Submission deadline extended to: 27 February 2006

28 June - 1 July 2006

University of Tartu, Estonia

Conference theme:

Neither Global Village nor Homogenizing Commodification: Diverse Cultural, Ethnic, Gender and Economic Environments

The biennial CATaC conference series continues to provide an international forum for the presentation and discussion of current research on how diverse cultural attitudes shape the implementation and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The conference series brings together scholars from around the globe who provide diverse perspectives, both in terms of the specific culture(s) they highlight in their presentations and discussions, and in terms of the discipline(s) through which they approach the conference theme.

The 1990s' hopes for an "electronic global village" have largely been shunted aside by the Internet's explosive diffusion. This diffusion was well described by Marx - all that is solid melts into air - and was predicted by postmodernists. The diffusion of CMC technologies quickly led to many and diverse internets. A single "Internet", whose identity and characteristics might be examined as a single unity, has not materialised. An initially culturally and gender homogenous Internet came more and more to resemble an urban metropolis. Along the way, in the commercialization of the Internet and the Web, "cultural diversity" gets watered down and exchanges strong diversity for a homogenous interchangeability. Such diversity thereby becomes commodified and serves a global capitalism that tends to foster cultural homogenization.

CATaC'06 continues our focus on the intersections of culture, technology, and communication, beginning with an emphasis on continued critique of the assumptions, categories, methodologies, and theories frequently used to analyse these. At the same time, CATaC'06 takes up our characteristic focus on ethics and justice in the design and deployment of CMC technologies. We particularly focus on developing countries facilitated by "on the ground" approaches in the work of NGOs, governmental agencies, etc., in ways that preserve and foster cultural identity and diversity. By simultaneously critiquing and perhaps complexifying our theories and assumptions, on the one hand, and featuring "best practices" approaches to CMC in development work, on the other hand, CATaC'06 aims towards a middle ground between a putative "global village" and homogenizing commodification. Such middle ground fosters cultural diversity, economic and social development, and more successful cross-cultural communication online.

Original full papers (especially those which connect theoretical frameworks with specific examples of cultural values, practices, etc.: 10-20 pages) and short papers (e.g. describing current research projects and preliminary results: 3-5 pages) are invited.

Topics of particular interest include but are not limited to:

- Culture isn't 'culture' anymore - The Internet isn't the 'Internet' anymore - Gender, culture, empowerment and CMC - CMC and cultural diversity - Ethics and justice - Free/Open technology and communication - Internet research ethics - Cultural diversity and e-learning


All submissions will be peer reviewed by an international panel of scholars and researchers and accepted papers will appear in the conference proceedings. Submission of a paper implies that it has not been submitted or published elsewhere. At least one author of each accepted paper is expected to present the paper at the conference.

Full papers (10-20 formatted pages) - 27 February 2006 Short papers (3-5 formatted pages) - 27 February 2006 Notification of acceptance - mid March 2006 Final formatted papers - 29 March 2006

There will be the opportunity for selected papers from this 2006 conference to appear in special issues of journals. Papers in previous conferences have appeared in journals (Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, Electronic Journal of Communication/La Revue Electronique de Communication, AI and Society, Javnost- The Public, and New Media and Society) and a book (Culture, Technology, Communication: towards an Intercultural Global Village, 2001, edited by Charles Ess with Fay Sudweeks, SUNY Press, New York). You may purchase the conference proceedings from the 2002 and 2004 conference from


Charles Ess, Drury University, USA, Fay Sudweeks, Murdoch University, Australia,


Herbert Hrachovec, University of Vienna, Austria,


Pille Runnel, Tartu University, Estonia Pille Vengerfeldt, Tartu University, Estonia