Gane, N. (2006) Speed Up or Slow Down? Social Theory in the Information Age. Information, Communication and Society, 9 (1). pp. 20-38. ISSN 1369-118X
Extreme processes of social and cultural acceleration lie at the heart of the information age but social theory, for the most part, continues to be a slow and patient affair. In view of this, this paper asks how such theory is to respond to the speed-up of social life and culture. Should it attempt to keep pace with a world that is changing faster than ever? Or is the strength of theory that it is a slow, detached and reflective form that lies outside the accelerated logic of contemporary capitalist culture? In an attempt to address such questions, this paper considers two main alternatives: first, that theory should follow the speed-up of the world by technologizing itself (as argued by Scott Lash and Peter Lunenfeld), and second, and seemingly contrary to this, that in times of cultural speed-up theory should either call for social and cultural slow-down (Marshall McLuhan, Paul Virilio), slow down itself (Jean Baudrillard), or perhaps both. In considering these alternatives, media theory (associated with the above figures) is used as a resource for questioning the focus and form of social theory today.
|Institution:||The University of York|
|Academic Units:||The University of York > Sociology (York)|
|Depositing User:||York RAE Import|
|Date Deposited:||15 May 2009 14:05|
|Last Modified:||15 May 2009 14:05|
|Publisher:||Taylor & Francis|