You are on page 1of 188



Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The University of Sheffield School of Education

December 2005


I whish to express my gratitude to those who have help and supported me in completing this thesis. In particular, my thanks to my supervisor Professor Paul Standish. My gratitude is also due to Professor Wilfred Carr and Professor John Nixon for always having the predisposition to help and advice at any unexpected circumstances. A mis dos mujeres con amor: A Blanca por nuestra mutua compaa en los tropiezos y avances que esta tarea nos avanzo. A Ulalume por el afecto y ligereza que siempre t presencia da. A las dos, por nuestras convivencias en tierras lejanas.

ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................................................6 GENERAL INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................7 THE PROBLEMATIC AND THE ARGUMENT ..............................................................................................7 RESEARCH QUESTIONS ...........................................................................................................................7 STRUCTURE AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE ARGUMENT ...........................................................................8 CHAPTER I: THE RESHAPING OF SOCIETY: A CONTEXTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE : INFORMATIONAL AND GLOBAL ECONOMY, AND OF CHALLENGES TO EDUCATION .11 INTRODUCTION .....................................................................................................................................11 DEFINING CAPITALIST RESTRUCTURING ..............................................................................................13 THE RESTRUCTURING OF CAPITALISM, TWO INTERLINKED PERSPECTIVES: THE FORDIST TO POSTFORDIST AND THE FLEXIBLE SPECIALIZATION THEORIST ..................................................................14 A) The Regulation School Theory .....................................................................................................15 B) The Flexible Specialisation ..........................................................................................................17 Post-Fordism, Globalisation and Network Oriented Technologies ..................................................19 The Regulation School and Flexible Specialisation: Some Further Considerations ........................20 C) The Network Enterprise as Another Pathway out of Fordism.................................................23 Some Considerations on Castells Network Society Approach.........................................................29 Cultural consequences of informational capitalism..........................................................................31 THE RESTRUCTURING OF PRACTICES AND INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION ...........................32 EXTENDING THE HORIZON IN UNDERSTANDING TECHNOLOGY...........................................................38 CHAPTER II: ALTERNATIVE INQUIRIES IN UNDERSTANDING TECHNOLOGY ...............40 INTRODUCTION .....................................................................................................................................40 THE LIMITATIONS OF TECHNOLOGICAL DETERMINISM ......................................................................41 The Nature of Information ................................................................................................................45 RESTRUCTURING THE STRUCTURES OF EVERYDAY LIFE ...................................................................48 Postmodern Culture as Result of Capitalist Restructuring ...............................................................49 QUESTIONING TECHNOLOGY AND HEIDEGGER ...................................................................................50 Heidegger's Reference to a Reductionist View of Technology, a Series of Definitions of Technology. ..........................................................................................................................................................51 Enframing as a Challenging Claim in Heidegger.............................................................................56 The Dangers of Modern Technology ................................................................................................57 The Imprinting of Thought by Technology and Calculative Rational Assertiveness ........................60 Poiesis and Resistance to Enframing, Heidegger and Beyond .........................................................63 CONCLUSIONS .......................................................................................................................................67 CHAPTER III: .........................................................................................................................................70 QUESTIONING POSTMODERN CULTURE THROUGH EXPLORING HOW TECHNOCULTURAL ASSEMBLAGES INTERCONNECT WITHIN NEW MEDIA ENVIRONMENTS AND IDENTITY CONFORMATION. .................................................................70 INTRODUCTION .....................................................................................................................................70 POSTMODERN CULTURE AND THE PRE-EMINENCE OF IDENTITY ..............................................................72 THE NEW POSTMODERN COMMUNICATIONAL ENVIRONMENT ............................................................75 The Shifting Media Environments.....................................................................................................75 The New Hyper-media Communicational Environment ..................................................................76 Characteristic Elements of New Hyper-media Communicational Environment...............................81
The concept of interactivity and new media................................................................................................. 82 New media and the user-to-user model of interactivity. ......................................................................... 86 New media and the user-to-documents model of interactivity ................................................................ 87 New media and the user-to-system interactivity ..................................................................................... 87 The concept of hypertextuality: Interactivity and navigation ....................................................................... 93 The concept of virtuality .............................................................................................................................. 98

CONCLUSIONS .....................................................................................................................................100 CHAPTER IV:........................................................................................................................................103 TOWARDS A POSSIBILITY OF A CRITICAL THEORY AND EMANCIPATORY EDUCATION IN CYBERSPACE: A DEBATE..................................................................................103

OPTIMISM OF THE POTENTIAL OF CYBERSPACE, AN INTRODUCTION ...............................................103 A DEBATE ON THE EDUCATIONAL POTENTIAL OF CYBERSPACE....................................111 AN INITIAL DISCUSSION OF THE VIABILITY OF CRITICAL PEDAGOGY IN CYBERSPACE ....................112 A) Characteristic features of critical pedagogy within its modernist space of enclosure and the pressing impediments imposed in practice of critical pedagogy in such contexts. .........................112 B) Postmodern spaces emerging with information society, cyberspace.....................................116 C) Themes that provide fruitful bases for generating new possibilities for critical pedagogy in cyberspace. .....................................................................................................................................117 Some concluding questions in Lankshear, Peters, et al. contributions ...........................................119 ILAN GUR-ZEEV RESPONSIVE CRITIQUE TO CRITICAL EDUCATIONAL THEORIST TO THE CHALLENGE POSED BY CYBERSPACE ..................................................................................................122 A) The difficulty of critical thinkers in justifying optimism about the possibilities of the educational potential of cyberspace, such difficulty is underlined by emphasising optimistic affinities between critical cyberoptimists and those who are coming from right wing orientations, thus condemning an inability of the critical thinkers to mark a dividing line between them and the right-wing cyberoptimists (Ibid:215).............................................................................................122 B) The argument that It is wrong to separate critical pedagogy, critical literacy, or critical education and cyberspace from the issues of capitalist globalisation (Ibid) in other words he considers that they do not face their cyberoptimism with a critical reconstruction of globalising capitalism, its technologies, and the culture industry.....................................................................123 C) The problem of an unresolved question in the existence of a gap and tension between the modern contexts of classical critical pedagogy that can be remitted to a modern manifestation of the enlightenment educational project, and that of the postmodern concepts introduced in the idea of the possibilities of critical education in cyberspace. ..................................................................123 Transcendence in Counter-Education Education ...........................................................................123 Ilan Gur-Zeev Understanding of Cyberspace................................................................................126 Being true to a discussion ...............................................................................................................128 SOME CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THE DEBATE ..........................................................................................133 CHAPTER V: .........................................................................................................................................139 ENTERPRISE CULTURE AND THE LEARNING SOCIETY: A NEW EDUCATIONAL REALITY................................................................................................................................................139 INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................................................................139 THE NEO-LIBERAL GOVERNANCE OF WELFARE AND EDUCATION: RESPONSIBILISING THE SELF .141 LEARNING SOCIETY AND THE LOGIC OF BARE LIFE ...........................................................................150 THE LEARNING SOCIETY AND TECHNE OF POLITICAL POWER ..........................................................153 Instrumentality and Causality: the Definition of Technology and a Nexus to the Entrepreneurial Self ..................................................................................................................................................154 The Essence of Technology and Life as an Object..........................................................................156 THE REFUSAL TO CERTAIN FORMS OF GOVERNMENT AND DISSATISFACTION WITH WHAT IS ..........161 CHALLENGES TO NORMALIZING EDUCATION IN THE LEARNING SOCIETY .......................................163 The Meaning of the Idea of Bildung and its Classical Roots ..........................................................164
The relevancy of bildung today .................................................................................................................. 166

The Project of Critical Theory and Bildung ...................................................................................167 Some Conclusions: The Aporias of Critical Educational Theory and Critical Pedagogy in the Age of the Learning Society ...................................................................................................................168
Power, the trivialization of critique and instrumentality............................................................................ 168 Power .................................................................................................................................................... 168 The trivialization of critique.................................................................................................................. 169 Instrumentality ...................................................................................................................................... 170

GENERAL CONCLUSIONS ................................................................................................................172 R E F E R E N C E .................................................................................................................................176


Table 1: Essential Shifts in Media Environments and its Influence to Subjectivity.78 Table 2: A Model Based on Four Levels and Dimensions of Interactivity...83 Table 3: Three Different Types of Interactivity.85 Table 4: Three Different Types of Interactivity. Through Old and New Media ..90 Table 5: Communicational Environments and its Uses & Possibilities100 Table 6:Visions of Technology, Society and its impact on Possibilities for Education108 Table 7:Cultural Changes In The Stance of Knowledge..119 Table 8:Book Navigational System.136 Table 9: Transformation of Society and Culture158


A central issue that has been taken into consideration in here is that of technological innovation and socio-cultural change that has brought according to some analyst the socalled information age. An initial examination is then directed to the historical questioning in respect to changes in the structure and restructuring of society that have occurred from the beginnings of the 70s, and which have lead to what is known as the information/network society. In front of such a situation this study is aimed to understand technocultural changes and its impacts, which are taking place in society and culture, and are signifying a new response from education and a challenge to its prospective theoretical and practical developments. Thus then in such context, the central argument unfolds around how the impact of such technocultural changes reflects not only on the emergence of a new socio-economical structure, but also how it has effects on the emergence of new social subjectivities, that unfold among the new hybrid communicational texture of postmodern cultural settings. In order to accomplish these aims and arguments there is an acknowledgment of the complexity of such an emerging historical process, thus then the present thesis will depart from a multidisciplinary perspective that will comprise economy, sociology, media theory and philosophy. So to offer a framework that will give understanding about technocultural changes, its effects on new reconfigurations of subjectivities and the signifying new response from education and its prospective challenges. The arrangement of such a work is structured within the following thematic structure: 1) The reshaping of society: The informational and global economy as the spectrum of the challenges to education, 2) Alternative inquiries in understanding technology, 3) Postmodern culture, new hypermedia environments and identity conformation, 4) A debate concerning the possibility of critical theory and emancipatory education in cyberspace, and lastly, 5) Enterprise culture and the learning society: A new educational reality. The following tasks will be pursued: a) The development of a theoretical framework for understanding resent restructuring of capitalism and its consequence, b) The conceptual analysis of what has been called the information/network society and the learning/knowledge society in a context of a globalized world. c) An analytical comprehension of emerging communicational environments and new media and its nexus to postmodern culture, d) The linking of technocultural phenomena and emerging new configurations of subjectivity.

General Introduction
The Problematic and the argument It is commonly accepted that since the beginnings of the 1970s many socio-cultural changes have occurred. Interpretations of these events tend to rely on the assumption that such changes have occurred as a result of technological innovation - the new informational and communicational technologies. Their impact on society and culture has been as heralding a new era, which has been designated as the information age. This thesis seeks to offer some understanding of these technocultural changes and their impact. These are changes in society and culture that require a response from education, presenting it with a challenge at the levels both of its theorisation of aims and of its meaning of practice. Acknowledging the complexity of such a situation, the present thesis sets out from a multidisciplinary perspective, a perspective that will encompass economy, sociology, media theory and philosophy. The central argument unfolds around the question of how the impact of such technocultural change not only reflects on the emergence of a new socio-economical structure, the so-called information society, but also has effects on the emergence of new subjectivities, which unfold among new cultural settings. In particular the thesis pursues the thought that such economical and cultural reconfigurations demand a response in terms of how education is to be rethought. To develop this line of argument, the following tasks are undertaken in this thesis: a) A theoretical framework for understanding the recent restructuring of capitalism and its consequence is developed. b) The information/network society and the emergence of the learning/knowledge society in the context of a globalized world are analysed. c) Emergent communicational environments and new media, with their nexus in postmodern culture, are described, and their significance interpreted. d) Connections between technocultural phenomena and emerging new configurations of subjectivity are explored.

Research questions In the light of these considerations, my research questions are: 1. How is education responding to socio-cultural change shaped by new social structures, such as the network/learning society and the introduction of new informational and communicational technologies? 2. How are educational theory and practice responding with regard to new subjectivities that have developed as a consequence of techno-cultural change change with effects on the acquisition of knowledge and the appraisal of reality?

3. How do emergent subjectivity structures relate and perform in the context of new informational and communicational environments such as the Internet? And to what extent can education benefit from such knowledge? 4. In this context, what possibility is there of progress in education?

Structure and development of the argument Chapter One, working within an analytical understanding of the restructuring of capitalism, offers a contextual account of the informational and global economy as the spectrum that configures responses from education. I explain, via political economy, the restructuring of the capitalist processes. This grounds key themes related to such socioeconomic transitions by describing theoretical positions with regard to conceiving different pathways out of Fordism. It does this by identifying three major theoretical interpretations of these phenomena: the regulation school theory, the flexible specialization theory, and the network enterprise. Such interpretations are to be considered as the restructuring strategies of capitalism. They give way to a networked global/informational capitalism. Taking as an example of the impact of the restructuring processes of capitalism, I develop an understanding of the restructuring of practices in institutions of higher education by focusing on one of the main trends that has decisively shaped universities. This is a narrowing of direction that I identify as the virtualization of universities. My account highlights the enterprise culture and its entrepreneurial spirit. This requires attention to the important role of new information and communicational technologies in universities. It prompts the revaluation of distance learning and its new form in elearning. Additionally the analysis involves considering impact on academia, at the very point where it enters new processes of academic capitalism and commodification, with the emergence of new managerial structures. Chapter Two describes different approaches to understanding the technological change, technological innovation and capitalist restructuring discussed in the previous chapter. It considers the extent to which standard approaches to these matters tend to have a limited view of technology: they cultivate a common view that derives from assumptions of technological determinism. The central aim for this chapter is to describe and elaborate an alternative perspective to such deterministic views of technology. To do so I present more complex accounts of information and technology. I shall do this by inquiring into the significance of technological change within a context that acknowledges the complexity and contingency of technological impact, linking sociopolitical and cultural issues to philosophical questions. This will include examining the significance of Martin Heideggers essay The Question Concerning Technology. In this way I shall attempt to overcome the predominant, determinist, oversimplified interpretation of technology and information.

Chapter Three continues the themes of the previous chapter by focusing on the technocultural approach to the issues of technological innovation and change, centering on

particular aspects of postmodern culture and its manifestations in high technology capitalist restructuring, a restructuring in which the production of culture has become integrated into commodity production. The aim is to outline emergent transformations in this new communicational environment. This is a new region of experience that, as a result of capitalist restructuring, links technoculture and postmodernity.. Emphasis will be placed on how such phenomena help in understanding the configuration of subjectivity that has been developed under postmodern culture. Technocultural transitions will be analyzed in the context of the following topics: a) the emerging new media environments and their characteristic elements, b) media environments and changes in human/computer interaction, and c) media environments, changes in social epistemology, and the conformation of multiple subjectivities. These steps will lead to an account of a postmodern hybridized communicational environment. This will in turn lay the way for a discussion of the educational possibilities of ICT in this context. Chapter Four critically examines a central debate regarding the educational value of the Internet. The chapter explores and reviews a debate that has developed around this issue. Some authors focus on issues of methods and practices of teaching, highlighting the novel characteristics of new technologies such as cyberspace and hypermedia and their potential for an innovative critical pedagogy. Others contest this. This chapter outlines the aims, claims and arguments of the parties to this debate. In the First Part the arguments are developed in four sections: a) characteristic features of critical pedagogy within its modernist context, b) the postmodern context that emerges with the advent of the information society, c) the examination of four themes relating to new possibilities for critical pedagogy in cyberspace, and d) ideas for the theoretical and practical extension of critical pedagogy in cyberspace. In the Second Part attention is given to the response to these arguments that is offered by Ilan GurZeev (a response that is also supported by other scholars). His argument, which is strongly influenced by the Frankfurt School, is concerned with the ways in which postmodern thinking is embedded in a new trend in critical pedagogy. The structure of the argument has three stages: first, it is claimed that critical thinkers have difficulty in justifying their optimism about the educational potential of cyberspace; second, it is shown that there are difficulties in detaching critical education or critical pedagogy from a cyberspace framed by capitalist globalisation; and c) it is argued that there are tensions between postmodernism and an educational project that originates in the thought of the Enlightenment. Chapter Five goes further in examining the problematic of the restructuring of society within contemporary global capitalism. It outlines the inherently ideological discourse of neo-liberalism. This is shown to be manifest in educational contexts within their deference to enterprise culture, a culture that reveres economic growth and development and fetishises the concepts of: excellence, technological literacy, skills training, performance and quality. Emphasis is placed on describing the connections between technology, education and subjectivity. The chapter continues the theme of previous chapters in emphasizing these connections but expresses this now in terms of the relationship between the self and power, framed by the concept of governmentality. The idea of governmentality helps us to understand the rationalities and technologies through which people conducting themselves and their relationships to other. I argue

that neo-liberal governance, with its responsabilising of the self, is connected with the development of the entrepreneurial self. This is manifested in the intensification of moral regulation characteristic of neo-liberal welfare and education policies. The chapter comes to an end by taking a philosophical standpoint in order to discern and critique the impact of neo-liberal governance (and the rise of enterprise culture in education) in the context of the entrepreneurial practices of the self associated with the learning society. The effects of this governance are considered in terms of the instrumental logic of bare biological life. This is related in turn to the wider problematic of biopolitics by way of a discussion of the techne of political power and the technology of the self. This makes it possible finally to depict some of the challenges for a critical theory of education.


Chapter I: The Reshaping of Society: A Contextual Understanding of the Informational and Global Economy, and of Challenges to Education
Introduction One of the aims of the research questions guiding this study concerns the extent to which information technologies are causes or rather correlates of the changes taking place in society and culture, and of how far this presents a challenge to education. This is a contested arena, in which there are different approaches and interpretations regarding the impact of new information technologies on society and the age of information. Technological innovation and socio-cultural change in the so-called information age must be questioned from a multi-referenced standpoint. In this chapter I shall concentrate on a historical approach to changes in the structure and (re)organization of society that have occurred from the beginnings of the 1970s and that have lead to what is known as informational capitalism or what more commonly is referred to as the information society. My approach will begin from the conceptual problematic of what might be termed the restructuring of capitalism in order to examine different accounts that explain sociocultural change and its relation to technological innovation and development within a mayor context of political economy. By turning to the idea of the restructuring of capitalism we can broach significant issues in respect to a novel, socio-economic dynamics that can explain and reveal an understanding of the reshaping of the material basis of society. I have chosen to consider matters in relation to a new fluency and flexibility in the structure of society, the way that this determines different forms of organization of institutions (among them higher education), and the way this exerts influence on different lifestyles and on the reshaping subjectivity structures. I should acknowledge, however, that this initial stance also has its limitations. So, to begin with, it is important to underline that there are diverse interpretations of what is being called the restructuring of capital as there are different phases concretized or reflected in specific models of accumulation. To talk about the advantages and limitations of such an approach we must first clarify the way that the restructuring of capital is a historically-cyclic or repetitive process that concretizes in specific modes of accumulation - Fordist, post-Fordist, etc. Most importantly we must emphasise that there are different interpretations of the significance and outcomes of such restructuring processes. In this chapter I shall set out some of the dominant interpretations of the unfolding restructuring process of the world capitalist system. Such interpretations privilege the idea of the information revolution, and by doing so they give centrality to their analysis of the importance of technology in ushering in new forms of economic production, new forms of social interaction that represent a transition from one distinct phase of capitalist development to a new phase. This chapter considers the following perspectives: a) the regulation school theory, b) , the value of the perspective of flexible specialization in explaining shifts from the


Fordist regime of accumulation to the post-Fordist model, and c) the idea of the Network Society , as developed by Manuel Castells. Some of the issues between these perspectives relate to the restructuring of society, to crisis, to continuity and to change in the global information society. I differentiate two aspects in their perspectives: A) Some theoretical positions typically identify epochal shifts (the information age), identifying radical changes brought about by technology. For instance, information revolutionaries understand such shifts as transitions from Industrialism to Post-Industrialism (Bell, D. 1973:76). B) Some theorisations argue for a strong continuity in the capitalist system and concentrate on identifying changes within the system. This is the case in Castells (2000a) interpretation and use of the category of Mode of Development. A Mode of Development represents a shift from industrialism to informationalism, but this position stresses continuity in the Mode of Production of the capitalist system. This is why the core of the debate between information society theories has to do with whether there has been a systemic change or whether instead what has emerged is more like a continuation of established capitalist relations. Considering all the above, the criteria for reviewing these interpretations will be linked to my research questions and aims. From this, it can be seen that such interpretations are useful to a certain extent to my inquiry and aims. Next I will mention what I expect to gain from these initial analyses. From this general perspective I shall be able to build a framework relating technological innovation and social cultural change. This will provide accounts of different pathways for understanding where the trends stand and where the challenges come from. This will be useful in determining educations whereabouts and its future and possible responses to these issues in the context of the information society. On the strength of this, one main question that will emerge is the significance of the restructuring of higher education in the context of these competing theorisations. Another outcome from this framework and its analysis is that I will claim that the reconfiguration of subjectivity structures can be related among other things to different distinctive lifestyles coming from cultural displacement. Finally, in this chapter, I will question the limitations behind interpretations that privilege an economical dimension and that give very little space for reflection and critical awareness on important philosophical and cultural issues, issues that can lead to further understandings of the shaping processes of information and communicational technologies and their effects on educational thinking and pedagogical practices.


