Sam Srauy is an assistant professor in the Communication and Journalism Department at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He earned his Ph.D. from Temple University in 2014. Prior to coming to Temple, Sam was a lecturer at California State University, Fresno in the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism. Sam also has over 10 years experience as an IT consultant where he specialized in open source computing and municipal wireless networks. He served as an executive at WiCam, Ltd., an Internet and new media company in Cambodia. His research interests include development communication, discourses on race/racism, power, municipal wireless networks, and how the political economy of media organizations construct identity.
What one insight from your field, approach, method, findings etc. do you think is most important for scholars working in this topical area?
People are social creatures. Furthermore, we create narratives that help us understand the world around us. What’s critical for scholars to keep in mind is that these narratives are powerful. Indeed, many forms of power are written into the narratives that we tell.
What are two issues that are not adequately treated within current work on cultural production in the digital age in your field or in others?
Well, because I’m interested in narratives and power, I’d like to pull back the curtain and see who or what is articulating those narratives. And, more importantly, I want to know who benefits?
Secondly, whose culture are we talking about? In day-to-day conversation, I think we still tend to speak about the online world as if it’s an equal space– as if all of our cultures are present and fairly represented. But, that’s really a dangerous myth. Whose culture is actually represented online? Whose stories and world views are dominant? And, whose culture is silenced?
Are humanistic values such as justice, equality, democracy or (insert preferred humanistic value here) currently served by cultural production in a digital networked environment?
I’d like to believe so. Certainly, I think people have thought about the digital world enough to know that it’s not perfect. But, I’d like to believe that people are doing the right thing by asking these tough questions.