Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Revisiting the Distinctive Features of the Information Society's Technological Structure

Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Revisiting the Distinctive Features of the Information Society's Technological Structure

Article excerpt

Abstract

The paper dwells upon the distinctive features of the information society's technological structure, with the main focus being put on a comprehensive analysis of this structure as it considered within the framework of the modern social and philosophical discourse. The specific of techno and technological structure's impact on human nature is also under consideration as well as the specific of information society as a continuous conception refinement process.

Keywords: information society, technological structure, information, information culture, critical theory

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1. Introduction

The information society's high technology has greatly contributed to the making of a new social reality, which, by its ontological features, differs widely from the previous historical types of society and impacts practically all areas of present-day life, modifying objective reality (Amini, 2013). The new civilization has transformed spiritual life, metaphysics, as well as politics, science, art, and ideology. These changes need a careful consideration and a critical philosophical reflection to conduct an in-depth analysis of the latest technology in the light of the current worldview, the current set of sociocultural norms and axiological aspects of modern life. The philosophical analysis is supposed to establish the directions in which modern society is moving alongside the aims, the ontology and axiology of this movement. The research essence of the analysis undertaken is to offer an explanation of how advances in technology influence social phenomena. We are also endeavouring to make the case for the insufficiency of technocratic approaches alone to understanding the nature of the information society (Lukina & Samokhina, 2013).

The subject is undoubtedly vital and highly topical for the conceptual status of the information society theory is being under consideration. According to Beniger's observation currently there exist about seventy versions and conceptions of this theory (2009), Zins defines about 130 (2007). The peak of the research into this subject area fell on the 1960s-1980s, but since then the theory of information society has gradually found itself on the fringes of social, philosophical and sociological research. Therefore information-based terminology, a wide range of nominations is being applied to modern society, with the most frequent ones being creative society, knowledge society, non-knowledge society.

Under the circumstances, the prospects which are opening up for the theory of information society are as follows: either become a thing of the past, or integrate into one of the current versions of the present-day social reality, or reinforce its own conceptual basis through perfecting methods of category analysis.

As the latter option seems the most preferable, the aim which is pursued in this paper is to clarify the theoretical and methodological potential of the technological structure concept, as this potential will make it possible to define the essential characteristics of the information society, thus working towards the cognitive aspect of its theoretical explanation.

The technological structure concept plays an important part in the modern social and philosophical studies (S. Lash, A. Toffler, C. Freeman, T. Shanin, S. Glaziev, etc).

2. Materials and Methods

The major focus of the paper is the identification of social, cultural and anthropological components of the information society's technological structure and the way in which these components shape the key features of this type of society. In the pursuit of the aforementioned aim we proceed from M. Weber's assumption, which we regard as highly instrumental in that respect, that the greatest value in sociotechnical systems lies in the discrete and individual rather than the typical, therefore the study of the discrete and individual ensures the objective nature of social and scientific knowledge (Be? …

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