Defining capitalist restructuring Capitalism hinges on the elaboration of an economic system in which goods and services are traded in markets. In this sense it can be considered as a combination of economic practices that refer to the social relationship between owners (capitalists) and workers (labour power). These practices can be seen as an ever-expanding network of material exchanges which have become trans-societal. Nowadays this spans practically all nations. Capitalist economies have shown an erratic but sustained tendency towards economic growth, in a circuit of capital that typically involves different moments: production, circulation and the reproduction of labour power. This circuit of accumulation has been facilitated more recently by the development of computer networks, satellite broadcast and different cybernetic devices. Nevertheless, because of various contradictions, this circuit of high technology can also lead to a circulation of struggles. Capitalism has had different historical phases, with different structural arrangements that have reflected the historical adaptability of this system. There different phases of capitalist expansion have been interpreted theoretically as imperialism, as modernization, as dependency, as post-colonialism, as world system. What we could call informational capitalism can be distinguished as the latest particular structural arrangement, and this particular development is, according to Manuel Castells, the informational mode of development. This is characterized by a flexible mode of accumulation 1, which brings about a new economic condition: the informational and global economy reshapes the material basis of society. Frank Webster concurs with this view: Todays global economy represents the spread and growth of capitalist ways of behaviour witness the increased use of market mechanisms, of private rather than public provision, of profitability as the raison dtre of organizations, of wage labour, and of the ability to pay principle as the determinant of goods and services supply. In short, the global network society in which we find ourselves today expresses the continuation transmutation if one prefers- of long-held capitalist principles (Webster, F. 2002:270). The above consideration can reveal that capitalism, on any account, has social implications that extend beyond the economic sphere alone. This also underscores the argument that capitalism has undergone a period of rapid change. If this differs from other developmental stages, however, such principles are applied in a greater range and with an accelerated intensification. This is evident, for instance, in the post-Fordist system of flexible accumulation (a mode of development which arranges and organizes wealth) in which more and more things become commodities, the value of
One initial understanding of a mode of accumulation refers to the dominant way in which capitalist in the leading branches of economic activity make profits. Hoogvelt (2001:44) But also according to DyerWitheford (2000:55) Regime of accumulation consists of intermeshed orderings of wage relations, consumption norms, and state intervention that synchronize the overall social prerequisites for the extraction and realization of surplus-value..


which is determined by their exchange rather than by their use. But there is no change in the principles themselves. Therefore, the features of capitalist continuity are too insistently evident (a mode of production that pursues wealth). This new global economy must be seen then as more than just another layer of economic activity on top of the existing production process. Rather, it must be understood as a restructuring of all economic and socio-cultural activities based on goals and values introduced by the aggressive exploitation of the new productivity potentials of advanced information technology. In this context it is relevant to this understanding to emphasise that the self-expansive development of capitalism and its different phases have resulted in recurring crises of disequilibrium. This has lead to a restructuring and, at the same time, leads us to a questioning of what it is that the informational capitalist restructuring phase is responding to and what can it mean for further inquiries concerning the restructuring of the educational system itself. I will start then from the argument that capitalism has undergone a period of rapid change, in which change is explained in terms of a dynamic of recurring crises and restructuring of social and economic arrangements. This perspective recognizes that the actual informational global economy has been created under the drive of restructuring capitalist enterprise. By the 1970s capitalism had reached the limits of its own expansion. Furthermore, the consideration that is at the base of this reorganization is the pervasive implementation of technological innovation, clustering around the convergence of computing and telecommunication. The course taken by this socio-economic phenomenon has taken different directions and undergone various transformations. Interpretations regarding the restructuring of capitalism and its crises focus on explanations that either: a) demonstrate that they arise from internal barriers, such as productivity, norms of efficiency, or other economic matters, or b) concentrate on circuits of accumulation and resistance, taking into account the impasse of rival social forces - that is, the struggle between capital (discipline and control) and labour force (opposition and resistance to discipline and control).

The restructuring of capitalism, two interlinked perspectives: The Fordist to postFordist and the Flexible Specialization theorist One first thing to acknowledge is that there are diverse viewpoints in relation to explaining the essential characteristics that can account for the radical changes that in the last decades have been happening and that commonly are referred as a second industrial revolution or a information revolution. Scholars such as Daniel Bell (1973) have defined these transitions in terms of a transfer from industrial to post-industrial society. Others speak of a transition from the modern to the postmodern (Harvey, D. 1990), and others still, such as Fukuyama (1992), have even mentioned the end of history and the triumph of the market economy. I shall begin with two interlinked perspectives, with a common focus on the transition from Fordism to post-Fordism, or putting it in Ankie Hoogvelts (2001) words, as two pathways out of Fordism. The first is the regulation school theory, which describes a shift in the capitalist mode of accumulation and centres in structures, principles and economic mechanisms. The second is known as the flexible specialization theory,


which, instead of centring on general structural tendencies in economic and social life, focuses on the arena of production. A) The Regulation School Theory Key contributors to the Regulation School Theory of political economy are the French intellectuals Michel Aglietta (1979) and Alain Lipietz (1987). With origins in Marxist economic thinking, their work has lead eventually to a departure from Marxism, [taking] its exit by an opposite door: one marked not by despair at the oppressive power of capitals new technologies but by enchantment with their liberatory potentials DyerWitheford (2000:55) At the centre of their arguments, they assert that capitalism repeatedly overcomes its internal contradictions by generating successive regimes of accumulation; in this sense they try to explain a paradox within the system in which there are periods of crisis and periods of stability. This depends, they claim, upon two factors: first, the development of a mode of regulation as a force of systemic cohesion, which is based on the institutional forms, procedures and habits which either coerce or persuade private agents to conform to its schema Lipietz (1987:32-33). By doing this, the regulation process establishes a complex of cultural norms, habits, and laws that ensure the reproduction and accumulation that synchronizes the overall social prerequisites for the extraction and realization of surplus-value. It also involves the integration of a viable technological paradigm that will require the instigation of technological innovation. The theorists of the Regulation School noted that by the end of the 1960s and the early 1970s Fordism had encountered a serious crisis and had begun to falter. Because of this breakdown of Fordism there was a restructuring of the global economy, leading to the introduction of new technologies substituting the industrial era for an information era. It is generally noted that the Fordist regime of accumulation, which held sway from 1945 until the mid 1970s, has become unsustainable and that, hesitatingly and with considerable disruption, it is now giving way to a post-Fordist regime. Thus, in the mid1970s, when recession, unemployment, bankruptcies, and labour dislocation were rife, a new regime of accumulation, the post-Fordist, emerged. As a historical process, capitalist economy and its rules can be identified by structures, principles and mechanisms that shape a mode of accumulation. In the case of Fordism (1945-1973) 2 this can be perceived in the development of a leading technology based on the assembly line. This is characterized by mass production (standardized products), with the work process broken up into simple tasks and, therefore, requiring unskilled industrial labour. A depiction of Henry Fords concept of standardization, which dates back to the beginnings of the twentieth century, states that Ford had recognized that, in the fabrication of complex products such as motor vehicles, the key to enhanced efficiency of production lay in the method of coordinating discrete sub-production processes

Interval established by (Booth, D. 2004)


and in the manner in which the various sub-parts were assembled into a whole vehicle. Ford Reckoned that instead of making the parts first and then fitting them together to make the whole, as in craft production, to make the parts fit prior to assembly would make huge savings in the assembly stage. Thus he aimed for complete and consistent interchangeability of parts, and for simplicity in attaching them to each other. To achieve this, he insisted that. For example, the same gauging system be used for every part throughout the entire manufacturing process (Hoogvelt, A. 2001:95). Mass production as a profitable undertaking consists in achieving economies of scale. Accordingly, the more that is produced, the more the unit cost of production comes down, and consequently the cheaper the product becomes. For this to work, there needs to be a balance between mass production and mass consumption. This then determines a certain incapacity of the system, which can be specified within rigid principles of accumulation, and because of this there is a tendency for there to be recurrent crises. Ankie Hoogvelt portrays this well: the success of the operation depends crucially on a continuous and uninterrupted expansion of market demand for that same product. The mass-production system cannot cope flexibly with cyclical recessions, increased competition, or changing market tastes. The result is under-utilization of fixed capacity, and over production, resulting in lay-offs, losses, and ultimately closure (Hoogvelt, A. 2001:44). The response from capitalism must in consequence be to strive for a balance between mass production and mass consumption, searching for a stabilized relationship between these. But how is this to be done? The regulation school explains the capitalist paradox of crisis and stability by drawing attention to the way in which the conditions of stable economic growth in society depend on the coming together of a distinctive regime of accumulation with a supportive mode of regulation. What exactly does this mean? First, it means that the regulation approach focuses on forces that will bring systemic cohesion, and this is achieved by establishing a complex of cultural habits and norms that will secure capitalist reproduction; in other words, in order to reproduce a particular accumulation regime, there is a need to regulate, and this is attained by developing a specific type of social arrangement that can be defined in contemporary terms as that of the consumer society, with its correlate of the commodification of culture. As an example of establishing a new specific type of social arrangement, where new consumer standards are imposed, is the case of the site in which, for the convenience, the client herself can customise a wish list for future purchases that she desires to buy, without the inconvenience of searching again for the item in question. Another example of a new social practice for a new style of living is the introduction of different shopping standards. Once again, an example can be drawn from the Amazon site, where there is the possibility of pre-ordering a soon-to-be-launched product. The


pre-order sales of Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix ascended to 420,000 in the UK alone 3. The example above speaks though of a pattern adopted in a post-Fordist mode of accumulation and, as we shall see next, is predominantly defined by what is called flexible accumulation. Flexible accumulation seeks to promote changes in market demand and market differentiation in consumer tastes in response to the break-up of Fordist modes of accumulation. That such shifts in patterns of accumulation are the results of crises is explained well by Ankie Hoogvelt: The rigidities of the Fordist regime showed up with irrepressible frequency, culminating eventually in economic stagnation, contraction and continuing crisesDuring the crises a series of novel social experiments and technical innovations (particularly the introduction of information driven technologies) in the realms of industrial as well as in political and social life have begun to take shape (2001:96(2001:96). These observations help to give a more perspicuous view of the so-called transition from Fordism to post-Fordism. Bob Jessop identifies a clearer distinction: A minimum condition for referring to post-Fordism is to establish the nature of continuity in discontinuity which justifies the claim that it is not just a variant form of Fordism but does actually succeed Fordism. Without significant discontinuity, it would not be post-Fordism; without significant continuity, it would not be post-Fordism. This double condition is satisfied where: (a) post-Fordism has demonstrably emerged from tendencies originating within Fordism but still marks a decisive break with it; or (b) the ensemble of old and new elements in post-Fordism demonstrably displaces or resolves basic contradictions and crises in Fordism (Jessop, B. 1995:257). In what comes next I shall present a second pathway out of Fordism, one that emerges as alternative restructuring of capital, in the context of which Jessops account of postFordism is helpful for understanding the nature of these transitions.

B) The Flexible Specialisation Flexible Specialisation Theory, which is advanced by Michael Piore and Charles Sabel (1984), differs from the regulation school by avoiding placing an emphasis on general structural factors in economic and social life. They focus instead on the arena of production by claiming that there have co-existed two opposites to industrial paradigms, that of mass production (product specific) and that of flexible specialisation (craft production), with one potentially limiting the other. Thus, Ash Amin stresses that the adoption and diffusion of a paradigm is claimed to be a matter of historical circumstances and political choice rather than logical necessity (1995:14). Therefore policy decisions are a central factor. From this perspective, according to some analysts (Hirst, P. and Zeitlin, J. 1991; Amin, A. 1995; Webster, F. 2002), it is acknowledged that the break of the Fordist mode of

(ESRC 2001)


accumulation has at least five related causes. 1) Productivity gains decreased, partly because of labour unrest during the 60s in the context of a Fordist organization of work, and this encouraged corporations to decentralise their activities. 2) The expansion of mass production led to the globalization of economic flows, which made economic management more difficult. 3) There emerged small firms that were able to produce competitively as a result of the accessibility to new technologies. 4) Social expenditure grew. And 5) there developed differentiation in patterns of consumption and, therefore, changes in the market that were incompatible with mass production methods. It is appropriate to turn now to an example of the implementation of flexible production as a route out of Fordism, a route that emerges as early as the 1950s. This was the case with the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota, which developed a new organization of the production process combining the benefits of mass production with those of craft production. At that time in Japan there was not mass domestic market, and so Toyota had to make the most of market segmentation or fragmentation by offering multiple variations on the same generic product. Ankie Hoogvelt describes these flexible production processes of Toyota as volumethrough-variety, a mode of production that contrasts with Fordist volume-through-bulk: Rather than, as Ford had done, using the same fixed capital investment for mass production of the same standard commodity, Toyota achieved this not through making more of the same, but by making a whole variety of products with the same general tool. For example, in Fordist automobile plants dedicated machines were used to produce each one of the 300 sheet steel parts that go into a motor car. Mass-producers used automated blanking presses, and stamping presses containing matched upper and lower dies. The same parts were stamped for months or even years without changing dies. Toyota developed a simple technique for changing dies quickly so that a variety of parts could be stamped with the same machine without any significant downtime. Moreover, the changing of dies could be done by the production workers themselves. This is the essence of what some have called toyotism (Hoogvelt, A. 2001:98-99). Furthermore, this production system is combined into a build-to-order-system that consists in practicing what is now called just-in-time (JIT). This led Toyota to stop building cars in advance for unknown buyers, but rather to base its system on the principle of pre-selling cars. (This should remind us of the example of the Amazon site). Flexible accumulation stimulates differentiation. Thus, flexibility is not evident only in production; it can be found also in consumption. Consumers create particular lifestyles, , and thus there is a shift from a production to a consumption-oriented system. This brings about a more individualist and consumption-centred person, in the context of the everyday life.


From the early 1970s, market trends tend to constitute a problem for mass production and an opportunity for flexible specialization. Therefore, a key concept in the understanding of these phenomena is the idea of flexibility. New information networks generate decentralized technologies of command and control, which at the same time provide cost-effective production such as just-in-time. Among other things it should be noticed that such new technologies bring along new forms of organization (managerial trends) and new forms of geographical mobility. The implications of this will become more apparent in our later exposition of the work of Manuel Castells.

Post-Fordism, Globalisation and Network Oriented Technologies As a result of the aforementioned crises, the Fordist regime gave way to a new regime of accumulation, the post-Fordist. The globalization of the economy and the restructuring of the world-system hastened this new mode of accumulation. Globalization is not, however, a purely economic matter. As Webster comments, there is a tendency to conceive of globalisation as primarily an economic affairbut it is simultaneously a social, cultural and political condition. Webster (2002:68) It must be realized, however, that globalisation could only happen because of the introduction of new network-oriented information and communication technologies. These lead to the much needed development of an information infrastructure, conducive to networked global/informational capitalism. A basic challenge for the post-Fordist regime is the need to orchestrate an agile and globalized expansion of production and marketing strategies, in which the development of a digital infrastructure, or what has been called the information superhighway 4, hastens the flow of capital. This requires: expansion of ICT as cost effective technologies for the growth of informational flows and financial traffic. computer networks that are the requisite for the co-coordination of global enterprises (financial trade), and the production of robust data bases.

But it also must be remembered that the re-programmability of technology is a decisive feature of flexibility. This potential is related to the fact that in such programming there is not one absolute path that must be followed in order to gain a desired goal. There are many paths. This is the basic nature of the decentralised logic of networking. What constitutes the fundamental element of this technology is its configuration in the computer program. The information input is what determines the degree of flexibility of such technology. Thus, any specific function of a device is embedded in the computer chip. An example of the flexibility of a device because of the character of the programming design can clearly be seen today in digital wrist watches. When we acquire a simple electronic watch, we have to set the time and date - lets say London time, 5 May 1999 As Nick Dyer-Witheford (2000) remarks As many commentators have pointed out, the highway image- with its connotations of linear movement, physical transportation, and material solidityseems hopelessly inadequate to convey the multidirectional, telecommunicational, virtual interactions of cyberspace. (33)


in the process programming the device. Later if we travel to a different city, lets say Barcelona, then we will need to reset (reprogram the time piece). But if instead we have a more sophisticated digital watch, this would probably have a world time function that contains all the standard time zones of the world. This means it has a more complex program, in which once we configure the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) zone, the program does automatic mathematical adjustments for all the other different time zones (Madrid, Mexico, Buenos Aires, etc.). So if, as in the previous case, we travel from London to Barcelona, we will not have to reprogram it, only to select a button indicating the desired city time zone. This watch is an example of higher flexibility. Besides this technological dimension in the establishment of an informational infrastructure to enable the globalized economy, there is also a spread of communicational networks in a more cultural direction that aid the construction of a symbolic environment 5 that reaches right around the globe and is organised, in very large part by media transnational corporations Webster (2002:72). In Castells magnum opus, The Rise of the Network Society, there is an acknowledgment that in the 1990s the two models converged around a single organizational trajectory, that of the network enterprise. The key to this convergence is the fusion of telecommunications with computerized information processing. In Castells words, this takes the following form in respect of the informational economy: Under different organizational arrangements, and through diverse cultural expressions, the are all based on networks. Networks are the fundamental stuff of which new organizations are and will be made. And they are able to form and expand all over the main streets and back alleys of the global economy because of their reliance on the information power provided by the new technological paradigm (Castells, M. 2000:180). This option follows the third pathway out of Fordism, which can be defined as the network enterprise. Before we come to an understanding of this perspective, I would like to acknowledge some of the limitations of the previous two positions I have described.

