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SOC232H5 (25)

Longhofer 153-167.docx

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Erik Schneiderhan

Materials for an explanatory theory of the network society- Manuel Castells  Network society is a specific form of social structure identified by empirical research as being characteristic of the Information Age  Social structure- organizational arrangements of humans in relationships of production/consumption, experience, and power, as expressed in meaningful interaction framed by culture  Information age- historical period in which human societies perform their activities in technological paradigm constituted around information communication technologies and genetic engineering  Theory is a research tool- not end product of research  Prevalence of information networking as organization form of dominant activities Conceptualizing Social Structure  Human societies made from conflictive interaction between humans organized in and around given social structure  Social structure formed by interplay between relationships of production/consumption; relationships of power  Meaning constantly produced and reproduced through symbolic interaction between actors framed by social structure and acting to change/reproduce it  Meaning results from symbolic interaction between brains which are socially and ecologically constrained, and biologically and culturally able of innovation  What makes sense to anyone is defined by endless reconstruction by humans of sources and purpose of their action, always constrained but new pre- scripted  Production is the action of humankind on matter to appropriate and transform it for its benefit by obtaining a product, consuming part of it, and accumulating surplus for investment, according to socially decided goals  Consumption is the appropriation of product by humans for their benefit  Experience is the action of humans on themselves, determined by the interplay between their biological and cultural identities, and in relationship to their social and natural environment  Power is the action of humans on other humans to impose their will on others by use of potential or actual of symbolic/physical violence  Institutions of society built to enforce power relationships existing in each historical period including controls, limits, and social contracts achieved in power struggles  Experience is structured around sexual/gender relationships, historically organized around family, and characterized by domination of men over women and children  Power founded upon ability to exercise violence  Outside the direct sphere of the state, the exercise of power within production organizations or in apparatuses of experiences ultimately relied on ability of these apparatuses to call upon the state to enforce violently the dominant rules on subjects  Technology- use of scientific knowledge to specify ways of doing things in reproducible manner  Technological arrangements- set of tools, rules, and procedures, through which scientific knowledge is applied to given task in reproducible manner  Technology as a material tool (and symbolic construction) through relationships of production/consumption, experience, and power, are the fundamental ingredients of human action that ultimately produces/modifies social structu
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