- A-Z Publications
- Communicare : Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa
- Previous Issues
- Volume 32, Issue 2, 2013
Communicare : Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa - Volume 32, Issue 2, 2013
Volumes & issues
Volume 32, Issue 2, 2013
Source: Communicare : Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa 32, pp II –III (2013)More Less
Societies caught up in the escalation of technological progress may find that the rate of technological change exceeds the rate of social adjustment, resulting in a high cost to society in terms of social decline. Fukuyama, a highly renowned sociologist and author of The Great Disruption: human nature and the reconstitution of social order, contends that social norms that work for one historical period are disrupted by the advance of technology. In such circumstances, both the economy and society have to catch up in order to re-norm itself under these changed conditions. Technological change that brings about what economist Joseph Schumpeter called the creative destruction of the marketplace causes similar disruption in the world of social relationships. While transition into the information society has disrupted social norms, a modern, high technology society cannot function without them, and will face considerable pressure to produce them.
Author S. SonderlingSource: Communicare : Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa 32, pp 1 –19 (2013)More Less
This article, as part of a larger study on the role of war as the primary and primordial formative mechanism of human thought and communication, investigates the functions of war in the thinking of postmodern philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard. It is argued that the central idea that provides the structuring framework for Lyotard's theory of communication is the concept of agonistics that is derived from Heraclitus' assertion that war is the father of all things. Against the prevailing hegemony of the pacifist bias in poststructuralist social theories, Lyotard returns language to its pragmatic origin in the war-like agonistic and combative social reality. Lyotard's insight that acts of speaking in society resemble fighting facilitates a better understanding of the contemporary postmodern global world that resembles a return of the neomedieval condition, which was characterised by perfect communication and warfare.
Author B. OlivierSource: Communicare : Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa 32, pp 20 –39 (2013)More Less
In 'The Rise of the Network Society' (2010), Manuel Castells elaborates on what today is common knowledge, namely the notion of a society that is characterised both by networks of electronically mediated communication and by networks undergirding economic exchanges worldwide. In this article, I explore a dissonance issuing from a feature of the network society, namely what Castells calls the 'transformation of space and time in the human experience'. In this context, he distinguishes between 'the space of places' and 'the space of flows', with the former referring to the historically familiar sense of space as a material precondition of social interaction and of architectural modulation into 'place', and the latter to a novel form of spatiality, one that is related to social interaction that has been fundamentally modified by advanced communication technologies and is characterised by simultaneity, regardless of physical distance. This, in turn, is related to what Castells labels 'timeless time', which is noticeable where customary time sequences are blurred in certain contemporary practices, such as virtually instantaneous financial transactions, 'instant wars' and virtual communication. This contrasts with both ordinary, 'human' time and also with evolutionary 'glacial time' - a notion operative in the ecological movement and one that increasingly clashes with the demands of 'timeless time' in the network society. The article reconstructs Castells's comprehensive vision and points to the relevance of the conflict between these respective notions of space and time for contemporary communication practices. It also engages critically with the social implications of the dominant modes of space and time.
Diffusion and adoption of information and communication technologies in the public sector : the case of selected government departments in KwaZulu-NatalSource: Communicare : Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa 32, pp 40 –62 (2013)More Less
This study seeks to shed some light on the types, usage and availability of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in four selected government departments in the KwaZulu-Natal government in South Africa. To achieve the stated aim, the study posed and then answered the following research questions: What types of ICTs are available in government departments? What is the purpose of using ICTs in government departments? What are the benefits of using ICTs in government departments? What are the ICTs that civil servants consider to be effective in improving work productivity in government departments? What are the civil servants' recommendations for improving ICT usage in government departments? The study was informed by the diffusion-of-innovations theory. Government departments considered to be central to service delivery were targeted by means of a survey. To obtain a representative sample, a systematic sampling method was applied. The collected data were analysed using thematic categorisation and tabulation, and the findings were presented descriptively. The results indicate that a variety of ICT tools and services have been adopted in the government departments included in the survey so as to facilitate information sharing and improve communication. All the civil servants surveyed indicated that they used ICTs to communicate with fellow colleagues and to disseminate departmental information. The most popular recommendations included the need for sufficient and coherent government policies to regulate the training of staff in the utilisation of ICTs in the sector. Detailed recommendations for further study are provided.
Source: Communicare : Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa 32, pp 63 –81 (2013)More Less
Narcissism is increasingly being regarded as one of the most serious sociocultural problems of the contemporary era. Indeed, recent studies by Baldwin and Stroman (2007) and Buffardi and Campbell (2008), among others, have advanced the opinion that new media technologies - particularly social networking websites - have significantly exacerbated the rise and spread of narcissism in contemporary society. Based on this premise that social media provide the perfect platform for the promotion of self-infatuation, this research paper provides a critical analysis of the potential influence of social media in the development of a widespread narcissistic sociocultural condition. In this regard, claims that increasingly consumerist, individualist and media-saturated societies are nurturing a culture of extreme narcissism, vanity and entitlement are examined in relation to an increase in the use of consumer-orientated new media technologies. In particular, by examining the structural components of the popular social networking site, Facebook, this research highlights the connection between the use of this form of new media and the engenderment of an acutely consumerist and narcissistic subjectivity. That is, the role of new media technologies in the promotion of narcissistic identity construction is examined as a factor of particular significance in the formation of contemporary subjectivity. In relation to this, the impact of online narcissism on the perpetuation and propagation of capitalist isolation, alienation and insecurity is investigated before some remedial measures - which co-opt rather than negate such social media - are proposed.