The Regulation School and Flexible Specialisation: Some Further Considerations An analytical review of the two interpretations of the restructuring of capitalism described above takes us to an easy acknowledgment of their emphasis made on the economic sphere, by privileging an interest on the theme of economic growth and technological innovation. A central question for these perspectives is, therefore, how capitalism can survive, even though the capital relation itself inevitably produces antagonism, contradiction and crises. An initial criticism with regard to this is that it is a one-dimensional perspective. It is a narrow view of the phenomenon to perceive social transition or the restructuring of capitalism on a predominantly economic basis.

That give emergence to new cultural forms of the self or what also is called as a new regime of signification in postmodern thought and, which we will see further on chapter III.


It is widely acknowledged that regulation school theory is based in critical presumptions regarding capitalism. This is because the analyses derive from the tools and insights of the Marxist tradition. Prominent representatives of the Parisian Regulation School, such as Michel Aglietta, Alain Lipietz, and R. Boyer, are considered to be neo-Marxist, but a closer look at their research agenda puts such assumptions into question. Frank Webster (2002:62) notes that to identify ways in which instabilities are managed and contained such that continuity can be achieved amidst change is not exactly a critical matter. In consequence, Webster concludes that the regulation school apparently a critical theory of capitalism, which fits rather neatly into a conservative frame work (63). In similar vein, Ankie Hoogvelt (2001:115) draws attention to the way that these regulation theorists acknowledge their Marxist roots and claim that they are using such analytical tools appropriately. Hoogvelt replies: But in using the tools appropriately they abandon the historical project for which Marx designed the tools. There is no conception of social progress; no eschatological belief in the forward march of history; no political commitment to surrender the freedom of the intellect to a course that history has charted (idem, 115). The point of entry of the restructuring perspectives we have reviewed is that of the requirements of capitals successful organization of society, not the contestation of its rule (Graham, J. 1991). This can lead not only to the predominant acceptance of the hegemony of the market but also to a one-dimensionality that assuredly establishes an easy acceptance of the success of capitalist restructuring, a situation that thus implicitly means a return of the end of history as an ideology. Under these circumstances there is a theoretical necessity to further explore historical developments. They must be enabled by the recognition that there are not only historical cycles to the restructuring of capital but also historical cycles of struggle in which a postmodern historical context acquires a different configuration, beyond the reach of analyses of class struggle. Though in this historical context, struggle and contestation, as the dialectical dynamics of present times, are articulated within a complex articulation of agency and technology, this is a question that is conceptually limited by the horizons of the traditions so far reviewed. Considering the above we can add that question of the nature of the postindustrial technological restructuring of capital should not be seen only as an economic question, one of accumulation, but also as a motif, as a weapon against social dissent. This helps us to understand the crisis of capital not as a mere problem of capitalist accumulation but rather as a result of the effects of anti-capitalist struggle 6, a struggle that contests capitalist discipline and control. The regulation school and flexible perspective understand the origins of the crises as a mere economic question. They do not consider the problem of capital relation, which is a political dimension. This ignores the issues of political conflict between capital and labour, over discipline, domination, subjugation, and the division of profits (class struggle). In relation to this Nick Dyer-Witheford writes: Dismantling the Fordist
Or what is called the circuit of capital which is defined by such moments of production, reproduction of labour power and circulation, which at the same time is a circuit of accumulation and resistance. Technology therefore appears not just as instruments for the circulation of commodities, but simultaneously as channels for circulation of struggles.


organization of the social factory, capital launches into its post-Fordist phase a project that, however, must be understood as a technological and political offensive aimed at decomposing social insubordination (2002:76). In consequence we can introduce new problems that relate to the dynamics of capitalist high technology restructuring and the idea of social struggle, a thematic that I will further approach in chapter three. The economic thesis is also noticeable for the way that it perceives the role of ICTs. It tends to address the problem in a technologically deterministic way, since technology is assumed to have a vital role in economic growth. From our perspective, this reveals once again the need to question technology from a wider philosophical perspective. This can take our inquiry into a more cultural dimension in which the emphasis can be placed on class struggle or on the participative dimension of human agency. In another chapter we shall follow a more theoretical line of argument concerning the question of technology. These are indicators that current transformations are not a mere economical/technological matter but that there is a sphere in which capital seeks to influence not ideas or profits, but the very rhythms, patterns, pace, texture, and disciplines of every day life (Robins, K. and Webster, F. 1988). A number of limitations concerning viewpoints of technology emerge. In sociological reasoning, there is the expression of a technological determinist approach. This is determined by the intention of monitoring the social adjustments required by technological progress, and the economic rationale of more for less (Williams, R. and Edge, D. 1996). Hence, one of the basic problems with approaches in the dominant discourses of information society that are based on technology is that their assessment of information and information technology is done in non-social terms, since technology is perceived linearly as a simple tool for innovation and productivity. This is a key limitation of standard accounts of ICT and social change in which the artefacts are conceptualized as the products of engineering and as one hundred percent separable from social relationships Kling (2000:220). This is why there are predominant discussions about ICT that focus on the technological artefact, which has been treated as if it can be divorced from its social and cultural context, as if it is a clever machine of which we in education can make use. Technology, we would argue, is much more than that. (Mackay, H., Young, M. and Beynon, J. 1991:3). My main contention is that these new material processes configure new subjectivity structures, engendering a new social subject, the postmodern subject. With the above issues in mind, it is the cultural dimension that must be further considered. One way to do this is by emphasizing a nexus related to the establishment of cultural development (regulated or not) of the symbolic environment, through symbolic dimensions of consumption that permit the emergence of new cultural forms of the self. This is a new regime of signification from a postmodern point of view, a situation that I shall further elaborate. A group of intellectuals within the British Journal Marxism Today has introduced the concept of New Times in order to mark the switch from standardized mass consumption to flexible specialization and to register the advent of intensified attention to advertising, design, fashion, media, and market information. This generates a postmodern ambience of sliding signifiers, simulacra and spectacle, a culture whose


volatility and recombinancy both reflect and contribute to the fluidity of post-Fordist production (Hall, S. and Martin, J. 1989). Related to this is Frank Websters comment that Some commentators insist that this results in the fragmentation of peoples identities, in a loss of stability and satisfactions, while to others it is a democratising force which opens up new experiences and opportunities, stimulates the decentred self and generates excitement (Webster, F. 2002:81) 7. Another important argument relating the flexibility of capital accumulation to questions of subjectivity constitution and educational processes is that offered by David Harvey: the crisis of Fordism was in large part a crisis of temporal and spatial form, then we should pay rather more attention to these dimensions of the problem than is customary in either radical or conventional modes of analysis [meaning with this that] the changing experience of time and space underlies, at least in part, the impulsive turn to postmodernist cultural practices and philosophical discourses 8 (1990:196-197). Along with this more cultural approach to the restructuring of society, it is important to relate it to the communication revolutions of broadcasting. Mass media and the social interplay in new media, such as new social relations in cyberspace, are central to Manuel Castells work, and this is invaluable. C) The Network Enterprise as Another Pathway out of Fordism The idea of technological revolution and the concept of new information technologies have become almost a clich. Yet they are central to understanding the nature of information society and its emergence. A common mainstream perspective of the significance of the information revolution tends to centre predominantly in a technical view. But beyond such technical considerations, a structural view enables to see wider implications in changes in the modes of production, consumption, and ways of life. My intention in relation to this is to present further issues in respect of the nature of the network society and related ideas that shall draw from Manuel Castells. I have previously shown two ways out of Fordism, the regulation school theory and flexible specialisation. These are divergent theoretical perspectives that emerged in the 1980s and that focus their analyses on capitalist restructuring and its consequences for new social structures. A third way out of Fordism is that of Castells, in his work from the mid-1990s. This concerns what he calls the global rearrangement of a new capitalist techno-economic system, characterised by a new mode of development defined as informationalism 9 and understood specifically as the network enterprise.
Emphasis mine. Emphasis is mine. 9 There are different denominations expressed in a dichotomist forms about historical economical transitions among them are industrial vs. post-industrial (Jessop, B. 1995), Fordist vs. post-Fordist (Freeman, C. 1988) and Manuel Castells (2000) distinction in industrial vs. informational, although they are referring to a same historical transitional phenomena, they construct differently their conceptual
8 7


Castells adopts the notion of the information technological paradigm 10 to express current technological transformations. According to Castells such technological impact has accelerated the pace and reshaped the material basis of society - or, to put this more in his terms, has given way to the material foundations of the network society characterized by greater flexibility. In this respect one of his claims is that society . cannot be understood without its technological tools (Castells, M. 2000:5), although he makes not concession to technological determinism. In this respect he writes: Indeed, the ability or inability of societies to master technology, and particularly technologies that are strategically decisive in each historical period, largely shapes their destiny, to the point where we could say that while technology per se does not determine historical evolution and social change, technology (or the lack of it) embodies the capacity of societies to transform themselves, as well as the uses to which societies, always in a conflictive process, decide to put their technological potential (Castells, M. 2000:7). In Castells deliberations the information technological paradigm is central, and this helps define the nature of the Network Society, which is characterized by constant change and organizational fluidity. It must be clear that for Castells there is an interrelationship of two distinct processes, one is the capitalist restructuring of the 80s and the other is the emergence of informationalism. These factors must be understood as a result of the information technology revolution, which, interestingly enough, he says, was itself shaped, in its development and manifestations, by the logic and interest of advanced capitalism, without being reducible to the expression of such interest (Ibid:13). Castells delineation of the emergence of a new social structure as a result of the technological revolution sees it as a process that is capitalist and informational, and that corresponds historically to a period, towards the end of the twentieth century, of global restructuring of capitalism. He emphasises that what underlies his judgement is the view that societies are organized around human processes structured by historically determined relationships of production, experience and power (Ibid:14). By emphasising the relationship of three spheres (production, experience and power), Castells accounts are more socially complex renditions of recent historical transformations. This is not only because he articulates in his analyses questions of economics related to the production process, but because he focuses on the action of human subjects themselves; experience is sees as a result of the interaction between
framework, so in consequence also are their dichotomist conceptualizations; considering this I would not consider these terms to be synonymous rigidly speaking, since they are referred to specific systems of interpretations of different author proposed perspectives. 10 Castells resorts to Christopher Freeman definition: A techno-economic paradigm a cluster of interrelated technical, organizational, and managerial innovations whose advantages are to be found not only in a new range of products and systems, but most of all in the dynamics of the relative cost structure of all possible inputs to production. The contemporary change of paradigm may be seen as a shift from a technology based primarily on cheap inputs of energy to one predominantly based on cheap inputs of information derived from advances in micro electronic and telecommunications technology. Freeman, C. (1988). Preface to part II. Technical Change and Economic Theory. G. Dosi, C. Freeman, et. al.(Armstrong, L. 2002) Quoted by Castells (2000).


their biological and cultural identities, and in relationship to their social and natural environment (Ibid:15). This makes possible discussions about culture, symbolic communication and identity issues. And last but not least, it enables him to address matters relating the power, which, being embodied in institutions and organizations, diffuses throughout the entire society(Ibid). This facilitates other things the discussion of issues such as the nature of new social movements that are fragmented, localistic, and single issue oriented. Castells interpretation implies a thematic development that includes issues of continuity within change in relation to portraying the more recent social transformations. When pondering the emergence of a new informational mode of development, he talks implicitly about continuity within change: what prevails is a capitalist mode of production where the separation between producers and their means of production, the commodification of labour, and the private ownership of means of production on the basis of the control of capital (commodified surplus), determined the basic principle of appropriation and distribution of surplus by capitalist (Ibid:16) And further, he conclusively affirms that while the informational, global economy is distinct from the industrial economy, it does not oppose its logic. It subsumes it through technological deepening (Ibid:100). Changes are at the level of the mode of development, which consists in technological arrangements through which labour works on matter to generate the product, ultimately determining the level and quality of surplus (Ibid:16). It is this that distinguishes it from agrarian, industrial and the prevailing informational mode. This last is oriented towards technological development and organizational change, and it prioritises flexibility and adaptability for the pursuit of knowledge and information directed towards the maximising of profit. Thus then there is continuity in what he defines informational capitalism. Within this framework, Castells aptly summarises these changes in the following terms: A series of reforms, both at the level of institutions and in the management of firms, aimed at four main goals: deepening the capitalist logic of profit-seeking in capital-labour relationships, enhancing the productivity of labour and capital, globalizing production, circulation, and markets, seizing the opportunity of the most advantageous conditions for profit-making everywhere; and marshalling the states support for productivity gains and competitiveness of national economies, often to the detriment of social protection and public interest regulations (Castells, M. 2000:19). Castells analytical remarks take capitalist restructuring and the diffusion of informationalism to be processes occurring on a global scale: societies did act/react differently to such processes, according to the specificity of their history, culture, and institutions (Ibid:20). Thus this new techno-economic system, which does not have homogeneity as a historical social form, should not be spoken of in general terms as the information society. Instead in Castells reasoning - since one of the key features of this society is based on a network logic, he adopts the concept of the network society, making it clear, however, that that concept does not exhaust the wider meaning of information society.


At a later point Castells gives accounts of how the information technological paradigm comes about in relation to the information technology revolution. It is relevant here to mention a discrepancy in previously observed points of view (post-Fordist and flexible specialisation) of how or why this happens. For Castells, the emergence of this technological revolution, which brings out the formation of a new socio-technical paradigm - that of informationalism - is not exactly a result of crisis and capitalist restructuring. Castells questioning regarding this is important because it establishes his particular thesis respecting this phenomenon and delineates two relatively autonomous trends: Why were discoveries in new information technologies clustered in the 1970s and mostly in the United States? And what are the consequences of such timed/placed clustering for their future development and for their interaction with societies? It would be tempting to relate directly the formation of this technological paradigm to the characteristics of its social context, particularly if we remember that in the mid 1970s the United States and the capitalist world were shaken by a major economic crisis, epitomized (but not caused) by the oil shock of 19734: a crisis that prompted the dramatic restructuring of the capitalist system on a global scale, actually inducing a new model of accumulation in historical discontinuity with post-Second World War capitalism. Was the new technological paradigm a response by capitalist system to overcome its internal contradictions? Or, alternatively, was it a way to ensure military superiority over the Soviet foe, responding to its technological challenge in the space race and nuclear weaponry? Neither explanation seems to be convincing. While there is a historical coincidence between the clustering of new technologies and the economic crisis of the 1970s, their timing was to close, the technological fix would have been to quick , and too mechanical, when we know from the lessons of the industrial revolution and other historical processes of technological change that economic, industrial and technological paths , while related, are slow moving and imperfectly fitting in their interactionIn fact, it seems that the emergence of a new technological system in the 1970s must be traced to the autonomous dynamics of technological discovery and diffusion, including synergistic effects between various technologies the first technological revolution clustered in America, and to some extent in California, in the 1970sdid not come out of any preestablished necessity: it was technologically induced, rather than socially determined. 11 (Castells, M. 2000:59-60). In order further to specify some distinguishing elements of such a paradigm I shall present some of his remarks concerning the more recent technological revolution that took place around the 1970s in California, USA. By doing this we shall at the same time be able to reveal his conceptualization of technology as a system that was fundamental for the process of socio-economic restructuring that began in the 1980s.

Emphasis mine.


We must start to make a brief review of what Castells understands as technology and of how he perceives the phenomenon of technological revolution - matters that are intimately linked. From a more general point of view his concept of technology is taken from Daniel Bell, who defines it simply as the use of scientific knowledge to specify ways of doing things in a reproducible manner (Ibid:28-29) and who specifically refers to information technology as a converging set of technologies in micro-electronics, computing, telecommunications/broadcasting and opto-electronics (Ibid:29). His understanding of information is defined in the following manner: However, what is specific to the informational mode of development is the action of knowledge upon knowledge itself as the main source of productivity. Information processing is focused on improving the technology of information processing as a source of productivity, in a virtuous circle of interaction between the knowledge sources of technology and the application of technology to improve knowledge generation and information processinginformationalism is oriented towards technological development, that is toward the accumulation of knowledge and towards higher levels of complexity in information processing (Castells, M. 2000:17). To explain his sense of what revolutionary change means in the sphere of technology and its impact on society, he describes history as a series of stable states, punctuated at rare intervals by major events that occur with great rapidity and help to establish the next stable era; it is characterized by transformation of our material culture by the works of a new technological paradigm organized by information technologies (Ibid:28). Thus, revolution can be understood as a sudden, unexpected surge of technological applications transformed the processes of production and distribution (Ibid:34). He refers to this technological information revolution as a historical event at least as important the 18th century industrial revolution: it induces a pattern of discontinuity in the material basis of economy, society and culture (29). But in contrast there is in his analysis an acknowledgement of specific changes here that differ from any other technological transformation. These arise as a result of the fact that these new technologies share a common digital language, a language that makes possible exponential growth, penetrating all domains of human activity. A further distinguishing feature of the development of information technology is its dynamics. Constant technological innovation mean, according to Castells, that it is not an isolated instance. Computer-based information systems can be run as distributed networks rather than through centralized data processing facilities. In consequence this dynamics can be defined as non-linear and in this sense it can be affirmed that information technology does not evolve toward its closure as a system, but toward its openness as a multi-edged network. (Ibid:75-76) For example, from the beginning of the 1980s it was clear that micro-computers could not be seen as isolated since they performed in networks and with increasing mobility because of their portability. Later, in the 1990s, they turned from centralized data storage and processing to networked, interactive computer power, in consequence changing social and organizational


interactions as well. This lead to the creation of the Internet and the development of more network technologies, such as internet browsers, search engines, and the like. Regarding these changes to the network, Castells writes: It reflects a given state of knowledge , a particular institutional and industrial environment, a certain availability of skills to define a technical problem and to solve it, an economic mentality to make such application cost-efficient, and a network of producers and users who can communicate their experiences cumulatively, learning by using and by doing; elites learn by doing, thereby modifying the applications of technology, while most people learn by using, thus remaining within the constraints of the packaging of technology (Ibid:35-36) In his examination of technology there is the basic recognition that technical relationships of production originate in the dominant spheres of society - the economic, for example, the production process, and the military-industrial complex. But he stresses that these are not the only realms where they have repercussions; they are also embedded in the cultural domain, since they spread throughout the whole set of social relationships and social structures, so penetrating and modifying power and experience. Thus, modes of development shape the entire realm of social behaviour, of course including symbolic communication. Because informationalism is based on the technology of knowledge and information, there is an especially close linkage between culture and productive forces, between spirit and matter (Ibid:17-18). Therefore, in Castells analyses, two dimensions of the impact of technology prevail, the socio-economic and the more cultural domain. He acknowledges that the diffusion of technology endlessly amplifies the power of technology because it becomes appropriated and redefined by its users. And this is why he believes that new information technologies are not simply tools to be applied, but processes to be developed. Users and doers may become the same (Ibid:31) Although technology is originated in the dominant spheres of society, he concedes that this brings in consequence an embedded logic that is determined by a performance principle that at the same time is linked to the sphere of the economic. Technological revolution is a result of constant innovation, a dominant feature of the new information technological paradigm. But Castells clearly establishes that the informational is not a matter of the centrality of knowledge but the subjugation or subordination of such knowledge to knowledge generation and information processing/communication devices. So what is Castells understanding of the informational paradigm? This can be made clear by revisiting his account of what he considers the heart of the new paradigm, which he presents in terms of five main features. These features are described by Castells as basically technical features, but they can be seen in conjunction from a more cultural perspective. This is to place them in the context of a new techno-cultural environment, which I shall also call a hypermedia environment. The first characteristic of the paradigm is that its technologies act on information; it is not simply that acts on technology. The second characteristic relates to the way that the


paradigm is based on the flexibility of ICT systems. Their capabilities can be altered by a productive process whose reversibility and reprogrammability can affect the whole sphere of production. As a result, flexibility as a potential, enables organizational fluidity. As Castells puts this, not only processes are reversible, but organizations and institutions can be modified, and even fundamentally altered, by rearranging their components (Ibid:71). This speaks of the ability of the technological system to reconfigure. Flexibility can also be linked into what Castells refers as the networking logic of any system. This is the third characteristic of the new paradigm: the morphology of the network seems to be well adapted to increasing complexity of interaction and to unpredictable patterns of development arising from the creative power of such interaction(Ibid:70). For instance, it can be stated that such networking logic gives way to unprecedented processes of interactivity - between people-machines-people, such as the Internet - that enable a many-to-many communicative interactivity under the new network logic (involving, say, e-mailing or any on-line interaction such as on-line chatting, web surfing and other interactive practices). The fourth characteristic is the pervasiveness of the effects of new technologies. Technologies penetrate into all domains of human activity to such an extent that our individual and collective existence are inevitably affected. The fifth and last mentioned characteristic is related to the essence of new technologies - that of its convergence. This makes possible a highly integrated system. Electronic-based technology converges into a set of at least three types of technological fields, and these share a common digital language. Micro-electronics (with the advent of the microprocessor in 1971) makes it possible to turn away from mechanical developments. It enables the development of , computing (hardware and software) and telecommunications/broadcasting, including broadband and satellite transmission and fibre-optic cables. The outcome of this is the integration of various modes of communication into an interactive network with global reach, reshaping the culture.

