Digital Library Platforms’ Democracy Building Between Instrumental Education and Web 2.0 Sharing: A Swedish Case Study
Digital platforms are a primary means of communication in society. Public libraries play an empowering role in these processes, strengthening citizens’ digital competences. This raises questions about what democratic processes the digital technology is made to enable. The study investigates how a Swedish Digital Library (DL) is envisioned and organised within a national digitalisation strategy. Qualitative methods are used, and a theoretical democracy framework is developed and used together with the concepts of education and Bildung in the analysis. Four empirical themes are identified. The analysis centres on tensions related to horizontality and hierarchy, and Bildung and sociality. The DL vision is dominated by a hierarchical and instrumental educational vision that connects to representative democracy. A subordinated social and pedagogical vision of inner motivational drives and partial forms of sharing, connected to deliberative and semi-participatory democracy forms, exists, mostly in the form of some cherry-picked Web 2.0 discourses.
tripleC is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal (ISSN: 1726-670X). All journal content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Austria License.