Internet and Society – Social Theory in the Information Age
The study on Internet and Society undertaken here takes place within a larger framework that has during the last years been labeled with categories like Internet research, ICTs and society, social informatics, informatics and society, new media research, information society theory, information society research/studies, Internet studies, Web research, etc.
The research field of ICT&S deals with the interplay of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and society. Two interconnected aspects of ICT&S research are:
• The social shaping/social design of ICTs.
• The impacts of ICT usage on society.
The task is the analysis of these relationships and the contribution to the design of society and ICTs so that a participatory knowledge society can emerge. ICT&S research deals with opportunities and risks of the knowledge society and the shaping of technology and social systems. ICT&S research is a double process, consisting of (1) a process in which human actors design ICTs and in which it is analyzed how society shapes ICTs, and (2) of a process in which it is assessed how the usage of ICTs transforms society. That ICTs are shown at another level than society here doesn’t mean that they exist outside of it. Rather, ICTs are an immanent part of society.
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