Some Considerations on Castells Network Society Approach It can be seen that Castells main argument is that the information age inaugurates a new society, brought into being by the development of networks and enabled by ICTs. A central element in this argument is that this implies social change. It purports to lay the way for the emergence of a new type of society. But, as we have seen, in Castells arguments this new society is characterized by its informational mode of development. It is because of this that he refers to informational capitalism, thus emphasising that capitalism is the most salient feature of the world today. So what remains as a central theme in his argument is change within continuity - that is, the continuity of the capitalist mode of production and changes in the mode of development, from industrialisation to informationalism. In relation to this, Webster (2002) recalls an unresolved tension that runs throughout Castells work. Because of this thematic engagement of continuity within change it could be said that his main work does not pursue understandings around systemic change. This could be considered a bit odd considering that the fact that his main


approach has been acknowledged by others as one within a Marxist lineage 12 (Webster, F. 2002; Garnham, N. 2004). Instead Castells initial main focus is on technological change and innovation, and he sustains this through a focus on the information revolution. Then again, the fact that he lays emphasis on understanding change in terms of the technological realm (the means of production) and interpreting this as revolutionary 13 could be regarded as excessive. Regrettably further discussion of this goes beyond the scope of this thesis. It is worth mentioning, however, that he is sometimes inconsistent, at times speaking of change in terms of a technological revolution and at times regarding it as a matter of reform (see: Castells, M. 2000:19). Also though it must be acknowledged that Castells is not the first to elaborate the idea of an information revolution. He partly derives this from Daniel Bell. The idea had become current by the late 1970s within circles of government and corporate planning. In this discourse the , revolution is to be considered inevitable and desirable. This is not to say that we are claiming that all theories of information revolution are the same 14. Although what is important here, in relation to Castells themes of information revolution, is that it leads to a question he seemed to avoid, that of technological determinism, several analysts of his work (van Dijk, J. 1999; Webster, F. 2002; Garnham, N. 2004; Webster, F. 2004) converge in asserting that in the end the network society he presents is technologically determined. For instance Garnham makes the following statement: not only is it technologically determinist but it is also structuralist [I]n the end it is the logic of the structure that determines because the network constitutes a new social morphology and the network society is characterized by the pre-eminence of social morphology over social action (Garnham, N. 2004:168). Castells main contribution seems to be that of the concept of the network, and it is through this that he mobilizes different arguments that are related to themes such as flexibility, globalization and finance capital. Although considering this, Garnhams point of view in this respect is that Castells exaggerates the novelty of networks as
For instance, from a Marxist point of view, a claim of fundamental change is a matter of moving through slavery, feudalism and capitalism. Elsewhere also can be mentioned that if we are to compare the industrial revolution of the eighteen century with that of the informational revolution at the end of the twentieth century as Castells does, one must question if they are really equivalents of radical change (revolutions). When clearly historical events such as the French revolution is not a technological driving radical change and can be seen as a precedent for further future changes such as the industrial revolution. Initially then a basic systematic question should be dealt with respect of how one is going to identify epochal change at the end of the twentieth century and if those changes can be better explained in terms of the idea of revolution? 13 Although he seems to draw his notion of technological paradigm from some people who in his terms adapt T. Kuhns analyses on scientific revolutions see p. 70 in Castells (2000). In this respect Frank Webster (2002) suggest that it may be relevant to consider alternative outlines of different epochs so we can query the appropriateness of Castells signalling of the information age(123). 14 This is most obvious when information revolutionaries such as Bell, Masuda, Toffler, etc. make a synthesis of informational capitalism without contradictions, conflict, such is not the case of Castells reading, but what is evident is his relation to such theories and acknowledged influences from authors such as Bell so disparate from his Marxist intellectual roots. In relation to all this Dyer-Witheford (1999) is appropriate: the theory of an inevitable information revolution provides the rationale for this restructuring, legitimization for social dislocation, and exhortation toward a radiant future (37) added to this can also be recalled that what the informational doctrines demonstrated in the context of DyerWithefords analyses is that it was a militant and revolutionary behaviour on the part of capitalism(77) to succeed in the emancipation from the working class ( 79).


forms of social and economic organization within which power is exercised, and thus at the same time exaggerates both the extent and the novelty of the impact of ICTs (Garnham, N. 2004:173). I think that the above considerations need to be surpassed. It is not enough to denounce deterministic views of technology if we are not to offer an alternative view. It is for this reason that, in the next chapter, I shall try to develop a more searching questioning of technology. I shall expand on this after considering some of the contributions of Castells to the understanding of the cultural consequences of the new informational technological paradigm.

Cultural consequences of informational capitalism We have see how Castells centres his analysis in processes of dynamic change within the concept of the information revolution. These changes come about as a result of the organization of production and the structuring of the market on a global scale. Networking results, as said before, in network enterprise and the emergence of the network society. In consequence, one of the main contributions that Castells makes to this issue is his insight that being networked is itself a cultural effect of great weight. In relation to the above questions Nicholas Garnham deduces that there can be at least two alternative explanations of the effect of the developments mentioned by Castells at the level of the superstructures of culture and politics: On the one hand informational capitalism restructures the labour process and the labour market, and by so doing restructures class relations. At the same time it is spatially rearranging global power relation, in what Castells calls space of flows, such that the power of territorially based and politically accountable entities, especially nation states, are undermined. On the other hand the development of information and communication technologies in the form of multimediahave a direct impact on culture and thus on our understanding of the world (Garnham, N. 2004:168). With regard to the two above questions, I want first to mention the relation to the capitalist restructuring of labour. According to Castells, this can be interpreted as implying diverse questions concerning matters of subjectivity constitution in which there are new information systems and networking that augment human powers of organization [T] hey simultaneously subvert the traditional western concept of a separate, independent subject (Ibid:23). In relation to this he notices an increasing distance between globalization and identity, between the Net and the self. In the light of this, he cites the argument of Alain Touraine: In a post-industrial society, in which cultural services have replaced material goods at the core of production, it is the defense of the subject, in its personality and in its culture, against the logic of apparatuses and markets, that replaces the idea of class struggle 15 (Quoted by: Castells, M. 2000).


Alain Touraine, 1994, Quest-ce que la dmocratie?, Paris, Fayard. Citing, translation and italics from Castells.


It seems to Castells that, as result of changes mentioned above, labour loses its collective identity and becomes increasingly individualised in its capacities, in its working conditions and in its interest and projects. Therefore, the old struggle between capital and labour is replaced by a more fundamental opposition between the logic of capital and the values of human experience. From the point of view of Garnham, therefore, these changes in the labour process and the division of labour produce a spirit of information which favours a culture of the ephemeral (Garnham, N. 2004:179). The question of flexibility opens onto to further issues such as the fragmentation of identities and individualisation. It is relevant to mention that Castells elaborations make it easier to make distinctions between the use of ICT within the process of production and that of technology in the context of the domestic consumption of media products and services. This is something that, from my point of view, helps us to understand the emerging new hypermedia environment 16. In other words these questions make possible a shift of analysis: the more traditional approach has centred on the economic sphere (as seen before in approaches in post-Fordism and in flexible specialisation) rather than the cultural sphere, emphasizing economics and sociology over cultural and communicational studies. So, in Castells eyes, we have a new informational technological paradigm, within which there is the emergence of a new electronic communication system characterized by its global reach, its integration of all communication media, and its potential interactivity. This is something that is changing and will change forever our culture. And it is Castells judgment that without analyzing the transformation of cultures under the new electronic communication system, the overall analysis of the information society would be fundamentally flawed (Ibid:357). There is no doubt that we inhabit a media-laden society. The very nature of this new informational environment calls for a major emphasis on symbolization, on understanding processes of symbolic exchange, and on understanding how these new technologies imprint themselves on our forms of thought. They withhold and construct mediated forms of symbolic interaction and different forms of being-in-the-world.

The restructuring of practices and institutions of Higher Education In the beginning of this chapter I said that one of the aims behind the research questions guiding this study was to understand changes in relation to how information technologies are causes or rather correlates of the transformations taking place in society and culture, including transformations and challenges in education. The offering of three descriptive accounts of the crisis and restructuring of capitalism (regulation school theory, flexible specialization theory, and the network society)has provided the framework for a better acknowledgment of how these phenomena have an impact on education, and especially on higher education. I have drawn on mainstream theoretical perspectives of the information society in an attempt to explain the impact of new technology on social processes through which

Castells talks about a new electronic communication system, I rather in talk about a new hypermedia environment, these will further be conceptualised within a further questioning about technology.


subjectivities are being changed and by which education is being determined. This is being examined through the lens of the idea of a historical restructuring of capitalism, which, as we have seen, developed in the mid-seventies. It seems to be the case that the main trend in higher education has been in a specific direction. This at least seems to be the view of Webster: The reality appears to be that universities across nations have been shaped decisively in a limited direction namely one which makes universities most responsive to contemporary capitalisms needs and strictures. What has been called the neo-liberal consensus, which today is hegemonic around the globe, demands that marketization, principles and practices permeate the entire social domain. This has meant that the relatively autonomous space that universities have occupied has markedly diminished, not as universities have become more plural, but rather as market forces have told more decisively on universities themselves to develop in directions favourable to commercial life (Webster, F. 2001:87). The changing realities and practices in universities revolve around a complex situation involving a wide range of issues. Some have to do with the role of new information and communicational technologies, such as distance education, information resources, virtual learning and the introduction of new management and administration systems (accountability and auditing). Among such trends are transformations such as the increase in student numbers, the decline in the unit of resource allocated to each student (new forms of funding), the abandonment of academic tenure (new contractual arrangements), and matters related to making universities more connected to the outside world. As to these and other transformations in the actual complexity and diversity of universities, there is, of course, disagreement and disputation as to what they amount to. But there is a dominant response, which interprets such changes as positive developments. They have introduced, according to some, a new dynamism in the form of the entrepreneurial spirit. This contrasts with the long-term failure of the system to respond either to the needs of employers or to the vast majority of the nations young people, and it responds to pressures towards greater value for money accountability (Webster, F. 2001:70). It is on the basis of this dominant perspective that there emerges the idea of an educational technological revolution. This incorporates in turn the assumption that the virtual university is the outcome and consequence of a new technological revolution 17, with such discourse itself constituting a demonstration of technological determinism: it situates itself within a narrow and restrictive analysis of the phenomena, typified by the logic of the claim we may start and end our discussion of contemporary transformations in higher education with the question of new digital or virtual technologies (Robins, K. and Webster, F. 2002:3).

In were in similar ways as information revolution theorist that bring on an epochal scheme distinction such as industrial-postindustrial, and in the case of universities the contrast is between the liberal national model vs. the virtual global model, being a polarization of past and present, where also is an opposition between a collegial model vs. managerial.


It is in relation to these matters that David Noble comments: All discussion of distance education these days invariably turns into a discussion of technology, an endless meditation on the wonders of computer-mediated instruction. Identified with a revolution in technology, distance education has thereby assumed the aura of innovation and the appearance of a revolution itself, a bold departure from tradition, a signal step toward a preordained and radically transformed higher education future (Noble, D. 2002:282). In the light of the above, I shall now attempt to describe and explain the specific impact of the information revolution in education in terms of its being a system within a more complex situation. In the course of this a critical debate regarding these new processes and outcomes becomes apparent. If we are to see higher education in the context of a reconfiguring institutional arrangements that is essentially related to the restructuring of capitalism, then two key dynamics are to be distinguished - of technological innovation and of globalization. The first - if we follow Castells ideas - is related to a new mode of development called informationalism, which brings consequent shifts in the modes of communication introduced by ICTs. This mode is connected to the introduction of the strategic networking of educational institutions, and it results in the unfolding process of a virtual informational model of the university. The second is a response to the new world order as a transformation that beings new rules of the game (because of growing competition 18) in which universities (both for-profit and non-profit) and faculty enter a process now called by some academic capitalism 19 and by others the entrepreneurial university 20. This is closely related to commodification and to the emergence of new managerial structures in higher education. On this basis there unfolds a debate about the virtualization of education and the restructuring of higher education in other words, a discussion concerning the virtual campus. I find Martin Harris (2002) classification three lines of thought respecting these problematical questions particularly helpful. (i)The neo-liberal commentators are constantly arguing that universities are increasingly out of touch with the learning needs of society (Idem. 216), and such reasoning casts them as advocates of technology.

It is acknowledged that in order to compete successfully universities will have to react in many areas, such as mission focus, excellence, organizational change and distance learning. (2002:264) 19 However, capitalism also is defined as an economic system in which allocation decisions are driven by market forces By using (Slaughter and Leslie 1997) academic capitalism as our central concept, we define the reality of the nascent environment of public research universities, an environment full of contradictions, in which faculty and professional staff expend their human capital stocks increasingly in competitive situations. In these situations, university employees are employed simultaneously by the public sector and are increasingly autonomous from it. They are academics who act as capitalist from within the public sector; they are state subsidized entrepreneurs Sheila Slaughter and Larry Leslie (1997:9). Another related concept is academic entrepreneurs. 20 Which can also be understood as a post-Fordist high-tech restructuring of higher education.



(ii)The radical critical perspective is concerned among other things with the entrepreneurial university, seeing it as a threat to the traditions of scholarly enquiry within the academy. (iii) The perspective that focuses on new techno-organizational forms, derived from and based on information and knowledge networks, is to be understood in terms of its identification of the process whereby information technologies and networks create a new medium of exchange, generating productivity rises and increase in the circulatory sphere (Idem, 217). The idea of the information society and the question of the role of ICT in shaping the future of education are central to understanding the ways in which how higher education is currently accomplishing its task. So when it comes to relating ICT and education, it is common to find reasoning along the following lines: that education and training are always regarded as the key to social and economic development, and that in the context of the emergence of new technology they are vital for the development of social life. Against this background there arise justifications and arguments (Garnham, N. 2002) that revolve around two matters. One is the need for human capital formation 21. This takes policy-making in education in different directions, among which are the development of information skills and a demand for raised levels of literacy and technological competence. The other concerns raising the productivity of higher education through the use of ICT. This leads to policies that promote investment in a new infrastructure for education. They reinforce the importance of network logic and bring about a commodification of knowledge and education. If we are to understand new techno-organizational forms in the context of universities as a form of the impact of technology, then Castells (2000) argument about information economy and the common matrix of organizational forms is relevant. His main thesis states that the rise of the informational, global economy is characterized by the development of a new organizational logic which is related to the current process of technological change, but not dependant upon it (Ibid:164). Such processes engendered by the network enterprise refer to structures that replace bureaucracy (Harris, M. 2002:217). They turn to the more flexible organizational forms that provide universities with a common interface for its administration and provision of services, and the activities of students and teachers. As a result there is evolution of a complex and diverse digital environment. This new networked digital environment mirrors post-Fordist enterprises and their management methods in such a way as to make them more flexible. They become increasingly fluid, agile, and obsessively costumer-facing in order to maintain direction and survive in intensely competitive markets (Gell, M. and Cochrane, P. 1996:250). From this there develops other themes such as borderless education and global competition.

Surrounding such questions a common argument to justify expansion of higher education and as well tax-payer expenditure goes that: the knowledge economy requires an increased cadre of knowledge workers Garnham (Robins, K. and Webster, F. 1989, 1991), but such a priori is highly contested by different specialist on the matter.



It could be said that this re-engineering of the management of higher education, which at the same time implies the restructuring of the practices and institutions of higher education, is a response to a crisis of profitability in the process of capital accumulation as a whole. The developing processes of higher education show that universities are undergoing a transformation that is not simply technological. But as said before, analysis must not stop here. From a historical perspective there is a reconfiguration of the discourse in which, for Michael Arnold (1996), some of the threads which run through the rationale offered for high-tech, post-Fordist school, but extend beyond this to other postmodern cultural forms. Commodification, fragmentation, decentralization, surfaces and virtuality, truth relative to discourse, truth as power and instrumental pragmatics, virulent individualism, technological collapse of space and time, the market as the central facilitator of life experience and text and discourse as the central mediator of life experience (Ibid:346). Related to the above phenomena is also the term postmodern university. Many questions may be raised about such new processes in higher education. For instance, Noble (1998) raises the question of what it is that is driving this headlong rush to implement new technology with so little regard for deliberation over the pedagogical and economic costs and at the risk of student and faculty alienation and opposition. It is also relevant here to consider the concept of academic capitalism used by Sheila Slaughter and Larry Leslie: Academic Capitalism deals with market and market like behaviours on the part of universities and faculty. Market like behaviours refer to institutional and faculty competition for moneys, whether these are from external grants and contracts, endowment funds, universityindustry partnerships, institutional investment in professors spin-off companies, or student tuition and fees. What makes these activities market like is that they involve competition for funds from external resource providers. If institutions and faculty are not successful, there is no bureaucratic recourse; they do without (Slaughter, S. and Leslie, L.L. 1997:11). It is also worth remembering the remark by Negri Lazzarano that no site could be more vital to capitals harnessing of collective intelligence than academia (Quoted by: DyerWitheford, N. 2000). But let us look further into the reinventing of higher educations entrepreneurialism. For David Noble (1998) there has being a major change in the universities over the last two decades. This is a process that has implied the assimilation of the campus as a significant site of capital accumulation, a change in social perception which has resulted in the systematic conversion of intellectual activity into intellectual capital. In wider terms the process of the restructuring of higher education has been conceived by Noble (1998) in terms of two general phases. The first phase involved the commoditization of the research function of the university, which involved transforming scientific and engineering knowledge into commercially viable proprietary products that could be owned and bought and sold in the market (the sale of patents and exclusive licenses). The process implied university-industry/government


partnerships. the background to this was that government spending on higher education was slowing down, and therefore higher education was forced to develop other financial strategies. So, Noble continues, within a decade there was a proliferation of industrial partnerships and new proprietary arrangements, as industrialists and their campus counterparts invented ways to socialize the risks and costs of creating this knowledge while privatizing the benefits (Idem). Universities were reallocating their resources towards the research function, and in consequence something very grave was happening: the erosion of a its more traditional educational function. This takes us to the second phase of the entrepreneurial engagement of universities. The second, which is to say the present time, entails the commodification of the educational function of the university, transforming courses into courseware and the activity of instruction itself into commercially viable proprietary products that can be owned and bought and sold in the market. With this we have a new university-corporate merger - computer corporations. 22 Michael Apple gives us an exemplary case of education-related variants of commodification. This makes a powerful statement regarding the reintegration of educational policy and practice into the ideological agenda of neoliberalism. Apple writes: Channel One a for-profit television network that is now broadcast into schools enrolling more than 40 percent of all middle- and secondary school students in the nation. In this reform, schools are offered a free satellite dish, two VCRs and television monitors for each of their classrooms by a private media corporation. They are also offered a free news broadcast for these students. In return for the equipment and the news, all participating schools must sign a three-to-five-year contract guaranteeing that their students will watch Channel One every day. This sounds relatively benign. However, not only the technology is hard-wired so that only Channel One can be received, but broadcast along with the news are mandatory advertisements for major fast food, athletic wear, and other corporations that students-by contract-must also watch. Students, in essence, are sold as captive audience to corporations. Since, by law, these students must be in school, the United States is one of the first nations in the world consciously to allow its youth to be sold as commodities to those many corporations willing to pay the high price of advertising on Channel One to get guaranteed (captive) audience (Apple, M.W. 2000:62-63). With regard to the implications of the commodification of university instruction, Noble emphasises two dimensions: a) those relating to the university as a site of the production of the commodities, and b) those relating to the university as a market for them, raising questions from the standpoint of students about costs, coercion, privacy, equity, and the quality of education.


