Social Media

Network Society. Evolution of Views:
Concepts, Images, Metaphors

Irina P. Kuzheleva-Sagan

Only yesterday Network Society existed in a form of fiction images, metaphors, and futuristic concepts by Karl Jaspers, Marshall McLuhan, Alvin Toffler, Wachowski Brothers. Appearance of the Internet, digital technologies, and social networks has evoked a wide response. People felt mass enthusiasm and hopes about democratic, educational, economic, and ‹service› super-potential of the upcoming Network Society. Finally, ‹the Rubicon has been crossed›: today we are living in that society. Its ontology cannot be fully described only in the frames of ‹virtuality› or ‹reality›. May be, it is closer to ‹virtual reality› or ‹real virtuality›, which communication architecture is getting more and more complex every single moment. With every such moment we feel ourselves not in a ‹networking Heaven›, but ‹caught with the same Net›. What do we have to expect from tomorrow in such society? What are its basic risks? How can we reduce their number in order to make the environment sustainable for the existential substance of a man?

Speed and density of the information flows, as well as the necessity to be constantly connected to them, do not allow the majority of people, who live in the Network Society, concentrate on the issues above. The author of the given report has volunteered to take on the duty to do that with them. Theoretically, this research is based on the analysis of concepts, images, and metaphors by Manuel Castells, Alexander Bard and Jan Soederqvist, Simson L. Garfinkel, Douglas Rushkoff, William J. Mitchell and other philosophers, sociologists and experts in the spheres of social communication, media, and architecture.

Biographical Notes
Specialist in the field of ontology and epistemology, Doctor of Philosophy (Dr. habilitatus); Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences (PhD); the Head of the Department of Social Communication of the Psychological Faculty in National Research Tomsk State University (TSU); the Head of the «Connect-Universum» International Scientific and Practice Conference Organizing Committee; the Member of the Siberian Branch Counsel of Russian Association for Public Relations. The Head of the Laboratory of Human new media technologies (TSU); member of the Association «European Universities Public Relations and Information Officers» (EUPRIO). Author of more than 80 scientific publications on the theory and practice of social communication, including five books: Genesis and History of Public Relations: Interpretational Analysis; Genesis of Public Relations Reconstruction Methodology; Introduction to the Theory of Communication (as a co-author); Scientific Knowledge on Public Relations (PR): Philosophical Analysis; Post-Non-classical Practices: Experience of Conceptualization (as a co-author).




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