The Mode of Information

The Mode of Information

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When we make phone calls and use computers, electronic devices mediate how we communicate. In each instance, we exchange symbols and information just as we have since humans began speaking and writing. What, thena€”besides economy of space and timea€”differentiates electronic communications from ordinary speech and writing? The difference, Mark Poster argues, is the profound effect electronic mediation exerts on the very way we perceive ourselves and reality. To help decode the linguistic dimensions of our multiple forms of social interaction, he plays upon Marx's theory of the mode of productiona€”the shift to late capitalism has a parallel in the shift from the mode of production to that of information. Enlisting poststructuralist theory, he links four modes of communication with four poststructuralists: TV ads with Baudrillard, data bases with Foucault, electronic writing with Derrida, and computer science with Lyotard. Mode of Information points the way to a poststructuralist strategy for writing history, a framework well suited to unearthing structures of domination and the means to their disruption. qAn informed, insightful, provocative account of phenomena that have transformed virtually every area of public and private life on our€”Robert Anchor, American Historical Review qThe importance of Poster's book is unmistakable for he skillfully negotiates between and juxtaposes two wide theoretical domainsa€”electronically mediated communications and poststructuralist theorya€”about which much has been written, but hardly with the acumen that he brings to bear in a long-awaited critical€”Charles J. Stivale, CriticismThis book explores these differences and in particular considers various theoretical perspectives that might be useful for opening new interpretive strategies for critical social theory in relation to these differences.

Title:The Mode of Information
Author:Mark Poster
Publisher:University of Chicago Press - 1990-08-15


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