See (Kim, J. 2001:89).


As a result of radical analyses such as Nobles (1998) consequences of these processes, we can learn much of their negative side. But I concur with Dyer-Witherfords (2000) view that demystification, practiced alone, leads to a dead end to the assertion of monolithic and unbreakable capitalist power. . . [The] more difficult task [is] to identify the possibilities of things being other than they are. (Ibid:237) Hence, it is worth remembering Raymond Williams 23saying: Making hope practical, rather than despair convincing. Summing up the recent changes in higher education, we can emphasise that there are three closely related types of domains in which change is manifest: knowledge, markets and management.

Extending the horizon in understanding technology My exposition has presented different approaches to the understanding of technological change, technological innovation and capitalist restructuring. These perspectives have clear but limited views of technology from a sociological standpoint, and their limitations consist in part in their the technological determinism that they have in common. This requires further understanding and critique. Hence, in what follows, I briefly open up some questions that will provide a platform for further argument for the next chapter. The concept of information in the approaches considered appears to be vague and quantitative. It operates within a capitalist logic of more-for-less, being directly related to matters of economic growth (market values and competition). It tends to dismiss matters related to the culturally situated construction of meaning. With the exception of that of Castells, the perspectives on technological restructuring that have been reviewed offer no space for reflection beyond questions of economics. The centre of their enquiry is accumulation. They fail to recognise that the restructuring process is also itself a motif, being a weapon against social dissent. Such considerations help to explain capitalisms crisis not as a mere problem of capitalist accumulation (the economic) but as the result of the effects of anti-capitalist struggle, the contestation of capitalist discipline and control 24. This interpretation opens the way to an inquiry into technology within a socio-cultural problematic. This highlights questions of social struggle (class conflict) and agency, and the different forms of cultural and technological re-appropriation that express human agency. 25


Raymond Williams, The Politics of Nuclear Disarmament, in Exterminism and Cold War, ed New Left Review, London, p. 85. Quoted by Dyer-Witheford (2000). 24 Or what is called the circuit of capital which is defined by such moments of production, reproduction of labour power and circulation, which at the same time is a circuit of accumulation and resistance. Technology therefore appears not just as instruments for the circulation of commodities, but simultaneously as channels for circulation of struggles. 25 It is interesting to acknowledge that the main proponents of the three perspectives reviewed here all have intellectual roots within Marxism, and if one considers this in the context of their analysis of the information society, then Dyer-Witherfords (1999) following annotations are relevant: the concept of the information society derives much of its analytic force and imaginative power from a rewriting of Marxism. The rewriting retains the notion of historical progress towards a classless society but reinscribes technological advance rather than class conflict as the driving force in this transformation (37) and consequently he arrives to a conclusion that these perspectives lead, although by different routes, to potential disintegrations of or exits from Marxism. (61)


One main question that must be raised concerns the consequences of technological determinism and the possibilities of understanding technology differently. The following questions present themselves: When does technology turn into a medium? When does technology become a cultural environment? What are the technological characteristics of new media, and what possibilities do they open regarding social and educational agency? In addressing such questions consideration must be given to postmodernity, technology and the emergence of new configurations of the self. The reconfiguration of the self implies ontological and epistemological issues that concern education and pedagogical action. Attention can then be drawn to a new subjectivity structure 26. This has two dimensions: a) the ontological, where it can be seen how it brings to human beings new forms of Being-in-the-World (Being-in-the World-Wide-Web), and b) the epistemological, which brings new forms of knowing, in which technology imprints particular ways of thinking. In each cases these new processes culminate in different conceptions of desired human performance, which, in this new era, has to do with the internal logic of the network society and the digitalization of technologies. Certain aspects of postmodern culture are then to be considered as manifestations of high technology capitalist restructuring, a restructuring in which the production of culture has become integrated into commodity production. Such matters bring to the surface the nature of cyber-culture and the question of the cultural and educational importance of the Internet. The acknowledgement of postmodern culture leads also to the need to deliberate over the leading issue of the transformation of the new mode of communicational environment (Hypermedia) and its impact in human endeavour as the result of an emergent postmodern social epistemology.


There is a new subjectivity, which implies a new social subject as said before The Postmodern Subject', The Information Subject, 'The Cyborg or The Digital Subject, who is and acts upon a new constructed reality in the now embraced digital age.


Chapter II: Technology






In the past chapter we have been reviewing the phenomenon of socio-cultural change, based on a central analytical idea: that, starting in the 1970s, capitalism underwent a process of general restructuring, which in our enquiries we have found that there is general agreement that there is enough evidence to confirm the rise of a new restructuring of society, which, according to some authors, can be designated the Information Society and, according to others such as Castells, the Network Society. A common denominator in these interpretations is the importance given to the impact of information technologies with their continual innovation. Within this framework of thought, we identified a number of explanations from which we gained insights into socio-historical dimensions of economic crisis. We were, therefore, able to understand the need to establish new modes of accumulation based on a new technological paradigm. In the light of this we sought to show how these developments are manifestation of the prevailing logic inherent in capitalism, a logic that explains the motives and goals of these new orientations as market-derived, a logic of more for less. It was in this light that it became possible to interpret the impact of such transformations in higher education. In pursuing this strategy, however, we also, in our conclusions, registered some limitations. In this chapter, I shall consider these limitations further in terms of two directions for my inquiry. One will involve trying to go beyond the predominant, solely economic and determinist interpretation. In my view this needs development in relation to a range of more cultural issues. The other will require a step further away from the restricted concept of technology that still tends to prevail. This has been widely rejected for its oversimplifying, technological determinist standpoint, and my purpose will be to develop a different and more complex interpretation of the idea of technology. Consequently, a fundamental aim in this chapter is to inquire into the significance of technological change in a way that acknowledges the complexity and contingency of technological impact and also upholds the intention of linking socio-political and cultural issues to philosophical concerns. The expectation is that this approach can demarcate technocultural change in such a way that such related issues as the emergence of new structures of subjectivity can be better understood. The changes in question represent a challenge also in terms of the need to think differently about education and to develop pedagogical practices of a kind that can stand up to such demands. In Chapter One we have shown how technological determinism is a major limitation on attempts to explain the central role that information technology plays and the nature of social transitions such as that of industrialism to informationalism. Such interpretations generally fail to grasp the nature of capitalist restructuring and the crisis it brings about, believing that this is such as to require a technological fix. This then is an


oversimplification of what social and technological change mean. To overcome such limitations I shall employ three strategic pathways: 1) Critical consideration will be given to the way that technological determinism regards technological change as a factor independent of society. This will lead to an assessment of alternative conceptions of technology, ones that may help to establish the complexity and contingency of technological change. 2) The contextualization of the postindustrial technological restructuring of capital will be extended so that it is addressed not only as an economic question, and therefore a matter of accumulation, but also as a way of restructuring the structures of everyday life, which implies wider attention to the cultural sphere and to the influence of technoculture on inner life. Within this analysis, the notion of postmodern culture and the becoming of a new technocultural environment will have particular relevance. An attempt will be made to inquire into philosophical questions in respect to technology. This will be done with reference to Heidegger, especially to his philosophy of technology, which in one way or another highlights the profound changes in human experience (in the light of the ahistorical existential structures of Dasein 27) These can be linked to social-cultural issues that take place in profound technological transformations.

The limitations of technological determinism A useful distinction can be drawn in relation to technological determinism by identifying two theoretical dimensions: a theory of society and a theory of technology. In relation to this, it might be said that technological determinism tends to assume that technological change is an independent factor. Put simply there is the assumption that technology just changes: technology has a logic of its own. This in turn nurtures the idea of a technological revolution. Such a general standpoint determines how society and historical change are to be understood. For instance, in the simple notion that technology just changes there is the implication of a process of cause-and-effect. For example, let us consider the view that the crises in the 1970s was a result of how the dominant assembly line technology, the technology of mass production (standardized products), turned out to be inefficient because of a constant imbalance between mass production and mass consumption. It was factors such as this, the argument goes, that caused the emergent network technology, which in turn had the effect of bringing a new flexibility to production (differentiated products) and, therefore, of restoring efficiency to the productive process. Under such logic social change is comprehended and consequently explained in terms of a historical transition, as, for example, from Fordism to post-Fordism. Admittedly, this is to put things in terms of a hard, perhaps simplified case of causeand-effect technological determinism, which may contrast in some degree with more soft versions.

Dasein, which means roughly being-there, is the term Heidegger uses in place of human being, on the grounds that the latter has become fatefully burdened with precisely those metaphysical assumptions that he seeks to challenge.


This is why Donald MacKenzie and Judy Wajcman mention that in adopting a technology, we may be opting for far more economically, politically, even culturally, as well as technically- that appears at first sight (MacKenzie, D. and Wajcman, J. 2003). So it is a mistaken assumption that technological change is an independent factor, impacting on society as if outside from society. Such a conceptualization also implies a notion of society in which it has to adapt to processes of change that seem to be almost natural and neutral. Technological determinism already positions itself by the nature of the questions it asks, by asking how to adapt to technological change, and this inevitably requires from it a passive attitude with respect to the very processes it seeks to question. MacKenzie and Wajcman put this in the following way: The view that technology changes, either following science or of its own accord, promotes a passive attitude to technological change. It focuses our minds on how to adapt to technological change, not on how to shape it. It removes a vital aspect of how we live from the sphere of public discussion, choice, and politics (MacKenzie, D. and Wajcman, J. 2003:5). To understand technological change beyond technological determinism is to rethink it in terms of societys needs actively to shape technology. It should be added that such dimension requires a sense of the politics of technology, a politics in which it becomes apparent that, for diverse reasons, technological choice opens some social options while it closes others. It is because of this that technological determinism is often seen as part and parcel of a neoliberal discourse of technology. In relation to these matters John Armitage writes: Technologically determinist assemblages of sundry neoliberal computer mysticsare questionable because cybercultural technologies, like all technologies, are innately political. Technologies like VR do not appear like rainfall - as heavenly gifts. They have to be willed into existence, they have to be produced by real human beings. Information and communicational technologies, for instance, both contain and signify the cultural and political values of particular human societies. Accordingly, these technologies are always expressions of socioeconomic, geographical, and political interests, partialities, alignments and commitments. In brief, the will to technical knowledge is the will to technical power (Armitage, J. 1999). Usually the dominant form of technological determinism can be associated with ideas of efficiency. Technology is seen as a means to an end, and so any technological system is seen as orientated to a goal. In these terms the concern is about reducing costs and increasing revenues, the logic of more-for-less, and this ends up reducing everything to functions and raw materials. In other words information technology is seen chiefly in terms of economic growth and productivity, and this is a manifestation of instrumental logic. Under the sway of such values, the impact of technology in its form of it just happens is to focus on the idea of the march of progress and the necessity of technological


innovation. Consequently, technology not only is limited to the realm of production but, in ideological terms, has the tendency to predict what the impact of technology should be in the future. By doing so, its discourse is full of promises and enthusiasm for technologys potential. There are different expressions of technological determinism and forms of its discourse. The following extended excerpt is an example of many of the aspects of technological determinism emphasised above. It also manifests the kind of ideological discourse that can be associated with right wing libertarian ideas about freedom, social life, economics, and politics. Writers in this vein include Alvin Toffler, Esther Dyson, Stewart Brand, John Perry Barlow, and Kevin Kelly. Their political ideology takes the form of a cyberlibertarian vision 28. It is perhaps most clearly enunciated in a publication first released by the Progress and Freedom Foundation in the summer of 1994. This is a manifesto entitled Cyberspace and the American Dream: A Magna Carta for the Knowledge Age. Here is a sample:

The central event of the 20th century is the overthrow of matter. In technology, economics, and the politics of nations, wealth -- in the form of physical resources -- has been losing value and significance. The powers of mind are everywhere ascendant over the brute force of things. In a First Wave economy, land and farm labor are the main factors of production. In a Second Wave economy, the land remains valuable while the labor becomes massified around machines and larger industries. In a Third Wave economy, the central resource -- a single word broadly encompassing data, information, images, symbols, culture, ideology, and values -- is actionable knowledge. The industrial age is not fully over. In fact, classic Second Wave sectors (oil, steel, auto-production) have learned how to benefit from Third Wave technological breakthroughs -- just as the First Wave's agricultural productivity benefited exponentially from the Second Wave's farm-mechanization. But the Third Wave, and the Knowledge Age it has opened, will not deliver on its potential unless it adds social and political dominance to its accelerating technological and economic strength. This means repealing Second Wave laws and retiring Second Wave attitudes. It also gives to leaders of the advanced democracies a special responsibility -- to facilitate, hasten, and explain the transition. As humankind explores this new electronic frontier of knowledge, it must confront again the most profound questions of how to organize itself for the common good. The meaning of freedom, structures of self-government, definition of property, nature of competition,

See Landon Winner (1997) paper in respect to cyberlibertarian approaches, and also Mihaela Kelemen &Warren Smith (2001).


conditions for cooperation, sense of community and nature of progress will each be redefined for the Knowledge Age -- just as they were redefined for a new age of industry some 250 years ago. What our 20th-century countrymen came to think of as the "American dream," and what resonant thinkers referred to as "the promise of American life" or "the American Idea," emerged from the turmoil of 19th-century industrialization. Now it's our turn: The knowledge revolution, and the Third Wave of historical change it powers, summon us to renew the dream and enhance the promise (Dyson, E., Gilder, G., Keyworth, G. and Toffler, A. 1994).

In the light of this and the points made earlier, we are now in a position to say something about the necessity of acknowledging a more complex notion of technological change. My intention now is to pursue a different approach, one that turns away from considerations of economic restructuring to look more directly at the technocultural sphere. But continuing the presentation of such new arguments and claims, I want to make reference to aspects of the socio-historical theory of technology that Andrew Feenberg has developed. This is a move towards a more complex notion of the problematic and of linking social issues of technology with more philosophical ones. The following remarks of Feenberg are of considerable value in deepening the significance of Manuel Castells (2000) assertion that technology originates in the dominant spheres of society. They help to bring into focus the idea of technology as an environment: I believe that there is a single fundamental distinction among technical actors that enables us to link social to philosophical issues. This is the distinction between the dominant and the subordinate subject positions with respect to technological systems. There are, as essentialists argue, technological masters who relate through rational planning to a world reduced to raw materials. But ordinary people do not resemble the efficiency oriented system planners who pepper the pages of technology critique. Rather, they encounter technology as a dimension of the lifeworld. For the most part they merely carry out the plans of others or inhabit technologically constructed spaces and environments. As subordinate actors, they strive to appropriate the technologies with which they are involved and adapt them to the meanings that illuminate their lives. Their relation to technology is thus far more complex than that of dominant actors (Feenberg, A. 1999: x-xi).

In chapter IIII I shall draw to attention to questions concerning technologically constructed spaces and environments and the appropriation of technologies. At this stage, however, it is important to review the issues behind the idea of information itself and the relation of this to the determinist stance.


The Nature of Information In accordance with Frank Websters views on the notion of information, it might be said that the major information theories have a persistent analytical insufficiency. They make their claims on the strength of quantitative analyses of information expansion involving, for example, information flows, occupational expansion, economic growth and technological expansion. These are basically standard information analyses, casting the very idea of research into the information society in quantitative, macro-sociological terms. This arises from approaching questions of the information society in non-social terms. Once again we see the influence of technological determinism. One of the consequences of this approach is that there is a lack of attention to the semantic qualities of information: the analysis of information proceeds at the cost of abandonment of its meaning and quality (Webster, F. 2002:24). While information is in this process seen merely as a resource, it should in contrast be seen as something within the cultural realm. Information must be perceived as something meaningful! Information has a subject; it is intelligence or instruction about something or someone (Webster, F. 2002:24). Information in Castells Network Society seems to be understood in predominantly quantitative and, according to some critics, vague terms (Webster, F. 2002; Garnham, N. 2004; 2004). It does, however, seem to illustrate the dynamics of the Network Society. When Castells speaks of information in the context of economic processes, it is technological processes within the network that are dominant. What ensues is an information flow, with information identified as data. But if we think of us in the Net in everyday life, the exchange of information can be seen not only as a flow of data but also as cultural expression: communication takes place through processes of interaction and exchange of meanings 29. The symbolic exchange of flows of information is a manifestation of human expression. This recognition opens the way to a distinction between the dominant economy-based social network analyses and a more cultural, dynamics-based, media network approach. As seen above, there can be different frameworks in which information can be approached. Among these frameworks, there is one that clearly emphasises the need to make distinctions between information, knowledge and understanding. We will begin with the notion of information. In this respect Theodore Roszaks inquiry is relevant since he traces the technical origin of the term in relation to the inception of information theory. The following words, which he draws from Claude Shannons A Mathematical Theory of Communication 30, are also revealing: It is also the work most responsible for revolutionizing the way scientist and technicians have come to wield the word information in our time. In the past, the word has always denoted a sensible statement that conveyed a recognizable, verbal meaning, usually what we would call a fact. But now, Shannon gave the word a special technical definition that divorced it from its common-sense usage. In his theory, information is no longer connected

Which then necessarily we enter to issues of educational processes which unavoidably are to be seen as exchange of meanings and values, which at the same time take us to the central issue of this thesis construction of subjectivity as a result of social shaping of technology. 30 (Shannon, C. and Weaver, W. 1981) see also (Raigada, J.L.P. and Moya, J.A.G. 1999).


with the semantic content of statements. Rather, information comes to be a purely quantitative measure of communicative exchanges, especially as these take place through some mechanical channel which requires that message to be encoded and then decoded, say, into electronic impulses. Here, too, the bit the binary digit basic to all data processing , first appears to take its place as the quantum of information, a neatly measurable unit which the transmitting capacity of all communication technology can be evaluated (Roszak, T. 1994:11-12). This technical derivation of the term information 31 is to be found by drawing out any semantic content. Therefore, in this way, information has come to indicate whatever can be coded 32 for transmission (storing or processing data) through a channel that connects a source with a receiver. In this respect whatever gets fed into a computer is at once translated into binary numbers. The binary code then comes to be seen as a comprehensive language (BASIC, PASCAL), which homogenizes all that it expresses, all this as a result of a technological process of integration - a process also understood as convergence - which is made possible as a result of digitalization 33. It is relevant, therefore, briefly to sketch the underlying structures and principles of the digital world. Marilyn Deegan and Simon Tanner make the following distinction: All digital data, from whatever original it derives, has the same underlying structure, that of the bit or the BInary digiT. A bit is an . electronic impulse that can be represented by two states on or off, also written as 1 or 0. A byte consists of eight bits, and one byte represents one alphanumeric character. A ten-letter word, for example, would be ten bytes. Bits and bites are linked together in chains of millions of electronic impulses; this is known as the bit stream. (Deegan, M. and Tanner, S. 2002:6) This explanation of information is not far in expression from a now old, positivistic, methodical conceptualisation. This typically results in a reduction that relies basically on processes of mathematization. Unfortunately this trend does not stop here. It extends

