Monday, April 11, 2011

Post-Modernity and the Networked Society

In the 2nd half of our Castells reading there was a ton of material that was presented.  Castells brings up the concept of real virtuality which he defines as "a system in which reality itself (people’s material/symbolic existence) is entirely captured, fully immersed in a virtual image setting, in the world of make believe, in which appearances are not just on the screen though which experience is communicated, but they become the experience" (404).  This concept, in addition to the ideas of space of flows and timeless time, makes for  a number of questions.

I guess my question for class dips into my book review's concepts.  Streeter argues that "technologies are socially constructed" meaning that technology (including the networked society) are the direct result of deeply embedded social processes.  While one cannot argue with Castells's well supported contention that our networked society is shaped by the space of flows and the resulting in timeless time (495), how would Castells respond to the claim that the networked society is simply a result of our society and culture reacting to post-modernity?  Castells argues that "the emergence of a new electronic communication system is characterized by its global reach...[and] through this new communication system, mediated by social interests, governmental policies, and business strategies, a new culture is emerging: the culture of real virtuality.  (358)

Essentially, it is possible that the networked society has, and will have no, discernible effect on humanity; but rather that this "real virtuality" already existed and how we have chosen to utilize this new electronic communication has created the support, and effect, of which Castells speaks?

1 comment:

  1. I did not agree with Castell. I believe that networked society has some effect on humanity. It makes imitation as described in the first section of the readings more possible. People are able to choose who to imitate from various groups, thus I believe that human nature and people will begin to alter who they are. I believe that electronic communication creates a different sort of environment, that it can blur our idea of real vs. electronic.