Rise of the Network Society

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Media

Document 1

It involves theory and an empirical account of the social, political, and economic development. According to Manuel Castells, the historical change results from the innovation of information technology, especially the ones involving communication technologies. The society is still capitalist, but it acts based on technological changes from energy to information. This change leads to economic productivity. Communication gives a chance for globalization; the possibility of asynchronous communication, as a result, has altered our relationship with time. Over time, these parameters have gathered and established a different production mode, which is based entirely on information, and a new model that which fosters social organization based on the network. Historically, therefore, the network society is a specific category of community, which has emerged in this era.

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In the current historical point, it generally involves features of globalization, which is evident in informationalization of political as well as economic sectors; a drastic difference in terms of space and time; and the emergence of a different unit of socialization, which is entirely different from the individual and social gathering. The main argument in Castell's concept is that the economy, which involves the network society, is a globally transformed economy based on information and depending on innovative technologies. Technological innovation is the primary basis for the change in the economy that has made it both global and informal. The combined abilities of innovative technologies and the efficiency in terms of networks have resulted in the increased importance of the network as the defining form of social interaction in the current era.

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Networks currently thrive because information technology has given a chance for three significant features to develop: the ability to survive, be scalable, and be flexible (Castelle 2). Therefore, networks are flexible, complex, and decentralized organization forms that are held together with the help of communication. As a result, communication is an important process where the network operates and moves. In case there is a communication breakdown, there will be disintegration in the network. Today, however, the improved speed in terms of market processes, both production and delivery within the time-to-market technique, typically offers a clear definition of speed itself as quality. This new scenario offer solutions in almost real-time push professional boundaries. It is an overstatement to say that the development of the network social order is a historical progress for the world.

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Not since the Industrial Revolution, have capitalist societies managed to experience such far-reaching economic and technological advancement. In addition, never have there been changes happening as fast. These have resulted in a system of communication which is characterized by individual segmentation, customization and gives way for mass communication. A great value of Castell's account takes into consideration the function border and comprehensiveness of social theory. The first intersection is found on the perception that communication involves consistency and connectives, which allow nodes to connect and to harmonize their objectives. Historically, discussions often focused on prioritizing one over the other. The model of transmission, for instance, focused on the connections between a receiver and a sender and removing noise from the channels that are if a clear link is created, the receiver will find the message and will act on it.

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This organization enables leaders to process and produce information and individual acts as well as potentially networked possessions defining their access to authority. The constellation has consequences: The ability to access information and learn the defining person in the network. The irrelevant persons and people are effortlessly omitted, and other people hardly notice this exclusion since someone banned from a computer-generated connection is no longer presented in the network; not even as a person at the societies edge. Castells consider this category of power constellation as a powerless place. At the same time, the new network organization provides a dimension for confrontation as well. Castells proposes that there has been a transformation in regards to social power and communities within the network society.

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Nation states have become less important and relevant as most electronic communications and media increasingly become global. Castell also emphasized the significance of new social movements, and the way that communities have become elective—communities are joined for the sake of it, and not the attributes from the society. According to Castells, politics have become a race for a rating from the audience because politics are in stiff competitions with entertainment industries to gather attention (Castells 321). For Castells, power is in existence with an information network, but this power is organized based on spaces of lows. Castells points out more consequences in terms of labor exploitation, social underdevelopment, and social exclusion. In other words, inequality, misery, poverty, and social exclusion are additional consequences of the network societies.

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