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Technology and Social Choices in the Era of Social Transformations

by Borut Rončević (Volume editor) Matej Makarovič (Volume editor)
Edited Collection 236 Pages

Summary

From the dawn of humanity, the dialectic relationship between technology and society has been one of the driving forces behind changes in both realms. Trends in technological developments and their applications are, ultimately, the result of individual and collective choices. At the same time, technology influences the social choices of individuals, small groups and entire societies. This book focuses on two closely related ideas: technological development and social choices. While relating them, the book shows the relationship between human individuals and their agency; social structures, both as the initial context and as resulting from human agency; and technology that has been developed and applied by human agents’ choices within social contexts.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the editors
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Inseparability of Technology and Society: An Introduction
  • Part 1: Challenging Individuals
  • Digital Gap: Media Habits of Youth and Senior Citizens in Slovenia (Mateja Rek)
  • Does Digitalization Make Slovenian Youth More Reflexive? (Tea Golob and Matej Makarovič)
  • The Role of ICT in Adolescents Dealing with Psychosocial Problems (Jana Krivec, Primož Rakovec and Tjaša Stepišnik Perdih)
  • Part 2: Challenges of Learning and Entrepreneurship
  • The Effectiveness of E-learning for Students’ Acquiring Online Presentation Competence (Petra Kleindienst in Andrej Raspor)
  • Academic Entrepreneurship in the Framework of Cognitive Mobilisation (Frane Adam, Maruša Gorišek, Matej Makarovič)
  • Part 3: Challenges of Governance
  • Democratization and Authoritarianism in the Middle East: Dominant Paradigms and New Perspectives (Janja Mikulan Kildi)
  • Roots and Manifestations of Populism in Contemporary Democracies (Frane Adam, Matevž Tomšič)
  • Three Decades of Electoral Participation Between Fragmentation and Contingency: A Survey of the Literature on Economic Voting in Eastern Europe (Dadiana Chiran)
  • Table of Equation
  • Table of Figures
  • Table of Graphs
  • Table of Tables
  • Index

cover

Bibliographic Information published by the
Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche
Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available online at
http://dnb.d-nb.de.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
A CIP catalog record for this book has been applied for at the
Library of Congress.

About the editors

Matej Makarovič, PhD, is a professor of sociology at the School of Advanced Social Studies (Nova Gorica, Slovenia) and Jean Monnet Chair in the field of governance for sustainable development. He is the co-chair of the Research Network for Sociology of Social Transformations of the European Sociological Association (ESA) and the president of the National Committee of the Management of Social Transformations Programme (MOST) at the Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO. He was a visiting scholar at several universities and research centres in the United States of America, Lebanon, Ireland, Czech Republic and Romania.

Borut Rončevič, PhD, is a professor of sociology at the School of Advanced Social Studies (Nova Gorica, Slovenia) and Faculty of Information Studies (Novo mesto, Slovenia). He is the fellow of Regional Studies Association. He is Jean Monnet Chair of Cultural Political Economy of Europe 2030 and the head of Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence “Technologies and Innovations in Regional Development” (2017–2020) and Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence “Strategic Observatory for Europe 2030.” He was a visiting scholar at academic institutions in United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Russia, Denmark, Lebanon and Croatia.

About the book

Matej Makarovič and Borut Rončević (eds.)

Technology and Social Choices in the Era of Social
Transformations

From the dawn of humanity, the dialectic relationship between technology and society has been one of the driving forces behind changes in both realms. Trends in technological developments and their applications are, ultimately, the result of individual and collective choices. At the same time, technology influences the social choices of individuals, small groups and entire societies. This book focuses on two closely related ideas: technological development and social choices. While relating them, the book shows the relationship between human individuals and their agency; social structures, both as the initial context and as resulting from human agency; and technology that has been developed and applied by human agents’ choices within social contexts.

This eBook can be cited

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

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Inseparability of Technology and Society: An Introduction

Technology cannot be separated from society. From the dawn of humanity, the dialectic relationship between the two has been one of the driving forces behind changes in both realms. Trends in technological developments and their applications are, ultimately, the result of individual and collective choices. At the same time, technology influences the social choices of individuals, small groups and entire societies.

As a result, it is impossible to avoid the issue of technology in an analysis of the development of societies. These developments are, whether examining them at a grand scale or in long-term perspectives, often analysed as the global trends or megatrends. There have been many attempts at mapping them. One such approach, from the perspective of sociology, is the analysis of the four global trends by Genov (1997). None of the four trends would be possible without technological developments. The trend of the spread of instrumental activism is best demonstrated through the ideology and practice of industrialism that have been incorporated in technological infrastructures. The trend of individualization is immeasurably enabled by technological devices and enhanced by the rapid pace of technological change, which makes certainties that were previously granted by the levels of collective-based educational processes unattainable. The trend of upgrading organizational rationality is increasingly inseparable from technological innovations, pioneered in their industrial settings in Western Europe, and then spread throughout the globe. Even the trend of value-normative universalization would not be possible without technological advances, be it the Guttenberg’s invention of the printing press or the internet. Since communication is mediated through technology – be it papyrus scrolls or online social media – it goes without saying that the challenges to these trends (Genov, 2018) also cannot be separated from technological development. Technological development, together with ‘crises of capitalism’, may, in fact, amplify them.

Likewise, a review of Naisbitt’s ten megatrends (1982) clearly shows that these trends were formed in a dialectic relationship between society and technology, which is not only true for the most obvious trends, such as the transition from an industrial to an information society or the shift from forced technology to high-tech. Technology also enables other trends or, in some cases, trends require the development of specific technological solutions. The emergence of a truly global economy is only possible through the emergence of extremely sophisticated ←7 | 8→technology-enabled (both IT and transportation technology) logistical value chains, by extremely sophisticated infrastructure such as data centres and, in some cases, even by the joint development of products, again enabled by the infrastructure. The shift in business management from short-term planning to long-term perspectives relies on increasingly sophisticated tools, all of which are enhanced by technology. Even the less obvious ones, such as the shift from institutional help, provided by the government, medical institutions, the school system, and similar, to self-help, are enabled by – and require the development of – relevant technological tools, such as the ambient assisted living devices, smart homes, online medical assistance, a plethora of online training services, and similar.

Biographical notes

Borut Rončević (Volume editor) Matej Makarovič (Volume editor)

Matej Makarovič, PhD, is a professor of sociology at the School of Advanced Social Studies (Nova Gorica, Slovenia) and Jean Monnet Chair in the field of governance for sustainable development. He is the co-chair of the Research Network for Sociology of Social Transformations of the European Sociological Association (ESA) and the president of the National Committee of the Management of Social Transformations Programme (MOST) at the Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO. He was a visiting scholar at several universitiesand research centres in the United States of America, Lebanon, Ireland, Czech Republic and Romania. Borut Rončevič, PhD, is a professor of sociology at the School of Advanced Social Studies (Nova Gorica, Slovenia) and Faculty of Information Studies (Novo mesto, Slovenia). He is the fellow of Regional Studies Association. He is Jean Monnet Chair of Cultural Political Economy of Europe 2030 and the head of Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence “Technologies and Innovations in Regional Development” (2017–2020) and Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence “Strategic Observatory for Europe 2030.” He was a visiting scholar at academic institutions in United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Russia, Denmark, Lebanon and Croatia.

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Title: Technology and Social Choices in the Era of Social Transformations