Lehmann, Niels, Lars Qvortrup, and Bo Kampmann Walther (Eds.). The Concept of the Network Society: Post-Ontological Reflections.
Lehmann, Niels, Lars Qvortrup, and Bo Kampmann Walther (Eds.). The Concept of the Network Society: Post-Ontological Reflections. Frederiksberg, Denmark: Samfundslitteratur Press and Goteborg, Sweden: NORDICOM, 2007. Pp. 210. ISBN 978-87-593-1189-9 (paper) 228 kr.
This edited collection on the nature of the network society forms part of a series of seven volumes emerging from a four-year national research program in Denmark, "Media and Democracy in the Network Society." While each book examines a different aspect of the question, this one poses more fundamental or philosophical questions. The changes in communication possibilities and patterns of the late 20th century correlate with changes in thinking about society, even in a "theory of the world." one must take into account the epistemological conditions of any inquiry. As members of a knowledge society, people have become more self-consciously aware of their position of observation, while at the same time knowing others engaged in similar activities.
Essays in this collection wrestle with questions of knowledge, the validity of knowledge, the stance from which knowledge claims emerge. Bo Kampmann Walter investigates "the theoretical rationality of the concept of the network society" while his editorial colleague Lars Qvortrup explores "network, knowledge, and complexity." other chapters examine a post-deconstructive aesthetics--making the network of art more self-aware--and a theory of society focused on difference.
While challenging, this volume raises important issues introduced by the changing social reality of the networks people so often take for granted.