The culture of information society
The article is devoted to studying the culture of information society on the basis of well-known concepts of information society development. The author argues that the doctrine of the information society, formation of the informational civilization.
|Рубрика||Культура и искусство|
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КУЛЬТУРА ІНФОРМАЦІЙНОГО СУСПІЛЬСТВА
В.Ю. Степанов, доктор наук з державного
управління, професор, декан факультету
управління та бізнесу, Харківська
державна академія культури, м. Харків
Досліджено культуру інформаційного суспільства на основі відомих концепцій розвитку інформаційного суспільства. Обґрунтовується ідея про те, що доктрина інформаційного суспільства, яка розроблена в другій половині ХХ ст., стала одним з ефективних теоретичних інструментів дослідження тенденцій і процесів соціо- культурної еволюції людської спільноти у ХХІ ст. Констатовано, що технічний прогрес забезпечить економічний, а також соціальний і культурний прогрес, що сприятиме розвиткові, а відтак становленню інформаційної цивілізації.
Ключові слова: культура, інформаційне суспільство, соціум, еволюція.
В.Ю. Степанов, доктор наук по государственному управлению, профессор, декан факультета управления и бизнеса, Харьковская государственная академия культуры, г. Харьков
КУЛЬТУРА ИНФОРМАЦИОННОГО ОБЩЕСТВА
Исследована культура информационного общества на основе известных концепций развития информационного общества. Обосновывается идея о том, что доктрина информационного общества, разработанная во второй половине ХХ ст., стала одним из эффективных теоретических инструментов исследования тенденций и процессов социокультурной эволюции человеческого сообщества в ХХІ в. Констатировано, что развивающийся технический прогресс обеспечит экономический, а также социальный и культурный прогресс, что будет способствовать развитию, а затем становлению информационной цивилизации.
Ключевые слова: культура, информационное общество, социум, эволюция.
V.Yu. Stepanov, Doctor of Sciences in Public Administration, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Management and Business, Kharkiv State Academy of Culture, Kharkiv
THE CULTURE OF INFORMATION SOCIETY
information society civilization
The article is devoted to studying the culture of information society on the basis of well-known concepts of information society development. The author argues that the doctrine of the information society that was developed in the second half of the twentieth century has become one of the most effective theoretical tools for studying tendencies and processes of socio-cultural evolution of human society in the twenty- first century. The author concludes that rapid growth of technology will provide economic progress as well as social and cultural progress that will lead to the formation of the informational civilization.
Key words: culture, information society, social environment, evolution.
Introduction. The necessity of finding solutions to the problems of culture in the information society is caused by the complexity of social and humanitarian issues arisen in the new millennium. There have appeared some new tendencies in theoretical comprehension of various aspects of the information society formation. These tendencies are correlated with local, regional and global information systems, with influence of virtual reality on minds, feelings and behaviour of wide masses of people, with information support of state power and governance. The present situation needs development of a new paradigm of human existence, and modification of their valuables, demonstrated by a variety of cultural concepts.
Formulation of the problem. The purpose of this article is the need to identify some well-known concepts of information society, especially its socio-cultural characteristics. These characteristics are growth of knowledge industry, transformation of information into knowledge, cultivation of information culture, introduction of informational technologies and their influence on the development of personality.
Results. Before considering the culture of information society it would be reasonable to analyze the concepts of information society, to consider the evolution of social communications, to determine the role and influence of modern technical forms of culture, in particular of the World Wide Web, on social environment.
The doctrine of information society developed in the latter half of 20th century has become one of the most effective theoretical tools for studying tendencies and processes of socio-cultural evolution of human society in the 21st century. Its essence includes an analysis of a new social system, that is to replace industrialism, in terms of advances in scientific knowledge and technological advances in sphere of data collection, storage, transformation and dissemination.
J. A de Condorcet has already emphasized the problems of technological order in solving problems of socio-cultural development in his work «Sketch of historical picture of human mind». The author described the periods of technical and economic progress of civilization and associated them with the stages of the evolution of human mind.
Later on this idea was adopted by ideologists of industrialism - by positivists Henri de Saint-Simon, D. Stuart Mill and Auguste Comte, who highlighted the role of technical and scientific knowledge in development of society.
Since the 60s of the 20th century a variety of works appeared exploring cultural and historical frontiers, to which the humanity belongs . That forms a new approach to studying culture on the basis of technical and informational aspects. The main feature that unites all these works, and differentiates them from all the others is their focus on the future and the present of a social system, but not on its past. All the theoretical concepts of information society have two points of view on the future: either they are full of social optimism, based on the advantages of introduction of information technologies into all spheres of cultural life, or they predict an impending catastrophe of culture, which would involve estrangement of personality, homogeneity of social structures, dominance of «mass culture», concentration of power in the hands of technical elite and managers.