Within the concept of information are derived two distinct matters that have been merged, that of the hardware, and that of the software in this last one govern the ideas of the program which is a algorithm which is a set of instructions that organizes information for some purpose and the data that is being put in the program (these letters that are expressing my ideas), these two information related processes (program-data) are generally and indistinguishably included in the concept of information. 32 Jenny Weight (2003) emphasis that encoding of digital information is written in abstract languages whose relationship to natural language is tenuous if not wholly obscure, despite the fact that syntax and text is common to both. Online, we constantly receive messages about the coded nature of this environment (for example, via JavaScript error messages) that most of us dont understand. This environment rest upon a foundation that is even more alien than Sumerian machine code. Moreover, these languages operate in different ways to natural language: they never spoken and they are always performative. Digital information operates by silent spells. 33 Digitalization means that these signals are chopped into little pieces, called bits, consisting in nothing but ones and zeros. With the aid of micro-electronics these bits can be transported and connected fast and without interference. Yet this technical superiority is not the primary cause of the swift digitalization of mediated communication. The main boost for digitalization came from acute problems of data communication in transporting data via modems and analogue telephones lines with limited capacity. (van Dijk, J. 1999:30)



its logistics to another closely related problematic, which Donna Haraway (2000) describes as the translation of the world into a problem of coding. Further problems of this kind will be addressed later, but I do think this example shows clearly the way that any theoretical explanation that adopts such a bare notion of information is likely to be technologically deterministic. A clear contrast is to be found in the words of Weight: Our ability to analyse the digital is circumscribed by human capacities and our situatedness within the world. Embedded in any statement about digital information are statements about our experience as humans and how this informs our relationship to digital information (Weight, J. 2003). It should then now be clear that our inquiry concerning information must take into account other matters. This raises the question, for example, of the distinction between information and knowledge. In this respect Roszak points out that s the mind thinks with ideas, not with information, and he argues that information is no more that it has ever been: discrete little bundles of fact, sometimes useful, sometimes trivial, and never the substance of thought (Roszak, T. 1994:87). A similar line of argument is pursued by Gordon Graham. Graham draws attention to, and contests, the technical assumption that information means no more than a set of electronic impulses which can be made to produce text and images on a screen [but] has no epistemological implications; it does not imply that such information conveys any genuine knowledgein normal speech information is an epistemologically normative term (Graham, G. 1999:89). Within this context the problematizing of information can, in my view, be furthered in connection with knowledge and power, that is the relationship of knowledge and control (the legitimacy and regulation of knowledge). Lankshear, Peters and Knobel initially pursue inquiries into how and why particular elements of information available in cyberspace become integrated into social ways of being and acting.(1996:178). Stressing how these matters are relevant to pedagogical practices, they highlight at least three things: (i) how information might be distinguished from mis-information and dis-information, (ii) how information is controlled and regulated within electronic environments, and (iii) what the results are of people being mis-informed or dis-informed. Lastly n a similar line of thought Peters speaks of an often use of interchangeably between the terms knowledge and information by commenting: In traditional analytic philosophy it is argued that the concept of knowledge has three conditions: a belief condition, a truth condition and a justification condition. In other words, for a statement to count as knowledge it must satisfy belief, truth and justification conditions. This philosophical account of knowledge, very important in defining education in analytic philosophy of education, while it has its difficulties, it does allow us to distinguish knowledge from information: information considered as data transmitted from a sender to a receiver does not necessarily have to satisfy the belief, truth or justifications conditions (Peters, M. 2002).


Restructuring the Structures of Everyday Life Restructuring is then, as we have seen through Chapter One, a restructure of a mode of accumulation, but also, as Kevin Robins and Frank Webster have noted (1988; 1999), a restructuring the structures of everyday life. It is this second factor that takes us to the need for wider attention to the cultural sphere and, specifically, to the influence of technoculture on inner life, in subjectivity constitution. The question of domination of capital over social life is one that is underlined by Kevin Robins and Frank Webster (1999). They show that, more than control over the immediate process of production, capitalism has also necessitated a restructuring of the relation between the factory and the outside world (112). This has brought an extensive recodification of the structures of everyday life. It can, therefore, be seen that there is a very firm relationship between the restructuring of the mode of accumulation and the restructuring of everyday life. This can be discerned in the very process of globalization 34 as an expression of such restructuring. This is because capitalist globalization not only pursues the control of network flows of international investment and finance, but also establishes the global reorganization of consumption 35 that is implemented in many ways by media transnational corporations 36, which consolidate the globalization of culture and its commodification. This is why Poster urges that: It is now imperative to study a new region of experience, the domain of the mediated, a domain that is imbricated with everyday life in a manner that is different from industrial societys man-machine relation (Poster, M. 2001:12). So it can be said that there has been a response from capital by the way of restructuring the very structures of everyday life, bringing forward the strategy of the unstoppable commodification of culture, and their associated electronic mediation, bringing human experience in consequence to an increasingly commodified cultural relations. This is a matter that has led to a number of studies that have directed attention to everyday life and experience in advanced technological societies (Robins, K. and Webster, F. 1988; Wellman, B. and Haythornthwaite, C. 2002). This takes us to a further step in my analysis, one that will lead us towards a deeper understanding of the challenges education will be confronting in the context of this new technocultural environment. I shall now, therefore, address more specific questions concerning culture in the context of postmodernity and in relation to subjectivity constitution.


This globalization processes also carries within itself a lethal acceleration of divisions and antagonisms which lead to to worldwide countermovements confronting transnational capital. Dyer-Witheford (2000:164), from this view the global networks of cyberspace can be seen as a medium for circulation of struggles and as a new contemporary battleground. 35 We have seen in chapter two how post-Fordism and its patterns of information activity go around organisation of production and arrangement of consumption. See Table 1. 36 New media environment and subjectivity constitution is closely related to transnational capital, this is why Nick Dyer-Witheford (2000:137) confirms that these corporationshave become the vital agents for a reconstruction of global subjectivity carried out in the interest of transnational capital.(DyerWitheford, N. 2000:137)


Postmodern Culture as Result of Capitalist Restructuring There are different theories of the postmodern. Among them are those whose critical stance connects with Marxist traditions of thought. What is particular to them is that they identify certain aspects of postmodern culture as a manifestation of capitalist restructuring that reshapes education and its challenges. From these analyses there arise different insights, insights that reveal new mechanisms of power and new social subjectivities. One first issue must be stressed, that of the emergence of postmodern culture as a result of capitalist restructuring. This implies rejecting the common idea that postmodernity represents an epochal shift, with the creation of a new type of society and a new era. In contrast, I shall follow others (Harvey, 1989; Jameson, 1991) in claiming that postmodernity corresponds to a late stage of capitalism and accordingly is to be understood as postmodern capitalism. It can, therefore, be said that we have moved into a new stage of late capitalism in which the production of culture has become integrated into commodity production 37 more generally and that this tends to be driven by the market imperative. This implies there is a production and reproduction of meanings in which consumption involves an active involvement of the manipulation of signs. I link this with issues concerning the lifestyle of consumption and the formation of identity formation, since finding ones identity means establishing oneself in a particular niche in the world of commodities and adopting an idiosyncratic style of consumption. Richards (1985 quoted by; Peters, M. and Lankshear, C. 1996:27) Also associated to the issue above mentioned are the emergent new life pathways 38 and lifeworld experiences that, according to Allan and Carmen Luke (2001:94), are changing and convoluting, twisting and mutating in complex ways beyond the grid maps and investigative skills of governments and researchers. Similarly, identity is perceived as fragmented as a consequence of the multiplicity of cultural choices. The notion of multiple subjectivities, developed by Luke & Luke (2001), highlights questions of fragmentation, hybridity, and historical positioning. Related to these issues is the point made in Chapter 1 that this can also be seen as a characteristic and as a result of the impact of post-Fordist flexible mode of accumulation. When addressing matters related to social encounters in cyberspace and emphasizing that mediated communication shapes experience of the self, Debra Grodin and Thomas Lindlof make the claim that the Self becomes multivocal as we carry a number of voices with us. Individuals, then, may find that they no longer have a central core with
From a modern perspective as an broadening of a humanist and Marxist account of technology and the critique of instrumental reason should be mentioned the Frankfurt School tradition conducted by Adorno and Horkheimer, which (1972) precede all contemporary information society theories. Their orientation establishes a negative utopia or dystopian view concerning the deployment by capital of culture industry. This orientation has had a following in media theory, and in other theoretical pinning such as cultural imperialism in which to understand globalization as the process whereby all global cultures are inexorably drawn into the sphere of influence of one single capitalist culture (Tomlinson, J. 1997: 139); also are the hybridization of culture, americanization and other similar critical trends that can be considered within the dark sided perspective of technology as an instrument of domination. 38 According to Luke & Luke (2001) Life pathways are human subjects biographical trajectories through and across social fields where various kinds of cultural, economic and social capital are exchanged. (106-7)


which to evaluate and act, but instead find themselves decentered (Grodin, D. and Lindlof, T.R. 1996: 4). Postmodernity registers a new configuration of the self. According to Mark Poster: if we include the machinic and the space/time configuration specific to the scene of interpellation. If we are to study the culture of new media we need to take into account the information machines that increasingly mediate our symbolic practices. And these machines extract us from territorial spaces and phenomenological time, repositioning us in strange new ways (Poster, M. 2001:10). As to this new cultural form, which is connected to the concept of a post-Fordist regime of accumulation and the new subject, Nick Dyer-Witheford emphasises that: Capitalized culture envelops all aspects of the social in an omnipresent wrap of imaginary whose multiple surfaces extinguish material references or sense of history. Subjectivity becomes as postmodern suggest, increasingly decentered and unstable- experiencing a condition not so much of alienation but as fragmentation, induced by the fluctuating stimuli of electronic media and the malleable spaces of commercial architecture and urban design (Dyer-Witheford, N. 2000:169). As mentioned before, culture must be perceived as part of a dual process in which (i) capital strives for discipline and control, and (ii) a contesting processes of struggle against this control. As noted by Peters and Lankshear (1996), the former matter can be understood as an ambiguous relation of culture to capitalism, since there is always a possibility of resisting such a cultural logic of late capitalism - hence the notion of a postmodern politics of resistance. On the basis of the above I now wish to take a further step and to raise philosophical questions in respect of technology. This will be done by turning to Heidegger and his writings regarding the technology.

Questioning technology and Heidegger In this section I shall review Heideggers questioning of technology. I will first refer to Heideggers critique of the instrumental and anthropological notions of technology, and second, and at the same time, rehearse Heidegger's analyses of the Greek notion of techne. The latter opens the way to more profound insight into his view that the essence of technology is to be found in enframing and into the warnings that come with the identification of this problematic. Heidegger believed philosophy had a major role in uncovering the true essence of technology. This would not be realised on the basis of a neutral understanding of technology but from what amounts to an ethical perspective. Approaching such an issue


from a phenomenological perspective 39 highlights the profound changes in human experience that take place in a world of profound technological transformation. Furthermore, if we are to depart from the understanding that human experience has already been altered by the rising use of the Internet and other ICT technologies, then there is relevance in pursuing such an endeavour. Coyne (1999:145) has considered such technological developments and their impact upon human experience, underscoring that phenomenology allows us to look at cyberspace not as a new spatial dimension, but in terms of its effects on being-in-theworld, although he remarks that at the present time we are only beginning to understand the far-reaching implications of applying Heideggers theories to the information age. So basically, in this section of this chapter, my aim will be to address Heideggers essay, The Question Concerning Technology, in the following four ways: a) Reviewing Heideggers analyses of the instrumental definition of technology will lead to an appreciation of how Heidegger carefully examines the instrumental and anthropological definitions of technology. b) Reviewing Heideggers essentialist argument, which goes far beyond the instrumental and anthropological definitions of technology, and which pursues the question of the essence of technology in the light of the Greek notion of techne, will lead to an account of technology as enframing. Moreover I will explore how this notion can be illustrated 40 within the actual situation of human experience in the information age. c) A dystopian reading of Heidegger, which describes technologys enframing as a negative cultural development, will draw attention also to the notion of standingreserve, a notion that warns of the essential dangers of technology. I shall relate this especially to the consequences of calculative thinking. d) Heideggers attention to the Greek notion of poiesis and the idea of saving power points to what might be called a gaining of distance on technology while the interpretation by other authors influenced by Heideggers thinking of poiesis as a potential mode of resistance implies the aesthetic dimension within contemporary technological practices.

Heidegger's Reference to a Reductionist View of Technology, a Series of Definitions of Technology.


Joohan Kim (2001:89) emphasises that the relevance of phenomenology to the digitization of information becomes obvious when we realize that current technological developments in computers are centered around the significant concepts discussed and emphasized by phenomenology intersubjectivity (Schutz,), in-betweens (Arendt), Dasein as being-in-the-world (Heidegger), the web of human relations (Arendt), the significance of body (Husserl), intercorporeality (Jung), spatiotemporal conditions of beings (Husserl), the relationships between things and human beings, tools and equipmental contexture (Heidegger), phenomenology of perceptions (Merleau-Ponty), and so on. Internet technologies facilitate greater monitoring and control of human activity, and the practice of viewing humans as standing-reserve, in Heideggers phrase, is augmented by the use of surveillance technologies.



In The Question Concerning Technology Heidegger approaches the problem of technology with the purpose of finding its essence. The method he follows is that of understanding of technology to its fundamental being, so that all problems and aspects thereof may be understood. Then Heidegger's consideration of the effects of a reductive understanding of technology will involve a series of definitions that strips step by step the notion of technology down to its essence. Consequently he begins by enquiring what technology is. He identifies two dominant assertions that serve to direct his inquiry. The first is that technology is a means to an end; the second that technology is a human activity. In this way he settles upon an initial double definition, which is both instrumental and anthropological. This first step takes us then to the notion of instrumentality 41: technology is an instrument to achieve human ends, specifically those of building up or arranging. Heidegger then claims that modern technology too is a means to an end: technology is itself is a contrivance, or, in Latin, an instrumentum (Heidegger, M. 1977:5). Within this we can agree that in a contemporary context the dominant worldview gives rise to new practices that reinforce the necessity and status of technology as a viable tool to meet social needs. We have then an instrumental view, positing specific instrumental involvements with our environment. Following this Heidegger makes a variety of remarks about the instrumental conception of technology, which, from his perspective: conditions every attempt to bring man into the right relation to technology. Everything depends on our manipulating technology in the proper manner as a means The will to mastery becomes the more urgent the more technology threatens to slip from human control. But suppose now that technology were no mere means to an end, how would it stand with the will to master it? Yet we said, did we not, that the instrumental definition of technology is correct? To be sure. The correct always fixes upon something pertinent in whatever is under consideration. However, in order to be correct, this fixing by no means needs to uncover the thing in question in its essence 42 (Ibid:5-6). This means that the instrumental definition of technology does not reveal technologys essence. From here on Heideggers exploring of technology as instrumentum leads to the revealing of something more profound. How this is achieved he explains as follows: We must ask: What is the instrumental itself? Within what do such things as means and ends belong? A means is that whereby something is effected and thus attained. Whatever has an effect as its consequence is called a

William Lovitt mentions (note 3, p. 5) that Instrumentum signifies that which functions to heap or build or arrange. Heidegger equates it with the concept contrivance, which can also mean arrangement, adjustment, furnishing or equipment. Heidegger anticipates with his identification of technology as an instrumentum in terms of setting-in-place, ordering, enframing, and standing reserve. (Lovitt, W. 1977)

Essence: Not simply what something is, but that it means, further, the way in which something pursues it course, the way in which it remains through time as what it is. (Lovitt, W. 1977)



causeWherever ends are pursued and means are employed, wherever instrumentality reigns, there reigns causality (Heidegger, M. 1977:6). The search for the essence takes him to another level in defining technology; this will be centred now in the notion of causality. Instruments are designed for the purpose of causing an end, and a deeper look into causality reveals that the end is the beginning: a cause is that to which something is indebted, and the purpose for which an instrument is designed is the primary cause of its coming into being. In this second level of definition Heidegger argues that technology, when represented as means, discloses itself when we trace instrumentality back to a fourfold account of causality: 1) causa materialis, 2) causa formalis, 3) causa finalis, and 4) causa efficiens. Four ways of being responsible, which operate in unison. He continues: For a long time we have been accustomed to representing cause as that which brings something about. In this connection, to bring about means to obtain results, effects. The causa efficiens, but one among the four causes, sets the standard for all causality. This goes so far that we no longer even count the causa finalis (Ibid:7). As a result of the method of reduction followed here by Heidegger, the first two definitions based on instrumentality and causality help to explain what is behind the process of the new social conformation called the information society, and to further show how such a process may be explained as a process itself of the restructuring of capitalism. In order to clarify further the ethical issues that are pertinent here and the debates relating to these matters, it is worth referring to Castells (2001) distinction of four interwoven cultural layers in the Internet culture 1) techno-meritocracies, 2) hackers, 3) virtual communities and 4) entrepreneurs. A close connection between this and Heideggers claim that a technological device circumscribes and gives bounds to things, though it is not the thing does not stop with the bounds. Rather from out of them it begins to be what, after production, it will be: That which gives bounds, that which completes, in this sense is called in Greek telos, which is all too often translated as aim or purpose and so misinterpreted (Ibid: 8). Early in his essay Heidegger acknowledges that the reductionist influence of instrumental and anthropological definitions may have already won out. Heidegger warns that the will to mastery from an instrumental perspective becomes all the more urgent the more technology threatens to slip from human control. So it is important to connect Heideggers insights to the territorial battle of cyberspace. As an example, we could mention Diane Browsers remarks concerning the instrumental nature of current debates over control and mastery of Internet technologies, especially those connected with communication and the sharing of information via file downloads: Software giants IBM, Microsoft and Sun Technologies vie (sic) for the chance to control desktop platforms that organize and present information while telecom giants A T & T, Time-Warner, and Verizon fight to control the fiber optic and wireless conduits carrying information. Movie publishing and recording industry organizations seek to disable the free sharing of copyrighted material while nimble college technophiles easily hack encryption codes designed to prevent piracy. As in any great war for


dominance over a particular territory, there are many fronts and faces all seeking different ends and objectives (Bowser, D. 2004: Chapter I, p.4). Now that we have seen that instrumentality is based in causality, Heidegger continues: The four ways of being responsible bring something into appearance. They let it come forth into presencing (Heidegger, M. 1977: 9). This means starting something on its way into arrival, occasioning or inducing to go forward. This bringing-forth takes us to revealing: something is brought forth only when it passes from concealment into unconcealment, when it is revealed; and Heidegger claims that revealing is what "truth" really means. The Greek for revealing, aletheia is translated into veritas, truth, by the Romans. The equating of revealing with truth is pertinent to understanding the danger of technology. A bringing forth in nature, Heidegger says, is, for example, the bursting of a blossom in a bloom, in itself, a bringing forth in nature (Ibid:10). In contrast there are other ways of bringing-forth such as those of the artisan (crafts) or the artist (arts). Within bringing forth are different modes of occasioning and four causes are at play: If we inquire, step by step, into what technology, represented as means, actually is, then we shall arrive at revealing. The possibility of all productive manufacturing lies in revealing. Technology is therefore no mere means. Technology is a way of revealing. If we heed to this, then another whole realm for the essence of technology will open itself to us. It is the realm of revealing, i.e., truth (Ibid:12). An example of how the use of technology in higher education and what it brings-forth is to be found in the work of David Nobel. Nobel writes: For the universities are not simply undergoing a technological transformation. Beneath that change, and camouflaged by it, lies another: the commercialization of higher education. For here as elsewhere technology is but a vehicle and a disarming disguise. The major change to befall the universities over the last two decades has been the identification of the campus as a significant site of capital accumulation, a change in social perception which has resulted in the systematic conversion of intellectual activity into intellectual capital and, hence, intellectual property (Noble, D. 1998). Heidegger has now classified technology in terms of revealing. Ends and means are parts of causality and they structure the idea of instrumentality, which is the fundamental aspect of technology. Heidegger now separates modern technology from earlier technology and specifies its peculiar type of revealing. This he shows to be a danger to humankind. Modern technology is based on modern physics, which is an exact science. It differs from previous technology in that it does not humble itself to natural forces like the windmill to wind, or like the sailboat with the wind and water streams, in contrast to the motor boat. 43

We mine coal and damn, rivers, thereby controlling resources, not merely harvesting them, Objects then become standing-reserve, ready to be ordered about by humans. In this way, we ourselves are standing reserve.



