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Cybercrime and Science Fiction

File under: Interesting read for the day…

David S. Wall of the University of Leeds has published an article that may be of interest to science fiction fans: Cybercrime and the Culture of Fear: Social Science Fiction(s) and the Production of Knowledge about Cybercrime. here’s the abstract:

This article builds upon my previous work…to map out the conceptual origins of cybercrime in social science fiction and other faction genres to explore the relationship between rhetoric and reality in the production of knowledge about it. The article goes on to illustrate how the reporting of dystopic narratives about life in networked worlds shapes public reactions to technological change. Reactions which heighten the culture of fear about cybercrime, which in turn, shapes public expectations of online risk, the formation of law and the subsequent interpretation of justice. Finally, the article identifies and responds to the various mythologies that are currently circulating about cybercrime, before identifying the various tensions in the production of criminological knowledge about it that contribute to sustaining those mythologies.

And here’s a snippet:

It will be argued in this article that social science fiction contributes to the framing of the cultural frameworks and mythologies that configure our discussions about cybercrime, and in so doing structures our expectations of it in terms of what we expect it to look like. The subsequent text therefore explores the curious relationship between new technologies and social science fiction to map out their influence upon the production of knowledge about cybercrime. The first part looks at the conceptual origins of cyberspace and cybercrime in social science fiction print and audio-visual media. It illustrates how dystopic and utopic simulated realities represented in networked worlds not only shape broad public reactions to technological change (the Futureshock and the emergence of a culture of fear) but also public expectations about online risk. The second part maps out and responds to the resulting myths and mythologies about cybercrime. The third and concluding part of the article briefly discusses the tensions in knowledge production that need to be overcome to demythologise cybercrime.

Warning: lots of sf name-dropping in there…

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.
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