The first scientist to define the concept of industrialism as a stage of social and cultural development in his book «Great Hope of the twentieth century» (1949) was French researcher Jean Fourastie. He divided the entire history of mankind and its culture into two stages: the period of traditional development (from the Neolithic age to the 1800s) and the period of industrial society (from 1800s to the twentieth century). He found technological advance, which changes not only culture, but also the entire society to be the main motive force for development of the latter stage. Fourastie suggested some significant methodological principles of the developing information society and defined its constitutive parameters. He believed that most of the employed in social production would be concentrated in a sector of service and information. Rapid growth of technological advance will provide economic progress, as well as social and cultural one, that will lead to formation of informational civilization. Changing of technologies will cause changes in all sectors of culture, and new technologies will become the basis and a driving force of society as a system.
In the 1960s the developing information society was studied by Marshall McLuhan, philosopher and culture expert. In 1962 he introduced the concept of «electronic society» as the principal one, and he set a task to study contemporary culture according to the place of electrical or electronic tools for contact or communication in it. The researcher's attention was attracted by television, which he considered to be a leader of the entire global electronic reality that was being formed. Television incorporates other media (radio, cinema, press), and creates a peculiar specificity of «imitation of life», it forms a kind of mosaic esthetic and psychological perception of the surrounding world. The mosaic structure of formation of television image which represents the whole world as a set of messages with no logic connection, makes a viewer accept and assimilate the objective reality as a mosaic-resonant reality. According to McLuhan, printing appliances of industrial society created a public while electronic devices create the masses .
Following Fourastie and McLuhan, many authors wrote about the forthcoming information society and about their culture. G. Kahn and E. Weiner in the book «Year 2000»  proved the idea of «post-mass- consumer» society, A. Ettsioni in his work «Active society» (1968) predicted the beginning of the post-modern era. In 1969, A. Touraine in his book «Postindustrial society» disclosed the main features of this type of society: «Industrial society is in a crisis ... A challenge is posed to the entire system of values ... The crisis affects not only the institutions but also our motivation and our social behaviour. It is a real crisis of the entire civilization, but not only dysfunction of any particular area of social organization ...». American futurologists in their works: Alvin Toffler - «Future Shock» (1970), Z. Brzezinski - «Between two centuries. The role of America in technotronic era» (1971), described the essential parameters of the information society. They outlined the developed service industry, in which data processing and dissemination of knowledge by means of information technologies occupy a leading position.
An outstanding contribution to the theory of information society was made by an American scholar D. Bell in his work «The Forthcoming Industrial Society» . According to D. Bell, telecommunication information technologies create some unique conditions for effective development of democracy, nation, society and culture. Information and scientific knowledge are not only part of modern production, service and social technologies, but they are the basis for that. In the book «Metamorphosis of Power» A. Toffler wrote that massive and intense transformation covered not only the spheres of economy, politics and culture, but would also lead to change in the fundamentals of reproduction of man as a biological and anthropological type. Social and cultural institutes and technologies of governance are to be radically reconstructed.
In the 1980s Japanese sociologist Y. Masuda in his theoretical study entitled «Information society as a post-industrial society»  predicts a new type of society in which human rights and freedoms would be fully guaranteed in scope of information sphere. Virtual life on the Internet becomes a standard. Virtual life includes creative activity, entertainment and recreation, shopping, professional training, search for and acquisition of knowledge from information resources in various countries around the world.
In the 1990s there starts a transition from theoretical development of information society and its culture to its practical and political implementation in the West. In 1994 a decision was adopted on transition of EU countries to information society. Later on, in 1995, The European Commission established «Information Society Forum» to discuss problems of information society formation and the role of mass media in it .
In 1996, the European Commission prepared a document entitled «Life and work in information society». This document paid particular attention to the influence of information culture on the development of people and social environment, to the connection between regional and national schools in the EU, to the distribution of European educational practices via networks.
The entry into the new millennium, and a real transition of technically and economically developed countries to information society posed a number of problems for other, less developed countries. These problems are: what is the link between information technology, culture and communication? Will global informatization result in a domination of the Western countries, who will gain key positions in the sector of information technologies, who will get control over mental culture of other countries? Is it fair to consider postmodernism a display of culture of the information society? Does worldwide globalization pose a risk to cultural relations?