Here we have in Heidegger a second dimension in his defining of technology and searching for its essence. To further this exploration he poses a simple question: what is technology? He points out that technology stems from the Greek technikon, which means that which belongs to techne. For Heidegger, firstly such a meaning applies not only to the activities and skills of the craftsman, but also to the arts of the mind and the fine arts. Thus, it is related to poiesis, a specific form of bringing-forth. There is in this definition a twofold dimension a) a technical or instrumental one and, b) one that involves creation, creativity. Heidegger claims that modern technology does not unfold in the form of poiesis 44, maybe because The revealing that rules in modern technology is a challenging which puts to nature the unreasonable demand that it supply energy that can be extracted and stored and as such (Heidegger, M. 1977: 14) Turning his attention to the notion of techne, Heidegger makes the claim that this concept is linked to the word episteme. Both words are names for knowing, for understanding, for being expert: Techne as a mode of revealing, it reveals whatever does not bring itself forth and does not yet lie here before us, whatever can look and turn out now one way and now another (Ibid:13). In the light of this and according to Paul Standish (1997; 1999) it is appropriate to distinguish three kinds of techne in Heidegger: In the first, techne functions as skilled working with things, and with hand tools; in this there is a shift in the centre of gravity from theoretical reason to practical know-how. In the second and third, in the technology of modern industry, we are in the world of endless products and consumerism. The second kind is characterised by factory production geared towards the satisfaction of needs, and the reduction of the human being to the labouring animal. In the third, production is controlled and shaped by cybernetics and hence is conceived increasingly in terms of systems theory. Needs satisfaction is here supplemented by the exploitative creation of desire, especially desires relating to the simulacra of experience and to the celebration of cybernetic systems themselves45. This hastens the tendency towards the restriction of thought within the parameters of calculative rationality. More than an instrument for the achievement of maximal availability and the satisfaction of desire, this third manifestation of techne most clearly comes to channel the ends of society and human being itself. The separation of the first kind of techne from the other two makes it possible not only to consider the dangers of modern technology but also to see, in Heidegger's evocation of the first, something of what is at stake (Standish, P. 1997: 444). Further on we will revisit elements of these definitions of techne, but I shall firstly continue with Heideggers ultimate understanding about the essence of technology.
44 45

Although as we shall see later other authors consider for alternatives. This can be confirmed in a later work of Heidegger which states Maybe history and tradition will fit smoothly into the information retrieval systems which will serve as resource for the inevitable planning needs of a cybernetically organized mankind. The question is whether thinking too will end in the business of information processing. (Heidegger, M. 1967; , Translated by Heim, M. 1993)


Enframing as a Challenging Claim in Heidegger To William Lovitt Heideggers concept of enframing is fundamentally a calling-forth. It is a challenging claim, a demanding summons that gathers so as to reveal. This claim enframes in that it assembles and orders. It puts into a framework or configuration everything that it summons forth, through an ordering for use that is forever restructuring anew 46 (Lovitt, W. 1977: 19, footnote 17). To Heidegger enframing means the gathering together of that setting-upon which sets upon man, i.e., challenges him forth, to reveal the real, in the mode of ordering, as standing reserve. Enframing means that way of revealing which holds sway in the essence of modern technology and which is itself nothing technological. (Heidegger, M. 1977:20) Here a double distinction can be perceived in Heideggers definition: one distinction relates to the sphere of technological activity and the other, which is not technological and which is more a matter of the after-effects, the response of this activity to the challenge of enframing, producing and presenting. In this sense what must be underlined is Heideggers assertion that what is decisive in techne does not lie at all in making and manipulating nor in the using of means, It is as revealing, and not as manufacturing, that techne is a bringing-fourth (Ibid:13). This is why human beings, however, are not the masters. We do not control revealing itself: revealing does not occur beyond humans, but also not decisively or exclusively in us. Diane Bowser (2004) explains Heideggers understanding of enframing in terms of two conditions: in the first place, enframing is a process by which the world is transformed into a supplier of resources for the comfort and sustenance of humanity; and in the second, standing-reserve is a method of ordering-as-resource. Also Bowser argues that Heideggers considerations lead to at least three further conditions. He: 1. Places the idea of enframing beyond the scope of conscious human activity 47, 2. Implies that enframing takes hold of the individual because we are situated in a technological world and, 3. Invokes the idea of standing-reserve to signify a new way of ordering the universe in accordance with an efficiency-based goal system (Bowser, D. 2004, Chap I: 17). In relation to the above and before turning to the dangers of enframing as the essence of technology, I must outline in this context two of Heideggers claims. One is that human beings are not entirely determinative for the unfolding of enframing, since our experience of the world changes in response to a myriad of happenings that are not
46 47

This can be seen as the emergence of a technological environment and subjectivity alignment. In this respect Bowser (2004) emphasises that Heideggers essay raises two disturbing questions: (1) Can it be true that we humans do not control technology? And (2) if humans do not control technology, then who or what - does? In describing the essence of technology as something that unfolds outside the conscious determination of humankind, Heidegger leaves the door open to advance a phenomenological approach rather than conspiratorial theories often advanced by Luddites. Phenomenology highlights the profound changes in human experience that take place when the world shifts in a decidedly technological direction. It is also capable of explaining humanitys inability to control technological development. Bowser (2004:19-20)


entirely determined in advance, and the second is that Heidegger emphasizes that accordingly, mans ordering attitude and behaviour display themselves first in the rise of modern physics as an exact science. Modern sciences way of representing pursues and entraps nature as a calculable coherence of forces (Heidegger, M. 1977:21). On the strength of these claims Heidegger proceeds to a warning concerning the danger of enframing, in the light of a conception that implies a careful characterization of modern technology as a seemingly insoluble problem48.

The Dangers of Modern Technology Before continuing, let us quote remarks by David Vessey that, taking from Heideggers main ideas, depict well the dangers of technology: Enframing destines us to Enframe. However, we appear to have such a decisive role in Enframing that we see ourselves as the masters of the world, the orderers of standing-reserve. In fact, we are but one standingreserve ordering others because we are employed merely to the purpose of creating standing-reserve. When this purpose is governing our activity, we are so engrossed in ordering and securing standing-reserve that we do not recognize Enframing as a revealing. We thus lose awareness of our capacity for revelation. All objects become forms of standing-reserve, and we feel that we encounter only ourselves, but in fact, we do not encounter our essence, because this essence is revelation. Recall that freedom is the revealing of the possibility of more revealings. When we lose all awareness of revealing in general, we lose this also. We continue to blindly challenge and order standing-reserves (Vessey, D. 2002). We can begin with the notion that information technologies represent a displacement of other ways of knowing, understanding and being in the world, since technology is the one way in which the world is made manifest to us that alone has the power to displace all other modes of revealing. This then is an ontological matter. As Standish shows in the following comments, Heidegger makes it possible to see technology not as a means to an end, but rather as mode of human existence: It should be acknowledged, however, that Heidegger's primary reference to this is not geared towards showing the degeneration of modern technology but to revealing ahistorical existential structures of Dasein... Heidegger has in mind the sort of relationship that a knowing subject has to an object of perception. With technology then I am caused to look at things in a different and more direct way (Standish, P. 1997: 445). One other way to consider technology and enframing is in terms of its emphasis on calculatable outcomes and the implications of this for its restructuring of practices in, and the management of education. This can be understood as a particular aspect of

This does not mean to turn the clock back on technology, nor Heideggers view on technology encourage a Luddite vision or even a dualistic perspective that would include its opposite technophile view.


mans ordering attitude and behaviour in a contemporary technocultural context, a context that defines a different relation to new managerial practices. Such ordering behind these restructuring practices has had an impact in distant education, and specifically in higher education. Again it is useful to consider Standishs explanation of such phenomena: Contemporary further education has been shaped by a strange alliance of forces. Predominant amongst these has been what might be called the new managerialism with its vocabulary of efficiency and effectiveness, choice and markets. This has been linked to a limited extent and somewhat incongruously with a certain legacy of progressivism. Slogans of 1960s child-centred primary education learning through doing, group work, experiential learning, integration -have been grafted onto the dominant managerialism in such a way that lecturing staff of apparently contrary political and pedagogical persuasions have been brought on board. Proponents of this new further education have constructed an over-simplified picture of traditional further education as a target. This is a picture of subject specialists with little commitment to students, where facts are presented in a non-interactive way and learners are thought of as passive receptacles. It is necessary to dispense with this crude caricature of bad practice, an easy target which ultimately does not serve the case for a new further education well (Ibid:440). And again: The market conception of education repositions the student as a potential bearer of competences with the learning programme evaluated in terms of value added or credit accumulation. For all the emphasis on choice and individually tailored courses, the students themselves are not unaffected by this levelling: there is the danger that they come to think of themselves in terms of sets of competences aptly summed up in standardized records of achievement, and to see education in these limited terms. Student-centredness allies with customer care to figure in the new prominence given to student services offering advice, guidance and counselling, and individual diagnosis in aid of the accreditation of prior experience and learning. The supposed priority of the student's autonomy is emphasized through the principles of the negotiated curriculum and of students' ownership of learning (Ibid:451). Diane Bowser, in her dissertation Being-in-the-Web, shows the Internet is a communication network that facilitates the capacity to monitor workers so that they are encouraged 49 to use connected wireless devices (e.g., cell phones, PDAs, wireless Internet, lap tops). These in turn change the way in which persons can be said to be at

Employees who are on the road performing delivery or service functions are required to log in at periodic intervals to download messages, update their scheduled assignments and record service calls. On-site employees sit at individually monitored workstations while those on the road are assigned mobile tethers in the form of cell phones, laptops, and PDAs with wireless access. Each employee becomes proximally near via her ability to be contacted, monitored and tracked while performing the days assigned tasks. (Bowser, D. 2004:Chap. II, p.6)


work. At the same time these new networked technological modes of production transform the status of individuals into units of standing-reserve in ways never seen before, in effect bringing about a significant change in Being: Considering that efficiency has become the dominant goal in business, we can conclude that ordering-as-standing-reserve requires not only the organization of production processes, but the constant management of labor as it relates to product/service delivery. To manage well has become synonymous with constant monitoring. For example, when we track a Fed-Ex or UPS package we are actually monitoring the pick-up and delivery routines of individual workers (Bowser, D. 2004: Chapter II, p. 4). In addition to viewing objects as a resource, workers are now managed and deployed cybernetically as things, units of productivity who can be controlled and monitored like machinery. The closingoff of enframing reduces our ability to organize in ways that do not involve efficiency or productivity and we are left with a world in which every being is quantified in terms of potential work units (Ibid: Chapter II, p.8-94). Another example in which the practice of monitoring activities on the Internet that affect issues related to freedom of expression and the maintenance of personal privacy can be seen in a memorandum signed by the CIA: Documents recently obtained by Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) under the Freedom of Information Act reveal details about a joint effort between the CIA and the National Science Foundation to fund a program that, among other things, is researching ways to monitor online chat rooms for terrorist activities. According to a memorandum of understanding signed by the CIA on April 14, 2003, and the NSF on April 16, 2003, the agreement was reached after a workshop held by the intelligence community and NSF in November 2002. The memo shows that the program's research concentrates on energy sources, sensors and detectors, image reconstruction and analysis, optical spectography, and mathematical techniques. According to the document, NSF contributed $2.50 million in 2003 and another $2.5 million in 2004 toward the program. The total amount provided by the CIA is not given, but the memo states that NSF's contribution is 70 percent of the total. The document says that the initiative was to remain in effect through 2004 and beyond.
(, EPIC Alert 11.23, 08/12/2004)

These considerations open up questions in respect of the practical value of Heidegger's philosophical claims in the context of the reality of the Internet. In other words questions they question how far Heideggers characterization of technology as enframing is relevant for understanding the information age. In this context is the salience of Michael Heims comments about Heidegger can be seen:


What Heidegger called the essence of technology infiltrates human existence more intimately than anything humans could create. The danger of technology lies in the transformation of the human being, by which human actions and aspirations are fundamentally distorted. Not that machines can run amok, or even that we might misunderstand ourselves through a faulty comparison with machines. Instead, technology enters the inmost recesses of human existence, transforming the way we know and think and will. Technology is, in essence, a mode of human existence, and we could not appreciate its mental infiltrations until the computer became a major cultural phenomenon (Heim, M. 1993: 61).

The Imprinting of Thought by Technology and Calculative Rational Assertiveness Welcome to the desert of the real Morpheous in The Matrix If we are to acknowledge that technology causes us to look at things in a different and more direct way, and by this technology conditions us ontologically in different ways, changing our perception of things, all within a calculative dimension within reality that sets mans ordering attitude and behaviour, the kind of relationship that Heidegger fears comes into view: Maybe history and tradition will fit smoothly into the information retrieval systems which will serve as resource for the inevitable planning needs of a cybernetically organized mankind. The question is whether thinking too will end in the business of information processing (Heidegger, M. 1967; , Translated by Heim, M. 1993). Michael Heim presents an example that illustrates the change our perception of things: the differences between use of a typewriter use of a word processor: Unlike the typewriter the word processor guides the hand into a nonmechanical process. The fingers on the keyboard might just as well be a voice that activates the information device, for the computer removes the writing activity from script and mechanical imprints. Word processing can also have a graphic interface that brings the hand back to bodily gestures like pointing and moving things around with the graphic pointing device or mouse. The actions are carried out by an already typified, digitized element. Unlike the typewriter, the computer does not simply replace direct hand movements with the industrial-mechanical action of springs, pulleys, and levers. The information environment allows gestures to work in ways that leave behind the industrial machine with its cumbersome but efficient mediation of humans energy and attention. The electronic element shifts the quality of action to another level. The formulation of ideas on a word processor can establish impersonality while achieving a directness and flexibility undreamed of with the typewriter (Heim, M. 1993:62-63).


In a wider context and as we have seen previously; information technology allows the arrangement of the planet and its resources as standing-reserve. Or, put in other words, technology's drive to achieve maximum production and availability has the effect of reducing the world to raw material or resources: everything is now regarded as standing-reserve. Consequently objects - and persons by extension are narrowly defined in terms of their ability to satisfy needs. Technological thinking can then be defined in terms of its a calculative thought 50 that reduces human existence to the level of measurement and quantification. Hence technologies such as the computer, which encourage calculating and represent the world as a sphere of quantifiable activity, limit our ability to think in ways that are not amenable to information processing. Thus emerges a calculative rational assertiveness, which privileges a thinking that organizes and transforms persons and things into mere resources. Relating to this, it is relevant to emphasise the point about thinking made by Standish that, in Heideggers view, the mathematical structuring of modern technology makes it essentially different from handicraft. If thinking is a handicraft, in the machine age it is under threat (1997:446). The nature of existence under such conditions is rightly expressed as follows: The existential circumstances of our lives, our own mortality before which we are alone, are veiled over. The irreducible difference that authenticity would reveal is suppressed in favour of a measurable difference by which we determine how far we lag behind the others, or how successful we are in keeping ahead of them; and being-with, which might be a part of community, is replaced by a relation of distantiality (Abstndigkeit), which, conveniently disburdening us of our unique responsibility, operates all the more stubbornly and primordially the more inconspicuous it becomes. Others come to be known as others in precisely that generalised sense that the mass media promote -as `our readers' or `the viewers', symbolised by the literally common point of view that the television camera provides. For all the melodrama of the mass media, everything `that is primordial gets glossed over. Every secret loses its force. This care of averageness reveals in turn an essential tendency of Dasein which we call `levelling down [Einebnung] of all possibilities of Being (Standish, P. 1997:448). In the same vein, Dreyfus 51 (1992:36) highlights the fact that one of Heideggers key arguments in Being and Time is that the outer horizon of cultural practices was the condition of the possibility of determining relevant facts and features and thus prerequisite for structuring the inner horizon. The implication of this is that the constitution of human beings lived experience is born in the context of an outer horizon dominated by enframing. Given over to the technocultural horizon shaped in advance of our becoming, thinking is already closed off or reduced to calculating thought.

50 51

As opposed to meditative thinking which is thinking on a phenomenological level. For Dreyfus some implications of calculative rationality to education is that learning is aimed at competency versus mastery are one manifestation of calculating thought and a narrowing of the concept of education itself. Education as resource develops competency, but not mastery or practical wisdom.


Dreyfus argues that, for Heidegger, technology and its insistence on the thoroughgoing calculability of objects, is the inevitable culmination of metaphysics, the exclusive concern with beings (objects) and the concomitant exclusion of Being (Ibid:212). This culmination of metaphysics also is mentioned also by Baudrillard: It is all of metaphysics that is lost. No more mirror of being and appearances, of the real and its concept (Baudrillard, J. 1994: 2). This can further be emphasized if we again consider Standishs (1997) outline of Heideggers different kinds of techne. In particular the third definition is of relevance here: [I]n the third, production is controlled and shaped by cybernetics and hence is conceived increasingly in terms of systems theory. Needs satisfaction is here supplemented by the exploitative creation of desire, especially desires relating to the simulacra of experience and to the celebration of cybernetic systems themselves (Standish, P. 1997: 444). Standishs reference to simulacra is further contextualized if we refer to Baudrillards remarks in his Simulacra and Simulation: Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being, or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor does it survive it. It is nevertheless the map that precedes the territory precession of simulacra- that engenders the territory, and if one must return to the fable, today it is the territory whose shreds slowly rot across the extent of the map. It is the real 52, and not the map, whose vestiges persist here and there in the deserts that are no longer those of the empire, but ours. The desert of the real itself 53 (Baudrillard, J. 1994:1). Here then, today, the technology represents the extreme danger to humankind by threatening the loss of what is most essentially human: the more technology threatens to slip from human control, the more it looks as if we lose control at some point of the technologies we create 54. A commentary by Sean French on the sci-fi film The Terminator is relevant here: The law enforcement officers in The Terminator, as well as the ordinary people they serve, have become weak and incapable in defending there own way of life, which is itself alienated and parasitic (as with a Sarahs flatmate, Ginger, who even listens to her personal stereo during sex). In the face of the nuclear threat and the challenges of technological change, individuals are relinquishing the responsibility of their own future (French, S. 1996:50).
A propos of Baudrillards annotations in metaphysical changes are such comments like those made by M. Heim, which inquires about cyberspace as a metaphysical laboratory and among different questions is the one: Must we pledge allegiance to a single reality? Perhaps worlds should be layered like onion skins, realities within realities, or be loosely linked like neighborhoods, permitting free aesthetic pleasure to coexist with the task-oriented business world. Does the meaning of reality and the keen existential edge of experience- weaken as it stretches over many virtual worlds? (Heim, M. 1993: 83-84) 53 Italics mine. 54 Early in his essay Heidegger acknowledges that the reductionism influence of instrumental and anthropological definitions may have already won out.


