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Table of Contents Summary Evaluation/Critique Conclusion References In the article titled “Reconceptualizing ‘Time’ and ‘Space’ in the Era of Electronic Media and Communications,” Tsatsou (2009) discusses the influence that electronic media and communications exert over the notions of time and space. Basing upon the existing research and theories, the author attempts to trace how the historical impact of communication technologies affected the perception of time and physical spaces while also creating non-physical or virtual spaces. By doing so, Tsatsou (2009) puts her article into the context of a broader discussion regarding virtual geographies, space, and culture and critically examines the dominant perspectives on the interrelation between media, space, and time. According to her, the notions of space-time distanciation and compression are not mutually exclusive, as stipulated before, but each addresses a distinct aspect of media affecting time and space. The author’s main argument is that electronic media do not make either time or physical space less important but create a more sophisticated experience of both. This review aims to demonstrate both the stronger and weaker points of the author’s argument, as presented in the article. Summary The author divides the article into three sections, each serving to expand her argument. The first section, “Reviewing ‘time-space distanciation’ and ‘compression’: Mediated time and space,” is essentially the literature review that highlights the place of the author’s arguments in the context of the existing studies of conceptualizing online spaces. It also introduces the main discussion of the article: whether the titular notions of distanciation and compression are mutually exclusive or present simultaneously, thus making time and space “both essentially compressed and significantly distanciated” (Tsatsou, 2009, p. 15). In the second section, “Reconceptualising time and space,” the author examines how the notions of space and time changed throughout history, thus putting the topic in historical context as well as the scholarly one. Finally, in the third section dubbed “From ‘placelessness’ to ‘mediated place,’” Tsatsou (2009) proclaims that electronic media and electronic spaces they create do not necessarily negate physical spaces or places but “mediate the sense of place” instead (p. 27). By doing so, she follows her intent to demonstrate that electronic communications change the perception of physical spaces but do not necessarily make the latter less relevant. Evaluation/Critique Perhaps the strongest part of the article is the author’s notion that electronic media complement physical spaces or places with the newly created electronic spaces, but the latter does not make the former less relevant. Tsatsou (2009) objects to the idea that the sense of physical place as perceived by a person all but perishes due to the advances of electronic media. On the contrary, the author demonstrates that the prevalence of electronic media and the electronic spaces they create prompts people to be continuously aware of their physical space. For instance, a person using a smartphone has to consider “network coverage, signal strength,” and other aspects of place relevant to the access to virtual spaces (Tsatsou, 2009, p. 19). Other studies also confirm this tendency to use virtual spaces depending on the conditions of the physical space one currently occupies. Gajjala and Verma (2018) point out that people intentionally schedule their use of communication apps to match with the free Wi-Fi zones while on the move. Thus, Tsatsou’s (2009) argument for the enduring importance of physical space in people’s perception proves to be both convincing and coherent with other studies. However, the author’s insistence on the continued importance of physical space prompts her to take her argument too far, which becomes the main weakness of the article. At one point, Tsatsou (2009) opines that time and physical spaces not only remain essential but sometimes matter “even more significantly” than before (p. 28). This claim constitutes a significant modification of the author’s thesis presented earlier: that spatial and temporal dimensions are still essential, “though in a different way from the past” (Tsatsou, 2009, p. 12). While the article contains enough examples of how the importance of physical spaces is different from the past, it never demonstrates it to be greater than in the past. Essentially, the author presents and successfully proves one claim but then tries to use this as a foundation for a different claim, which constitutes a blatant logical mistake and undermines the persuasiveness of the text. Conclusion As one can see, the article by Tsatsou (2009) generally succeeds in reinstating the importance of time and space in the age of electronic media and communications, although it has its flaws. The author discusses the interaction between electronic communications, space, and time by combining distanciation and compression, the two dominant perspectives on the matter, as discussed in scholarly works. As Tsatsou (2009) demonstrates further on, these perspectives are not mutually exclusive, but both characterize different aspects of how electronic media affect the perception of time and space. Based on this foundation, the author proves that the spatial and temporal dimensions of reality remain crucial in the age of electronic communications, although she takes this thesis too far on one occasion. References Gajjala, R.,
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