To answer all these questions it must be admitted that cultural diversity is considered to be one of the fundamental advantages of Europe . For a long time the cultural policy of society was considered to be determined and implemented primarily at the level of national states. However, the balance of power in the sphere of cultural changes increasingly under the emergence of supranational structures and globalization on the one hand and under the extend of cultural activity to regional and local levels, on the other. Regionalization has become the last harbor for historical and cultural identity of «native» Europeans.
The role of creative intellectuals in these processes is contradictory. Not only writers, but also many artists of traditional schools are usually hostile to wide scale technological transformation, that make possible and inevitable the free exchange of information and values - not only of the material ones, but also of the mental. They are more afraid of foreign impact than of local protectionism. They believe economic progress brings death to «genuine» or «high» culture.
On the other hand, the world of the postmodern age creates new diversity of creative professionalism that is less bounded by national framework. This primarily refers to audiovisual creation, show business and other forms of popular culture. Mass communication media, information trunk-lines make the global cultural environment even more diversified, which creates a technological basis for the formation of cultural communities of different types. As a result, elite culture is losing its monopolistic position at cultural practices. The followers of this culture have to look for state or private funding on equal rights with others. At the same time the overall picture of world culture is determined not only and not so much by recurrences of geopolitical confrontation of civilizations, of world religions and of specific values of ethnic groups, not by a struggle of «elite» against the «masses», but it is determined by continuous and mainly productive interaction between a variety of subcultures and global mass culture of mankind.
The rapid growth of mass communication media and mass arts, the rise of screen culture (cinema, television, and video), radio and sound recording, computer and network technologies has radically changed the understanding of structure and functions of culture. As mentioned above, modern culture is characterized by two complementary tendencies - by integration, which leads to formation of a global mass culture that unites people regardless of their gender, age, religion with the help of widely spread melodies and texts, cultural stereotypes, and, at the same time, with diversification, and growth in the number of various cultural communities. It is due to the invention of the telephone, telegraph, the Internet and new digital technologies that have appeared fairly recently, that representatives of such communities get a real opportunity to contact each other, no matter where they are around the globe.
Professional groups, fans of one or another sport or show business «star» found an opportunity to develop their own subculture and cultural policy together. Under the conditions of political and ideological «multipolarity» established at the end of the 20th century, the interaction between subcultures has suddenly became one of the most important elements of development of modern civilization.
Under these circumstances the cultural policy of information society is aimed at creating a unified culture environment, and it set the «rules» for interaction between subcultures. The specificity of Ukraine in this context is determined both by ethnic and socio-cultural diversity of its population, and by the processes of so-called "Metissage", that is a result of several centuries of interethnic marriages. In other words, multiculturalism and interculturalism are traditional problems for our country, while Western Europe faces these problems only in the process of association and strengthening of migration flows, including migration from other continents. That, of course, does not mean that ethnic and religious interaction in our country is less painful. Ukrainian intellectual tradition has realized these problems long ago, although various models for their solution have been suggested. In current practice, these models are reflected in acting legislation of Ukraine.
Conclusion. Finding solutions to sociocultural problems should become the basis for the development of our country over the next few years. First of all, we have to get rid of a discrepancy between wide cultural changes, and inadequate level of institutional development. Weakening individual and social stimuli that motivate people to develop new skills and knowledge necessary under the conditions of the changing environment, for a full life, and, for organizing cultural and informational environment, has become one of the most socially important problems of today.
The development of education system for the masses is a necessary high-priority part of the state socio-cultural policy. Improving modern educational programs would make it possible to spread rational organization of social life on a wide scale, and, to contribute to creation of new, socially useful forms of organization of the information society which would help to solve a number of socio-cultural problems of high-priority. Besides, it must be considered that education is currently carried out mainly through the forms of mass audiovisual culture and via such sources as the radio, television, cinema, video and the Internet. Traditional fine arts (literature, music, and painting) are to play a significant role in this process.
1. Bell D. The Coming of Post-Industrial Society / D. Bell. - New York, 1973.
2. Kahn H., Wiener A. The Next Thirty-Three Years: A Frame-Work for Speculation // Toward the Year 2000. Work in Progress / Ed. by D. Bell. Boston, 1968.- P. 75.
3. Masuda Y. The Information Society as Post-Industrial Society / Masuda Y., 1981.
4. McLuhan M. The Gutenberg Galaxy. N.Y. - 1962.
5. Окінавська хартія глобального інформаційного суспільства від 22.07.2000 р. // Дипломатичний вісник, 2000. - №8. - С. 51-56.
6. Riesman D. Leisure and Work in Post-Industrial Society / Eds. E. Lar- rabee, R. Meyersohn. Glencoe. - 1958.- P. 363-385.
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