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Su periodicidad es cuatrimestral y es de acceso abierto. Papers and reviews submitted by Mexican and foreign authors are subject to peer review by acknowledged specialists. Published works address theoretical and empirical problems pertinent to the field of Library and Information Science, and the disciplines of Librarianship, Archivology and Documentation.

Our journal also publishes interdisciplinary research associated with these domains and is included in leading Library Science indexes and specialized information services.

By publishing rigorous, original scientific research in the field of Library and Information Science, bibpiotecologia mission is to position the UNAM Journal of Library and Information Science Research among the leading scientific journals in the domain. The emergence and reconfiguration of a society that has greater means to access information — which in itself presents new features and contradictions — generates a need to debate the role of information in encouraging a more active and participatory citizenship in the management of public policies.

This article discusses issues of democracy, citizenship participation, the public sphere, and how these are related to the information age and knowledge society in Latin America.

Similarly, it reflects on other aspects of government, such as governance, which can enable wider and more active citizen participation. The article concludes that while inequality exists in the region in terms of availability and access to information, governance offers promising elements to build a more informed and participatory citizenship in public affairs and public policy management.

Despite the great strides that have been taken with regard to making information available through information and communications technology, there is still a wide swath ylosario society that does not enjoy access to the internet, public libraries and the deep stock of specialized bibliotecollogia in all fields of inquiry. The implication of this uneven accessibility of information results in a segmented citizenry, within which we can find well-informed persons equipped to participate in public matters and others who are uninformed whose participation is scarce or practically non-existent.

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Any solution to these problems is not simply stated, because in a large degree it is linked to the overall conditions of social inequality prevailing in Mexico and Latin America, and the persistence of a public sphere that does not include a large portion of the population Fleury, Given this scenario, the need arises to reflect deeply on the vital role played by information in the makeup of the citizenry and the possibility of implementing new models for information management such as governance, which would allow d of a greater number of individuals in the processes of establishing public information policies and programs.

Ibbliotecologia view of the Latin American context, specifically Mexico, this paper aims to advance the debate surrounding the bibliotecoloogia of information in the constitution of the citizenry, while arguing that a better informed citizen will be better able to participate in the creation of better public policy.

To this end, the first section herein addresses the concept of citizenship and offers some general notions and a framework of the debate as it currently stands. The second section analyzes the link between citizenry and democracy, and discusses the important role played by information in the edification of the citizen. bibliitecologia

While the aim of this paper is not to perform a detailed analysis of the concept of citizenship, it is important to provide a framework for grasping how the term has been used in recent literature.

The notion of citizenship has been approached from diverse angles. Other studies have focused on gender Bolos, ; Molyneux, ; Aguirre, ; the circumstances of social inequality Fleury, ; and on new forms of citizenship driven by immigration and globalization Lechner, Depending on cultural and historical contexts, the analysis of the concept of citizenship has assumed diverse forms and spurred an array of interpretations.

The most basic of these approaches defines citizenship as the individual’s right to enjoy rights Vieira, The broader notion of citizenship in both meaning and constituent elements; however, is attributed to T. Marshallwho analyzed the development of the concept in England, 1 concluding that citizenship is composed to the following three elements: The civil element, referring to the rights needed to enjoy individual liberty, freedom of the person, freedom of expression, of thought and religion, including the freedom to hold property and the right to justice.

The political element, entailing the right to participate in the exercise of political power.

The social element, which is linked to the right to a minimum standard of living and the right to share in the social heritage and enjoy the benefits of civilization. This breakdown has not been without criticism. Craston states that social rights are not natural rights and cannot, therefore, truly be embraced as universals. Because social conditions arise from the historical processes of each country, they should not be associated with the general conception of citizenship.


Turnerin turn, criticizes the idea of the citizen as a passive entity subject to the decisions and action of State agencies. Finally, Roche asserts that Marshall’s view does not acknowledge the processes of political action, such as revolutions that are the originators of our understanding of the concept of citizenship. Despite these criticisms, Marshall’s examination has helped deepen the debate surrounding citizenship and social class, which according to his view arise from contradicting principles, since citizenship is based on the idea of equal rights and duties, while inequality is the essence of the social class system.

In light of these considerations, the concept of citizenship needs to go beyond formal acknowledgement of potential equality and capacity to enjoy rights. The concept must become a real principle of equality that entails social justice. To this end, a balance between the civil sphere, understood as individual rights, and the civic sphere, associated with the duties owed to the State, must be found.

The primary constituent elements of citizenship, however, are brought forth in debates occurring in the second half of the twentieth century. These discussions have led to the idea that rights are not enjoyed by individuals, but rather by human collectives, such as the community, nations, and ethnic groups, women, the elderly, children, adolescents, consumers —not to mention the environment itself as a sphere of rights.

There have been diverse approaches to these matters that should be considered when attempting to understand the concept of citizenship in the world today. Several of these approaches are associated with new forms of social identification, problems with traditional political representation, the search for new channels of participation, ethnic conflicts, and globalization, etc.

All of these issues exert and impact on the concept of citizenship. To contextualize the sense of the concept of citizenship today, it is important address three of these approaches.

The first is associated with the loss of credibility in the representation once provided by traditional channels of citizen participation, such as political parties or bibliotecoloia.

The second is associated with the advent of new identities and the struggle for acknowledgement; while the third is associated with the influence of the mass media in the construction of the citizen.

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With regard to the first aspect, it has been argued that: In this sense, gposario becomes aware of loss of centrality of politics and the axis that once ordered and articulated social life, and as the sphere in which citizens anchored their expectations and whose channels were used to fulfill that vision of social order. The social order supplied by this political structure has been undermined by functional changes in the economic, social and political spheres. In conjunction with this approach, and perhaps in response to it, new groups with differentiated identities have sprung forth.

