From Information Society to Community Service: The Birth of E-Citizenship

From Information Society to Community Service: The Birth of E-Citizenship

Benedito Medeiros Neto
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3417-4.ch114
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This chapter presents a perspective of a post-industrial society, through the development of the information society and its deployment, focusing on the possibilities of a service predominant society. The most important point of this exercise is that this approach did not happen as expected in form or time. In the past, the ICT tools were restricted to centers of competence or in organizations. Nowadays, their increasingly presence in individual lives, as well as in their human relationships, is changing social and commercial relations, the meaning of work and political participation of people in a compulsory way, unlike what had happened at the turn of agricultural to industrial Eras. New possibilities happen in a rapid manner in a society based on wealth concentration, when there is association of ICTs with the restlessness of social movements or collective protests demanding better living conditions of minority communities. The increasing information flows have led to the desire of knowledge. However, this search for the social welfare achievements has occurred in a superficial manner, leading to anxiety and depression of common and deprived citizens. A new Citizenship or, better defined, e-Citizenship emerges between their aspirations. Based on facts and observations of recent research on the impacts of ICTs in the last ten years, the approach of a community service changes the daily lives of individuals, despite its acceptance or perception, the presence of virtual media, the growing media innovation and agricultural, industrial and operational processes, as well as the claimed social movements.
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2. The 21St Century Society And Its Background

At the beginning of the second half of the 20th Century, Daniel Bell, a sociologist from Harvard, defender of postindustrial theory, especially exposed in his famous book “The Coming of Post-Industrial Society” (1973, 1991, 2001), envisioned overcoming the number of industry employees by the tertiary sector, in 1956, as the beginning of the post-industrial era. He grounded his view on the concept of post-industrial society. The post-industrialism theory gained strength, dissemination and popularity, with the work of Peter Drucker (1993), “The Age of Discontinuity” (1969).

Other scholars have called our society with a surprising variety of terms, including knowledge society (UNESCO, 2005), age of information and network society (Castells, 1999, 2001) global village (McLuhan, 1996), telépolis (Echeverría, 1999), surveillance society (Lyon, 1995 and 2001), interconnected society (Martin, 1980), interconnected intelligence society (Tapscott, 1996).

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