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26-29 May 2015
Fürstenberghaus
Europe/Berlin timezone
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01-01 - The Networked Society

Place

Location: Fürstenberghaus
Address: Domplatz 20-22 48143 Münster Germany
Room: F234
Date: 28 May 11:00 - 12:30

Description

The term ‘Networked Society’ is one that has now gained common currency in both academic and popular discourse. As a concept, it depicts, and promotes, a vision of a society that is thoroughly permeated by information and communication infrastructures, which are seen as being deeply implicated in (re-)shaping the practices and structures that are constitutive of all facets of social life. The emphasis, then, is on the emergence new modes of ‘connectedness’, and associated economic, political, and social/cultural transformations (Castells & Cardoso, 2005; Castells, 2004). A notable feature of much of the ‘Network Society’ discourse, however, is the predominance of very benign, or utopian, visions of the future. Technology companies and social commentators, for example, have enthusiastically embraced the concept as a means of emphasising the rich opportunities for all in a connected world. In a nutshell, the assumption is that ‘connections will engender opportunities’, with implicit promises of a progressive march towards the digital ‘Good Life’ of a more prosperous, stimulating, and benevolent society. Of course, there is much to be admired and lauded in such visions. The promise of new, technology-enabled, forms of social organisation has been persuasively made by authors who have focused upon the prospects of, inter alia, increased civic engagement and participation, new modes of social production (Benkler, 2006), and the use ICT for accelerating social/economic development in some of the most deprived regions of the world. Yet, there are also a growing number of more critical voices, which have drawn attention to the darker sides of visions for a ‘Network Society’. Concerns have been raised about a range of issues, including, for instance: the prospects of increasing levels of surveillance and intrusions on personal privacy, risks associated with outcomes of flawed megaprojects, and the dangers of an increasing polarisation of society. These alternative visions are often no less compelling, and demand serious attention too. The aim of this track, therefore, is to clarify and enrich (competing) visions of a Networked Society, by inviting contributions to a critical discourse about the role of technology and its associated social implications. As the Networked Society is a broad and inclusive concept, we welcome contributions that focus specifically on relevant facets of the debate (such as privacy or the Digital Divide, for example), as long as they are situated against the broader backdrop of the track theme.

Conveners

  • Session 1
    • Klein, Stefan (University of Münster)

Timetable | Contribution List

Displaying 3 contributions out of 3
Type: Complete Research Paper Session: 01-01 - The Networked Society
Track: 01 - The Networked Society
Terms such as Network Society or Information Society have gained enormous importance within European policy work and the European Commission’s aim to create and stabilise a European Union or European Community which is innovative and inclusive. Indeed many governments see their responsibility in ensuring the inclusion of the regions they represent in a ‘Networked Society’, and in doing so, e ... More
Presented by Juliane JARKE on 28/5/2015 at 9:30
Type: Complete Research Paper Session: 01-01 - The Networked Society
Track: 01 - The Networked Society
Crowdfunding is an information technology (IT)-enabled, online model for raising funds for charity that can be used as an alternative to traditional, offline charity models (e.g., bake sales, doorknocking or society events). Over the past three years, more and more charity organizations have turned to crowdfunding in addition to, or instead of, traditional fundraising. Why is that? In this paper, ... More
Presented by Daniel SCHLAGWEIN on 28/5/2015 at 10:00
Type: Complete Research Paper Session: 01-01 - The Networked Society
Track: 01 - The Networked Society
While materiality is an important concept in IS research, there is little consensus as to how "materiality" ought to be understood. We find that the term is typically used, often implicitly, to mean "physicality" or the corporeal existence of objects. Grounded in a widely held "folk ontology" characteristic of modern Western thinking this view makes intuitive sense to us. It breaks down however wh ... More
Presented by Ella HAFERMALZ, Kai RIEMER on 28/5/2015 at 9:00
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