Information Technologies and Social Change

Information Technologies and Social Change

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7368-5.ch063
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Since the 19th century, the whole world has experienced the effects of the Information Revolution in varying degrees. Information science and technologies have become areas that their communities give the greatest importance, and they make maximum investments to them in the globalized world conditions. Industrial society left its place to post-industrial society which is an information society in a sense. This chapter explores information technologies and social change.
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Classical sociology seeks social change in the relationship between social structures. Accordingly, an element of social structure affects the another structure by changing. Institutions such as religion, economy, family, and education create a social stability. As the first sociologists of modernity, Simon, Comte, Durkheim, Marx, Spencer and, Weber, in order to discover the laws of social change, try to produce information from social phenomenons. Thus, an extensive literature occurs on the issue. In this context, theoretical approaches such as structuralism, conflict theories, evolutionism, functionalism and so on. can be mentioned (Comte, 2001; Weber, 2000; Durkheim, 2006).

In addition to these grand theories, with the development of communication technologies, theories about the culture created by these tools and its impact on human behavior and society remain. Studies on the impact of communication technologies on society and human relations gained momentus especially between the two world wars. Theoretical approaches such as Syringe Model, Limited Effects Approach, Usages and Gratifications Approach and so on. Approaches such as Criticism of Culture Industry of the Frankfurt School is important for literature. However, the approaches expressed in this literature deal with the impact of information and culture transmitted via information technologies on human. It is criticized that information and culture transmitted by the media and the mass media deactivate the society and the society is forced to consume a culture which is not produced by itself.

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