The internet has in the recent past become the fibre of the modern social life. According to the available statistics, the number of people who uses internet has grown from under 40 million in 1995 to more than 1.5 million in 2009 (Stalder 2006, p.79). Manuel Castells, a senior professor of sociology have been studying the changes that are brought about by modern technology in the society and have developed a theory of “Network Society”. The theory talks about society which is not controlled by distance and time (Castells 2007, p. 265). A network society is a society whose social structure is composed of networks which are empowered by communication strategies and micro-electronic-based information. According to Castells, network is an inter-connection between different nodes. Despite being a traditional human practice, network has in modern days taken a new form by becoming an informational network which is enhanced by internet. Due to the ever expanding use of technology in modern societal operations, designers in different entities have as well benefited from the emergence of network society. Despite the highly hyped benefits of networks societies, some designers have suffered severely from the modern technology. The essay below focuses on how designers in their work benefit or suffer from the network society. Benefits of Network Society to Designers The core aim of contemporary technology is to advance the living status of the general population. The objective of the technology is projected to be achieved by developing mechanisms that can reduce the amount of labour and increased the level of outcome. The emergence of modern technology has a substantial encouraging impact to modern designers. Modern network is extraordinarily flexible and has wide scope compared to traditional networks. The flexibility of a network society is therefore very helpful for designers in facilitating instant and dependable access to relevant social organisations and structures (Stalder, 2006, p.79). Networks in modern society are proliferated in all aspects of the social facets including: outperforming cooperates, outcompeting centralised bureaucracies and economy. This has reduced the complications that may be countered by designers in accessing several social and economic entities. Prior to the emergence of internet, designers were faced with intricate barrier in fulfilling their task and in managing their daily functions. This was especially the case in the situation when their operations are huge and more complex to be accomplished by one entity. However, modern development has brought about a network society that fits extensively in designers’ operations and interactions. Secondly, network society has also brought about exceptional combination between task and flexibility which has led to sophisticated form of human action. As a result, designers are at present in a better position to make well coordinated decisions with the inclusion of all players in the society. The grouping between flexibility and task has as well led to effective execution of horizontal communication which is vital for efficient operation in designer profession. In addition, due to the existence of network society, the boundaries between other type of communication and mass media have in the recent past blurred. As a result, the weakening boundary between mass communication and other forms of communication such as social media and printed media
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HOW DO DESIGNERS IN THEIR WORK BENEFIT OR SUFFER FROM ‘THE NETWORK SOCIETY’ (MANUEL CASTELLS)? Name Institution Introduction The emerging technology and its exponential growth are with time turning out to be indispensable facet in the transformation of the operations and activities in the contemporary society…
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Manuel Castells has no qualms in admitting the fact that the network society “offers as many opportunities as it raises challenges” (2001, p.275). In his opinion the beneficial aspect of this network society were features like innovation and freedom of thinking that it encouraged but these were gradually overtaken by oppressive and restrictive ways.
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