New year, new issue of the online journal Fast Capitalism. This is a special one, with a special section on Academia in the Internet age (one of my topics of choice – as you can see from this recent communication of mine at the Sciences Sociales 2.0 symposium at the ENS Lyon).
Guest Editors: Celina Raffl and Joseph Brenner
For inquiries about potential papers please contact Celina Raffl (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Deadline for full paper submission:
February 28th, 2010.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have changed our lives significantly over the last few decades, and they will continue to do so. ICTs influence the way we live, work, and organize. These changes we are facing as societies (and as individuals) bear positive and negative side effects that concern academia as well, since science and research serve a function in and for society.
What kind of academic field do we need to meet the challenges of the information age?
Many different research approaches have emerged over the last decades that aim at explaining, shaping, and forecasting social change related to an increasing penetration, miniaturization, and convergence of ICTs.
tripleC suggests the designation of this research area as ICTs-and-Society to indicate its broad perspective. The term ICTs itself is broad enough to capture Internet, Web, Web 2.0, Social Media, Social Networks, new mobile technologies, ambient technologies, etc. Society too, can refer to society at large, or to certain aspects, of society, such as economy, ecology, politics, culture, etc., and includes both individuals and organizations.
However this research area is defined, and from which disciplinary background it is viewed, there are several shared problems, since ICTs-and-Society is not (yet?) an established discipline. “Disciplines share central themes, shared terminology with (assumed) common definitions, a canon of literature considered essential. There are agreed-on methodologies, theoretical structures, and evaluative criteria to assess research […]” (Baym 2005, 230). Internet or ICT-research therefore is more like an organization with a core problem. For Shrum (2005, 274) it is an “indiscipline” where “[e]veryone is welcome, no matter what your perspective, no matter whom you cite, no matter what method you choose for your research.” Researchers such as Hunsinger (2005), Fuchs (2008), Hofkirchner et al (2007), suggest that ICTs-and-Society research should be considered as a transdiscipline. (more…)