Their need to be acknowledged comes in conjunction with demands focused on specific needs. Even though these identity-based movements are more prevalent in Europe and the United States, they have become increasingly visible in Latin America. These discussions have fueled debate on the concept of the citizen, as groups tend to argue for acknowledgement their rights to be different, while setting aside the notion of their equal rights as citizens. These groups include feminists who argue that women have specific needs.

But it is also necessary to learn about the interests, specific rights and forms of participation of indigenous peoples, migrants, senior citizens, disabled persons, young people and racial and sexual minorities. Many of these groups do not feel fully identified with the general citizenry and they seek to be taken into consideration as members of society from the standpoint of their differences.

In other words, they demand recognition of […] their way of being in the world, their way of relating with others and nature, as expressed in the language they use, in the comprehensive doctrines they at times profess and the way in which the genders associate […] it seems they want to participate as a group, with its own identity, in a political community.

Not limited to the generic idea of nationality, these discussions of the concept of citizenship approach matters of individual rights of persons and their ties to a specific community in terms of their identification with groups such as women, young people, senior citizens, disabled persons, etc. The third element of the analysis addresses the influence of the mass media on the citizenry, in terms of both the meaning of citizenship and how it represents the citizen, because: In this regard, the mass media are key agents capable of addressing, discussing and emphasizing matters of public interest.

On the other hand, these media are quite capable of suppressing, limiting and skewing information that is very relevant to the public agenda.

This situation invites question regarding the ability of private mass media to present objective, transparent information to the public, without skewing it serve their commercial and corporate interests. In this sense, one researcher has argues: As such, the understanding of the concept takes one back to the analysis and appreciation of other elements that underpin the concept of citizenship. Marshall and other researchers have asserted that citizenship can only achieve its fullest expression within a democratic State, in which civil, political and social rights are guaranteed for all members of society, who are, moreover, fully capable of participating in public affairs.


In this regard, the question of the relationship bigliotecologia the citizenry and the democracy becomes relevant, because as already mentioned citizenship depends on the existence of a democratic government committed to consolidating the citizenry, while accepting the need for an independent citizenry that is sufficiently participative to ensure the democratic experiment.

These elements, including the essential role of information in the construction of the citizen, shall be analyzed in the following section.

The debate surrounding governability in democracies and institutional redesign has become hung up on question of the limits of representative democracy. Latin America may well be considered one of the world’s most unequal regions. As such, the matter of exclusion bibliotecolovia a large portion of the region’s inhabitants becomes very relevant.

This exclusion may be based on economic, political and cultural factors that touch participation; but it is also clear that all of these factors are influenced by the degree of access to information the inhabitants enjoy. All of these elements erect barriers that restrict access to public affairs.

Owing to the growing importance of the concept of the public sphere with regard to matters of citizenship and democracy, it is worthwhile to take time to reflect on this idea, which of course stands in opposition to the private sphere of the home and family. The public sphere includes those things that can be seen and heard by everyone, i. The work of Arendt posits three basic activities of humanity on Earth: Translated from Spanishthereby imbuing the public sphere with meaning, since this allows two essential bibliotecollogia for understanding the concept of citizenship to stand out in relief: The creation of a common space in which individuals reveal themselves through argument, discourse and action.

This is where language and especially dialogue play key roles in the creation of consensus among individuals. In this respect Habermas states: Thus, the mediatization of the lifeworld adopts the form of colonization of the lifeworld. In this way, change may be possible in which: Nonetheless, Habermas is aware of some problems inherent in this ideal democratic process, which seems to take into account only bibliottecologia virtues of current citizens, a situation that assumes bibliotecokogia persons are equally possessed of sufficient, rightly assimilated information to ground their discourses and opinions.

Because of lack of education, you may have nothing to say worth hearing.

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This situation is directly linked to the topic of information, understood as a right and in its role in making the right to free speech something real.

In the context of democracy, one may understand information as an essential element through which citizens can increase their knowledge and thereby their capacity to take action in public affairs. Information, as such, is like a pillar in the edifice of the public hall.

In the current scenario, however, we find that marginalized groups, the poor and vulnerable, are very often deprived of important, timely information to help them enjoy a better way of life. They are also quite often unaware of their rights, employment options, public health services, housing opportunities, educational options and general public policy.

This is because these groups rarely participate in setting the agenda, defining strategies and allocating public funds, which are the essential functions of the public sphere. In this sense, Fleury Information can be understood as a right and a basic principle of democracy. As a right, great strides have been taken internationally to acknowledge the right to expression and access to information, which are fundamentally aimed at rooting democratic principles such as participation, responsibility, accountability and general transparency.

As a basic principle, access to information can be understood as a fundamental instrument for increasing and improving the capacity for action of the population; because it provides the foundation for the edifice of general democratic processes and participation in the public sphere and creation of public policies.

While protection of the right to information access is fundamental access understood as the capacity to approach information clearly, openly and opportunelyit is also important to improve information flows among the diverse agents, such as government, associations, civic organizations, interests groups and the private sector.

Before this scenario, it becomes essential to create and reinforce the mechanisms and policies that allow communication and exchange of information among these agents.

Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo recommends focusing largely on four areas:. Strengthening the legal framework that regulates and ensures information liberty and pluralism. Supporting and strengthening emerging networks and communications media at both the local and national level in order to facilitate plural, independent exchange of information. Expanding awareness of the right to access to official information and improving information supply channels.

Generating and improving the mechanisms of communications needed by the less favored population in order to participate in policy formulation at the local and national levels. As a right, access to information has been included in Article 19 of Declaration of Universal Human Rightswhich states: As can be seen, both of these articles address the right to information, its communication and the expression of ideas.