplayer Sites. UK. Palgrave Macmillan.

Postman, N. (2000, June). The humanism of media ecology. In
Proceedings of the Media Ecology Association (Vol. 1, pp. 10-
16).
Shepard, J. M. (2007) Sociology. Ninth edition, Belmont, ca:
Thomson/Wadsworth, USA.
Statistics Yearbook. (1966). Tehran, Iran Statistics Center.
Statistics Yearbook. (2007). Tehran: Iran Statistics Center.
Tansley, A. G. (1935). The use and abuse of vegetational concepts
and terms. Ecology, 16(3), 284-307.
The World Bank. (2015). Internet users (per 100 people). Available
at http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.NET.USER.P2.
Thirty Years of Communications. (2009). Thirty Years of
Communications and the Activity Record of the 9th
Administration. Government Week Special Edition. Tehran:
Iran Telecommunications Company, Public Relations Office.
Wood, J. T. (2010). Communication Mosaics: An Introduction to the
Field of Communication. Boston: Wad S. worth.
Wright, C. (1975). Mass Communication: A Sociological Perspective.
New York: Random House.
US Census. (2014). Available at http://www.census.gov/content/
dam/Census/library/publications/2014/acs/acs-
Zahryardi, B. (1849). First Volume. (Assyrians’ Mission
Newspaper).
Zaleski, J. (1997). The Soul of Cyberspace. Cambridge: Polity Press.