Context : OnFeudalism
Sociological theories influenced by the tradition of Hegelian and Marxist historicism see social development falling into historical epochs.
The most common idea, due to Marx, is that these epochs are differentiated by prevalent economic patterns (the mode of production) which constrains and patterns all other aspects of culture and social organization. The two, generally agreed modes of production are Capitalism (which we're currently living under) and previously Feudalism.
One group of sociological commentators are now attempting to understand social transformation as a shift to a new social / economic set of patterns which we might call Informationalism as most are based on observations of social changes due to information technology, TheInformationEconomy etc.
Examples include :
- The NetworkSociety
- Another way of thinking as a dialectic of WorkArticulationTopologies
This idea can be criticised :
- this can't be a transition, because true transitions are witnessed by revolutions or periods of disruption. We currently see no such disruption, rather a smooth transition as the elites and institutions of capitalism embrace the new technologies and thrive. (See for example HerbertSchiller)
- this can't be a transition, because transitions require a deeper change in the economic pattern. We currently see no change from capitalism as the economic infrastructure.
- the historicist idea of monolithic epochs is wrong. History progresses in a far more complex way, operated on by many forces,
- Perhaps each epoch is really a redefinition of the previous one. InformationalistReductionOfCapitalism
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