This book examines the implications of new communication technologies in the light of the most recent work in social and cultural theory and argues that new developments in electronic media, such as the Internet and Virtual Reality, justify the designation of a "second media age".
Part I: Theoretical Reconsiderations: . 1. Social Theory and the New Media. 2. Postmodern Virtualities. 3. Postmodernity and the Politics of Multiculturalism. 4. The Mode of Information and Postmodernity. 5. Databases as Discourse, or Electronic Interpellations. 6. Critical Theory and TechnoCulture: Habermas and Baudrillard. Part II: Medias: . 7. Politics in the Mode of Information: Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. . 8. RoboBody. 9. What Does Wotan Want? Ambivalent Feminism in Wagner's Ring. . 10. War in the Mode of Information. Notes. Index.
Mark Poster is Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine.
This book examines the implications of new communication technologies in the light of the most recent work in social and cultural theory. Poster evaluates critically the concepts of media and technology in various traditions of cultural theory, with the aim of rethinking the relations of humans to machines. He also examines theories of postmodernity in relation to the new media and the debate over multiculturalism. He argues that new developments in electronic media, such as the Internet and Virtual Reality, may so alter our habits of communication and so deeply reposition our identities that the designation "a second media age" is justified. Poster assesses the contributions of theorists such as Baudrillard, Lyotard, Habermas, Haraway and Guattari. He also develops further his own distinctive and original approach, building on his previous book The Mode of Information. Finally, Poster analyzes various cultural materials in the light of his approach: Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, Richard Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung, and the televised reporting of the Gulf War. The Second Media Age will be essential reading for students in media studies, cultural studies, sociology and social theory.
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