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Technology And Society Term Paper

3674 words - 15 pages

Essay Assignment: Option 3

Nathan Young
11 March 2010
SOC 3116 E (Winter 2010)
Andrew Wigmore 4470968

Introduction
Imagine having the ability to take part in romance, friendship, and sex; be fed, clothed, and entertained; receive medical, legal and any other type of advice; collect any type of information, from historical facts to secrets about others– all without leaving the comfort of your own home. A technology now exists which enables a person to lead many secret lives, broadcast their opinions, beliefs, and most intimate thoughts, not to mention their physical features, to an unbelievably wide audience. For the first time in human history, a technology exists that gives us ...view middle of the document...

“Social exclusion is the process by which certain individuals or groups are barred from access to social positions that would entitle them to provide for themselves adequately, in an autonomous way, within the context of prevailing institutions and values” (Castells, 1999)

The Global Network Society focuses on the methods in which new technology is being unrolled, expanded, and geographically patterned in relation to equality and inequality. If the Internet is in fact the “door” to new opportunities, we must ask ourselves how it is patterned geographically and demographically. While this is all good and well, it can become problematic if the way the Internet is being diversified creates inequality and unevenness. New technology offers opportunities to make broad strides in order to make overall improvements in life. We now no longer need to rely on infrastructure projects, like phone lines, as we have the ability to “wire up” societies at minimal cost. Manuel Castells said that, “The information age, the critical organizational form is the network...ours in now a global network society” (Castells, 1999). The Internet allows you, as an individual or a company, to access resources independent of geography (Young, 2010).

The Internet has allowed people to access markets, ideas, and gain exposure to a plethora of different cultures. Through the use of the World Wide Web, someone from an Eastern culture can have access to Western culture and vice versa. The Internet has given the opportunity for people with minimal contact with others, to connect with others outside of their own geographic locale. For this to occur of course, the Internet must be freely used and not controlled or oppressed. The Internet has made the world more international, and we see this in the ability for someone in a country far away, to be able to work as an employee for a company located in another country across the globe. Most items are now being unbound in terms of space thanks in large part to the Internet. From their own home or office building, someone from India can provide multiple services to clients abroad. Increasingly through the ability to compress time and space, a person can essentially be in two places at once. The Internet is the only tool that has both a time and space bias. Much like in years past, there are groups of countries that are rich and that are poor. The Internet has been a driving force in changing this (Young, 2010).

The aforementioned arguments clearly outline the benefits of the Internet with regards to globalization, and on the opposite end of the spectrum, exclusion and isolation can become profound in areas of the world that do not have access to the Internet. If the societies of this world are becoming more and more “Internet friendly”, those areas in which the Internet is not as accessible risk falling behind and in turn becoming isolated from the new global economy and civilization. Thus begins the...

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