Presentation (Elaboration), 2006
5 Pages, Grade: 1,3
The role of politics in knowledge society
The following text deals with the implications of an Atopian knowledge society for the role of politics and its governing possibilities. Special emphasis is put on the allegations of symbolic systems in this connection. First, some central information on symbolic systems will be provided, a framework within which the second part, the role of politics, will be discussed. Finally, the third part will reflect the contents of the discussion which was initiated after the oral presentations.
Basic Information on Symbolic Systems
Principally, a general distinction between the symbolic world and the real world can be drawn, which has accompanied human life throughout all of its history. The symbolic world reflects the imaginary world, the world of thoughts, and today especially comprises the ideas of knowledge society and thus particularly the knowledge of sciences. On the other hand, the real world represents the material and empirical reality as the environment of symbolic systems.
Symbolic systems are characterized by a non-linear development, meaning that their complexity and intransparency under the conditions of knowledge society cause an immanent possibility of sudden collapse, which makes the prediction of their future conditions hardly possible. Prime examples are investment models in the financial system or scientific research, which daily creates new knowledge and resulting symbols. On the whole, it seems that symbolic anarchy prevails as a crucial feature of knowledge society.
Symbolic systems, just like social systems, operate autonomously although they are typically activated through their usage in the communication of social systems, with the major example of language. While the initial conditions of the emergence of language were still dependent on specific social systems and persons, language in its evolution established itself as a self-referential, operationally closed symbolic system with its own rules (grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation) and independence of individual acts of speaking.
More importantly, the relation between symbolic and social systems allows for structural couplings, which in the knowledge society manifest themselves in the primary influence of symbolic systems on social systems, and thus on the everyday actions of people and organizations. In contrast to earlier forms of society, knowledge society causes a primacy of symbolic systems over the material world, e.g. the control of symbols like “collective identity” or “solidarity” over the real allocation/distribution policies of governments or the determining effects of political “control optimism” (Steuerungsoptimismus) on the everyday lives of people, their hopes of change and their overall idea of politics and sovereign nation-states.
The influence of the symbolic world on the material world is a central issue in this connection and is specifically visible as a result of the digital revolution. Digital computers created new forms of symbolisation, since they are not only capable of storing data, like books or inscriptions, but also process instructions on the handling of this data and on the instructions themselves, which led to the creation of different levels of language regarding computer programs. In this way, complex architectures of symbolic systems arose, which influence multi-layered social chains of action in a decisive way. Examples are widespread single programs like MS PowerPoint, which totally altered persistent symbolic systems and created new demands and criteria on the evaluation of oral presentations because of its societal breakthrough. Other programs, with increased impact and on a more complex level of language, are incorporate programs that (re)configurate and/or control a whole organization or even a network thereof.
In this way, symbolic systems emerging through the digital revolution constitute the fundament for the creation of complex patterns and constellations of actions, reflected by the takeover of symbolic sequences between different kinds of organizations. These organizations react on each other by mutually transplanting symbolic sequences from one another into their own architecture, both on purpose and unintentionally. This process leads to the creation of generalized practices, standards and expertise and thus to the formation of governance regimes.
Essay, 22 Pages
Thesis (M.A.), 118 Pages
Research Paper (undergraduate), 30 Pages
Scientific Essay, 14 Pages
Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 20 Pages
Essay, 4 Pages
Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 25 Pages
Essay, 10 Pages
Term Paper, 15 Pages
Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 33 Pages
GRIN Publishing, located in Munich, Germany, has specialized since its foundation in 1998 in the publication of academic ebooks and books. The publishing website GRIN.com offer students, graduates and university professors the ideal platform for the presentation of scientific papers, such as research projects, theses, dissertations, and academic essays to a wide audience.
Free Publication of your term paper, essay, interpretation, bachelor's thesis, master's thesis, dissertation or textbook - upload now!