Information Society Discourse

Information Society Discourse

Lech W. Zacher (Kozminski University, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch198

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Coined as a term in the 1960s, information society is just emerging nowadays mostly in developed countries. As a result of the effect of present technological, economic and political globalization processes, the whole world is being impacted and transformed by ICTs. IS can be per se perceived as the intellectual (scientific) model or ideal type having a set of specific characteristics and assigned interpretations. IS is always a subject of theorizing efforts, both disciplinary and interdisciplinary (see e.g. Dearnley, 2001; Cawkell, 2002; Fitzpatrick, 2002; Burrows, 2005; Fine, 2006; Webster, 2005; Mansell, 2009; Fuchs, 2008; Floridi, 2009; Jaeger, 2010; Duff, 2012). In the social sciences there are some indicators enabling measurement of these advancements and their consequences (see e.g. Hilbert, 2010).

The aforementioned societal advancements, initially always pre-informational or not yet informational, are constantly emerging from some “embryos” – often scientific and technological – and are progressing via multidimensional processes of organizational, social, economic, political, cultural innovations, and by their diffusion. In fact, all segments and features of society are heavily affected by them. These impacts are rather difficult to measure and evaluate. Quite often, they are treated generally as ICTs’ impact on a society (see e.g. Follman, 2001; Lyon 2001; Shaviro, 2003; Wyatt, 2000; Crumlish, 2004; Keen, 2007, 2012; Targowski, 2008; Druica, 2012).

There are many publications about the digital divide and knowledge gap (see e.g. Wresch, 1996; Heywood, 1995; Rosen, 1998; van Dijk, 2005; James, 2008; Maskery, 2010).

Key Terms in this Chapter

IS Diversity: The real world’s societies are much diversified in terms of the advancement of IS characteristics and indicators. The most developed create ICTs and use them widely and effectively. Most world societies are merely users and imitators (via technology transfer). There are also many limited to being merely impacted by ICTs ( via global Net, FDIs, international trade etc.).

Hybrid World: The present world is changing its structure what is generated by the emergence of cyberspace in which there are more and more human activities. Virtual setting has new mechanisms, modes and principles of functioning what makes it different from real space.

IS Determinants of Development: There are many – mostly complex, interrelated and often fuzzy – conditions, factors, mechanisms (including historical, geographic, economic, technological, educational, social, cultural, political, psychological etc.) which determine the character, structure, pace, effectiveness of IS emergence and its progress. They are connected with certain existing potentials, situations and external context as well as with deliberate efforts (like business strategies, government policies, activities of international organizations, people’s attitudes, education systems, media presentations of the advanced patterns of IS development).

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