Leisure and Entertainment as a Creative Space-Time Manifold in a Post-Modern World

Leisure and Entertainment as a Creative Space-Time Manifold in a Post-Modern World

Nadezhda Nikolaevna Pokrovskaia (Saint Petersburg State University of Economics, Russia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6190-5.ch002
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Abstract

The postmodern overcoming of linear rational reasoning of the modernity creates a new world of deeper understanding and better implementing myth and fairy tale. Today, neither the labor behavior nor the consumer preferences are determined with the classical economic and mathematical models of price. The money (wage for labor or costs for goods and services) is no more able to play the key role in motivating a choice or an effort. The essential factor is the impression, feeling, miracle, and their contribution for defining the identity of the actor, his or her personality. The virtual space is a tool to discover the real internal universe of human beings, including the creative competence, novelty, and innovation. Leisure and entertainment are necessary for this seeking of the human being essence – as actor, creator, and consumer. The chapter is designed to help one understand the real motivation of actors in a post-industrial sector.
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Introduction

The chapter deals with the notions of post-modernity as a special concept describing the intentions to overcome the simplified extreme modeling of humans as one-dimensional subjects. The rationality cedes to the complex vision of humans with their values and hierarchy of needs, their affective capabilities to do the things which are impossible to robotize: to create something new (never existed before), to persuade and involve people (without the financial motivation), to change the social system and its political and economic tissue (with associations and initiatives for humanitarian values)…

The level of technological progress permits to assure the surviving, and people start to discover the pleasure (in contrast to profit) in traditional ”toil” – in physical transformation of a rude material or in painting and composing poetry, in nature and communication: in cultivating vegetables, looking after animals or helping the weakest members of society (disabled, sick and aged persons, children, etc.). This process is related to the re-vitalizing of community type of relationship and, at the same time, reflects the transferringlabor into the entertainment.

The downshifting phenomena, the Google’ office creative ambiance or the success of social networks and communicative devices demonstrate the diverse examples of this transformation inside the huge and cruel world of corporative capitalism, which is forced to adapt its producing system towards the changing reality of human resources and innovative economy of knowledge.

The new generation of widespread and increasing professional group – the programmers and IT-specialists – represents the new system of values and senses, where a work should be a pleasure. The results of young IT-graduates values’ research are presented in the chapter as a material to describe the real motivating schema of the new generation of the growing socio-professional group, which is assumed to play the key role in the post-industrial economy.

The prospective research of the creative world in the virtual space and in the real social activity should be based on the looking for an emerging ideology (in the form of a religion or of a sophisticated legal system, a values’ scale or a patch of imaginary pictures and visual lifestyles).

The objectives of the chapter include:

  • To present the logic of the social development in the spiral from rational formalization and disenchantment of the world towards the new coil of miracle and impressive diversity of ways to know, from the “death of God” (Nietzsche, 1974) to the triumph of human being, and back to the search for the Divine nature inside the humans, the creative spark in the controversial networked individual;

  • To describe the specific part of the global system, which is called post-modern world, including the comprehension of the simultaneous co-existence of traditional, modern and post-modern elements in each society and the preponderance of these elements in the industrialized and post-industrialized countries;

  • To reveal the problem of the management in today companies in the post-industrial sectors of information, telecommunication, in the R&D departments and high-technology sectors, especially, the task of motivating employees to invent the novelty and to use the miracle of their ideas and vision – for the corporate profit;

  • To propose some results of the sociological research of values and normative models of the employees’ behavior, and to formulate some directions of efficient governance in the field of the IT and high-tech sectors, taking into account the unique feature of humans to create novelty.

So, the chapter can be characterized as the sociological support for management in the IT-sector and high-technology fields, in the virtual reality including the entertainment branch.

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Background

Post-modern sociological polemics is related to the necessity of understanding the social reality, which appeared after the extreme rationalization in modernity. The post-modernity follows modernity on the temporal axis (“post” as “after”), but also overcomes its idiosyncrasy in the field of content (“post” as “overthrown”).

Key Terms in this Chapter

McDonaldization: It is the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society, as well as the rest of the world. Its five basic dimensions are efficiency, calculability, predictability, control through the substitution of technology for people, and, paradoxically, the irrationality of rationality.

Post-Modernity: Reflects a new Weltanschauung, new outlook reacting to the assumed certainty of scientific objective efforts to explain reality with universal regularities and strict features, it is a thinking opposed to modernity, that attempts to combine traditional elements with the extreme modernist practices. Postmodern approach denies any statements which claim to be valid for all individuals, groups or cultures, and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person. The postmodern understanding is rooted in an interpretation of concrete experience; reality only comes into being through its personal interpretations and personal and group actions.

Post-industrial society: It is characterized by the provision of services rather than goods; professional and technical work rather than blue-collar, manual work; theoretical knowledge rather than practical know-how; the creation and monitoring of new technologies; and new intellectual technologies to handle such assessment and control.

Modernity: It is a term which marks the historical epoch following the Middle Ages, and is opposed to traditional societies with the extremely rationalized organization of life, social differentiation and industrial economy.

Post-Fordism: It is a system for the production of heterogeneous, even customized, products that requires more flexible technologies and more flexible and skilled workers, and that leads to greater heterogeneity of consumption.

Bounded Rationality: It is the concept introduced by H. Simon as an alternative basis for the economical and mathematical modeling of human choice: in the real decision making mechanism, the individuals’ reasoning is limited by the available information, the cognitive capabilities of their minds, and the finite amount of time ( Simon, 1957 ). In reality, the individuals are not able to find an optimal choice, and instead they simplify the choices available, satisfying and not optimizing the decision – seeking a satisfactory solution rather than the optimal one.

Irrationality of Rationality: Describes various unreasonable things associated with rationality, especially dehumanization, in which employees are forced to work in dehumanizing jobs and customers are forced to eat in dehumanizing settings and circumstances.

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