Under such circumstances it is important to acknowledge the significance of technology in two respects: its threats and its creative communicative potential. This takes us then to our last concern in respect to Heideggers contributions relating to technology. He not only acknowledges that Enframing threatens man and that Enframing, is the extreme danger but also that the essence of technology must harbor in itself the growth of the saving power (Heidegger, M. 1977:28). This returns us to the theme of poiesis and resistance. First, however, it is appropriate to consider in this context that Donna Haraway conjectures in A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s: 1.-The production of universal, totalizing theory is a major mistake that misses most of reality, probably always, but certainly now, 2.- taking responsibility for the social relations for science and technology means refusing an anti-science metaphysics, a demonology of technology, and so means embracing the skillful task of reconstructing the boundaries of daily life, in partial connection with others, in communication with all of our parts (Haraway, D. 2000: 223). Poiesis and Resistance to Enframing, Heidegger and Beyond But where danger is, grows The saving power also. Hlderlin Heidegger remarks that there is a saving power in technology hidden underneath its more sinister applications. In The Question Concerning Technology, he identifies the saving power in art, by way of the broader Greek approach to techne, which emphasizes the value of artistic creation over production. Following him and the idea of poiesis, we can suggest that this saving power is a form of resistance to enframing made possible through the creative manipulation of technology for artistic, creative and political purposes. Heideggers notion of poiesis invokes artistic activity as a path for reviving an authentic connection to Being. Poiesis is not governed purely by the forces of production. Heidegger argues that a response, an act rooted in poiesis, makes possible a radical reframing of our relationship with technology, providing the act is re-conceptualized as an artistic endeavour, rather than as a functional goal (Bowser, D. 2004: Chap I, p.12). Within this context, Standish suggests that the nature of Being is not fixed once and for all, so then the possibility of new technologies must be considered as a new relation with technology that must be sought, one that exposes and counter-attacks technologys tendency to cover its own nature. . . [R] esistance to these tendencies of technology involves making possible different modes of revealing through a more meditative response to the world (Standish, P. 1999:423). Art can reveal the non-instrumental effects of apparently instrumental language; the art object sustains a realm distinct from this (Standish, P. 1997: 456).


There is now a palpable influence of Heideggerian thinking in this respect, and this currently constitutes a resistance against the negative impact of new technologies. 55 It does this through its acknowledgement its very recognition - of how the Internet facilitates the informatics of domination or an imposition of cybernetic command, which in consequence reduces autonomy and privacy. Such practices of resistance 56 are forces that search to counterattack dominant forms of cultural surveillance (in the name of security), reduction of privacy (monitoring at work and cyberspace) and consumerprofiling 57, which, for example, implies customizing supermarket goods, or even higher education courses, to provide a service as flexible as possible (data-mining 58). Bowser 59 recalls the poiesis of hacking as a mode of resistance to enframing and mentions the ethics of network working (Nethic). The concern of the hacker for freedom of expression and the maintenance of personal privacy is at the forefront of current policy debates, both of which have come under assault during the U.S. war on terrorism. (Bowser, D. 2004) Nethics 60 of this kind are based on at least in two principles: 1. the belief that all information should be democratized and freely available to everyone. This axiom generally excludes private financial and medical records, and 2. A sharing code

Such practices have brought the development and efforts to develop digital utopias (modes of utopianism) as attempts to engage pragmatics of anticipation, making feasible different countercultural practices and narratives. 56 Among various forms of counteraction is the following example: Online Action Very Successful! The first two days of the Electronic Civil Disobedience (ECD) action were a huge success! Hundreds of thousands of mails were sent and even the action's website, had to go offline because of the number of call ups. Activists from all parts of the world took part and, with the help of a chat programme, absolutely flooded the mail-server of several companies in the fur and vivisection industries. As a result, the addressee of the German Fur Institute (DPI) were totally filled up and can no longer be reached. Peek & Cloppenburg's server was extremely slow and was also causing problems. Now it's time to use this energy to send mails to other companies who cause suffering to animals, too. So, as of now, the following companies will get to feel the strength of the international animal rights movement: Saga Furs: this is the central lobby organization for the Scandinavian fur "producers". The Scandinavian countries, Finland, Norway and Sweden are responsible for a large amount of the animals murdered for their fur. Interdisciplinary Academic Study of Cyber Society CYBER-SOCIETY-LIVE@JISCMAIL.AC.UK, 16 /II/ 2005 57 Consumer profiling as the process of assembling a comprehensive database on consumer shopping habits and product preferences. Data is typically captured from online and offline transactions (including cookies and credit cards). Consumer profiling enables targeted marketing. Another theme related to profiling would be accountability (outcomes, methods, tests). Also these practices lead the consumer to subjectivation, an imagined concept of the self. 58 We can understand data-mining as: The practice of massaging data to extract value from the numbers, statistics, and information found within a database and to predict what a customer will do next. Data mining software works like this: in the first stage, "data collecting," information is gathered from Web site logs and databases; in the second stage, "data refining," user profiles are compared with recorded behavior to divide the users into groups and to predict their behavior; in the final stage, "taking action," the business or Web site answers a user's question on the fly or sends a targeted online ad to a browser, based on the results in the database. Data mining also refers to gathering and presenting on a Web site as much information on one particular topic as possible. 59 The employment of the art of programming as an act of resistance against institutional controls of information. In this case, hackers use available technologies to fight censorship and also to democratize the availability of high-end software through the use of cracking techniques. Hackers resist the invasion of privacy. These acts form a barrier of resistance against the overwhelming forces of enframing that Heidegger argues will grow over time rather than lessen. Heideggers work does not advocate an ethic of resistance but it may inspire artistic/creative resistance movements.(Bowser, D. 2004:Chap II, p. 33) 60 See (Himanen, P. 2001) The hacker ethic and the spirit of the Information Age.



via open-source programming improves the quality of particular programs and advances the science of programming in general. Postmodern thought makes it possible to understand technocultural phenomena in different ways: Deleuze and Guattari (1988) develop the idea of rhizome; Lyotard (1979) coins the term performativity; Baudrillard emphasises the significance of the simulacrum. Here, however, we are going to focus on Haraway and the myth of the cyborg with its concomitant thematisation of resistance. Donna Haraway writes of arrangements in world-wide social relations tied to science and technology. She claims I argue for a politics rooted in claims about fundamental changes in the nature of class, race and gender in an emerging system of world order analogous in its novelty and scope to that created by industrial capitalism; we are living through a movement from an organic, industrial society to a polymorphous, information system (Haraway, D. 1991: 162). As a response to the informatics of domination, Donna Haraway from the starting point of the mythical cyborg 61, a hybrid of machine and organism. For Haraway, the Cyborg myth is about transgressed boundaries, potent fusions, and dangerous possibilities, which progressive people might explore as one part of the kind of political work that is needed (Haraway, D. 1991). As in Heidegger, technology is understood as having two dimensions: enframing but also saving power. In Haraways vision of technology there is an acknowledgement of its ambivalence. Because there is no unique correlation between technological advance and the distribution of social power, such ambivalence runs through two principles: conservation of hierarchy and democratic rationalization. (Feenberg 1999) The use of technology for Haraway makes possible the search for a common language in which all resistance to instrumental control disappears and all heterogeneity can be submitted to disassembly, reassembly, investment and exchange. Human identity can then be experienced as if one were in a network structure (Haraway, D. 2000). Thus the image of the cyborg can be understood in terms of a process of melding. This mythical starting point of Haraways offers possibilities of thought that break away from calculative reasoning and explore free non-linear associative possibilities of thought (as a network structure), possibilities that speak of the decentering of the self. This is why, for Haraway, the cyborg puts into question any easily assumptions that the human is a natural entity, whose identity inheres within itself rather that at the interface with both others and the systems which they are part. This suggests boundary breakdowns 62 and the emergence of new boundaries. She emphasizes that we have lost all ability to make sense of the distinction between nature


For Haraway the image of the cyborg (myth and fiction) holds ambiguously future possibility and present impossibility. 62 For Haraway there are three crucial boundary breakdowns 1) Between human and animal, 2) Between animal-human (organism) and machine, and 3) Between physical and non physical.


and artifice 63. This suggestion is very close to our previous reference of Baudrillards annotation: The territory no longer precedes the map, nor does it survive it. It is nevertheless the map that precedes the territory precession of simulacrathat engenders the territory, and if one must return to the fable, today it is the territory whose shreds slowly rot across the extent of the map 64It is no longer a question of imitation, nor duplication, nor even parody. It is a question of substituting the signs of the real for the real (Baudrillard, J. 1994: 1-2). According to Felluga (2004), Baudrillard is here not only suggesting that postmodern culture is artificial because the concept of artificiality still requires some sense of reality against which to recognize the artifice. His point, rather, is that we have lost all ability to make sense of the distinction between nature and artifice. Returning to the myth of the cyborg, we can say that it defines our being and hence creates a new subjectivity. In doing so, it also defines our action as possibility. Haraway claims that the Cyborg is our ontology, that it gives us our politics, and that the cyborg is a condensed image of both imagination (fiction) and material reality (lived experience). In the light of this, Nick Dyer-Withefords comments are apposite: To refer to the inhabitants of this global system as cyborgs is to suggest that in a society permeated by media, computers, and genetic engineering, subjectivity has in a profound way become technologized formed at the interface between human and machines. (Dyer-Witheford, N. 2000:177) The increasing labouring body with technological appendages means the cyborg is now the only model for theorizing subjectivity (Ibid:178). Another theme connects with Heideggers identification of the mathematical structuring of modern technology and Haraways emphasis on the contemporary translation of the world into a problem of coding. We arrive here at two issues that will require further understanding in the next chapters. On is the problematizing of the technocultural environment, what we shall later refer to as the hypermedia environment. The other issue concerns the theme of resistance to calculative thinking and critical pedagogy, and the possibility of critical pedagogy in cyberspace. Before this, however, I would like to draw some conclusions for this chapter.


In film culture there has emerged narratives about the loss of distinctions between fiction and realities, among them are: The Truman show (1998), Dark City (1998) and The Matrix (1999). 64 Dino Felluga in relation to the film The Matrix mentions that Baudrillard posits that we have lost all sense of reality Simulacra precede our very access to the real and thus define our real for us, hence Baudrillards phrases precession of simulacra The Matrix perfectly exemplifies this idea by literalizing it; humans plugged into this simulation program, only know the facts of their culture and reality by way of a computer program, for the reality upon which that program was originally based no longer exists. In quite a literal sense, then, the territory no longer precedes the map, nor does it survive it. Humans have only ever known the map or the model. (Felluga, D. 2004: 89-90)


Conclusions On our inquiry in respect to technological innovation and technological change has taken us initially (in the previous an present chapter) to an analysis of the restructuring capitalism has advanced from its main interpretations that privilege an economic mainframe view and a critique on how in some of them prevail a technological determinist. In a previous chapter we had distinguish mainframe analyses that explain restructuring of capitalism from a economical standpoint, in them I have claimed all of them are permeated from technological determinism in one way or another (soft or hard determinism) such perspectives perceive technological innovation within an instrumental logic of market driven goals which reduces everything to functions and raw materials. Social change or techno-historical change within these views is a result of the march of progress, this is, in a process in which society adapts naturally to technological innovation that just changes in accordance to social needs. From these perspectives via a critique to technological determinism I headed to a wider point of view where goal oriented technological practices could be replaced by a notion that would lead and contemplate issues such as the embodiment of human meaning where the concept of information transcends from a mere quantitative image (nonsocial terms) to a more social term perspective. This I did by contemplating a more complex view of restructuring of capitalism is which does not exclusively centre on restructuring as mode of accumulation, but furthers on the thematic of the restructuring the structures of everyday life which explicitly brings attention to the cultural sphere and the influence of technoculture on inner life. By taking a more techno-cultural approach on issues of technological innovation and change, we can bring fourth at least some considerations in respect to the impact of technology: One that belongs to a tradition which could be denominated as dystopian 65 one where it perceives capitalist restructuring not only as a matter of accumulation but as a motif in which technology is used as weapon against social dissent. This helps understand capitals crisis not as a mere problem of capitalist accumulation but also as a result of the effects of anti-capitalist struggle 66 which contest capitalist attempts of discipline and control. Along with this, is the consideration of global reorganization of consumption implemented in many ways by media transnational corporations which consolidate the globalization of culture and its commodification which is all a result a restructuring the structures of everyday life. Such panorama takes us to the attention to postmodern culture as a result of capitalist restructuring (postmodern capitalism) which brings about a new region of experience,
Which its main thematic is technology as an instrument of domination, we can trace this back to the Frankfurt school and the critical theory tradition which main contributions in these matters are those of Adorno & Horkheimer (1972) and their culture industry analyses. 66 Or what is called the circuit of capital which is defined by such moments of production, reproduction of labour power and circulation, which at the same time is a circuit of accumulation and resistance. Technology therefore appears not just as instruments for the circulation of commodities, but simultaneously as channels for circulation of struggles.


which is linked to the domain of the mediated and which at the same time is linked to an emergent new hypermedia environment, bringing humans to a simulacra of experience to a increasingly cultural commodity, exploitative creation of desire and reproduction of meanings in which consumption involves an active involvement of manipulations of signs which at the same time imply a new conformation of fragmented subjectivities and forms of identity formation, as also a related question to the characteristics of postmodern communicational environment, themes I will retake on the next chapter. Reflecting on issues relating to alterations in the structure of subjectivity as a determinant characteristic of postmodern culture will give us a better chance to understand and foresee the challenges that education and its pedagogical practices will be confronting in the context of new cultural forms related to new technologies and the becoming of a new subject that educational theory and practice has to deal as complete new phenomena. The other matter on respect to this chapter was an overview on which that would offer a different perspective of that of restructuring capital and for that Heidegger is a key thinker. Thus comes to recall Standish affirmation that Heidegger's primary reference to this is not geared towards showing the degeneration of modern technology but to revealing ahistorical existential structures of Dasein... Heidegger has in mind the sort of relationship that a knowing subject has to an object of perception(Standish 1997: 445). . Here we must remember that Heidegger recognises technologys negative potential, but see in it a counteracting positivity. In here when there is a distinction about technological modes of mass production, it is as a question related to mans ordering attitude and behaviour which transform the status of individuals into units of standingreserve (a mere object of ordering), this as a consequence of technology's drive to achieve maximum production and availability that has the effect of reducing the world to mere raw material, thus determining our relationship to the universe only in terms of cause and effect, therefore our emphasis in calculative thinking. As to Heidegger and his contribution in relation to understanding the self is Richard Coyne assertions that are relevant: For Heidegger, the self already has this indeterminacy about it, which is to say it is grounded in practice and contingency. Heidegger challenges Descartes concept of the self (subject), replacing the primacy of reflection with engagement. Our most typical moments are those when we are absorbed in an undifferentiated world of involvement. We are busily going about our business of doing and making. In fact Heidegger replaces the notion of the subject with a term that acts as a place holder for whatever is the entity that inquires after its own being. This entity is Dasein, which has the property of being-in-the-world; a mode of being that is engaged before it is reflective. The character of Dasein is always fluid, situated and non-determinate. Furthermore, what we say about Dasein, the narratives of identity that we construct, is contingent, which is to say pragmatic: what constitutes identity at any moment, and the stories we construct about the self, emerge within particular contexts of practical engagement.


From a Heideggerian perspective the language of contingency is more appropriate to the task of accounting for our place in the world of information than the language of unity and fragmentation of the cyberspace apologists. But the pragmatic application of Heideggers concept of Dasein is also revealing. Amongst other things Dasein points to the contingency of concepts of the self (Coyne 1998). To Nick Mansfield Heideggers contributions indicate that what is at stake in technology, therefore, is not our inevitable doom if the machines get out of control, nor the logic of input and output, but what it means to be in the world, the worlds meaning for us and the horizons of possibility for human experience: what shall we feel, what might we become? (Mansfield 2000: 158). As to the above we also considered resourceful to incur in contributions that challenge traditional thinking in respect to the concept of the human and the self, such was to resort to Donna Haraway idea of the Cyborg 67 in which there is the combination of the machinic, the biological, the conceptual and the political, the self is recognized as an hybrid dependant on a logic of interface and communication aimed at progressive politics. As to the above conclusive annotations describing different technocultural conditions advanced in this chapter, how must we rethink education and how will pedagogy be redefined? To direct such inquiry I will continue in the next chapters to turn into issues relating postmodern culture and the self which many times are perceived as fragmented, dispersed identity, multiple subjectivities, subject decenteredness. And as said before give attention to the new postmodern communicational environment which will give a further front in confronting a debate on technology which I will privilege such discussion on referring to the possibility of critical pedagogy in cyberspace.

The body itself is now read as a machine. Genes are seen as codes, carrying messages, and therefore technology cannot easily be separated out of something different from the human. (Mansfield 2000)



Chapter III: Questioning Postmodern Culture Through Exploring how Technocultural Assemblages Interconnect within New Media Environments and Identity Conformation.
Introduction So far I have considered certain aspects of postmodern culture as manifestations of high technology capitalist restructuring in which the production of culture has become integrated into commodity production. Further on in this work such matters will bring to the surface questions of cyberculture and of the cultural and educational importance of the Internet. But before any of this, within the inquiry into postmodern culture, I must pursue issues concerning the relationship of the advent of new media environments, which represent a new region of experience. This will help us to develop an understanding of subjectivity constitution and of how this becomes a challenge to education. In wanting to identify technology within a cultural dimension and associate it with technocultural change, it is important to how this is different from the connection that has been made when previously we have seen information in the context of economical processes in the emerging network society; in those processes what is prominent are technological processes that privilege the interchange of information flow within financial global systems that are oriented by goals of productivity and profitability. In the light of this previous distinction, technology is commonly perceived as a mere tool or instrument, but in contrast to this, such technologies as information and communicational technology (ICT) 68, computer mediated communication 69 (CMC) 70
Information technology (IT) or information and communication technology (ICT) is the technology required for information processing. In particular the use of electronic computers and computer software to convert, store, protect, process, transmit, and retrieve information from anywhere, anytime. 69 Or Internet mediated communication.
70 68

Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) is any form of communication between two or more individual people who interact and/or influence each other via separate computers through the Internet or a network connection. CMC does not include the methods by which two computers communicate, but rather how people communicate using computers. The way humans communicate in professional, social, and educational settings is different, depending upon not only the environment but also the method of communication in which the communication occurs, which in this case, is through the use of computers. CMC mostly occurs through e-mail, video, audio or text conferencing, bulletin boards, list-servers, instant messaging, and multi-player video games. More recently, weblogs and wikis have come to provide interesting alternatives. Switching communication to a more computer mediated form has an effect on many different factors: impression formation, deception and lying behavior, group dynamics, disinhibition, and especially relationship formation.CMC is examined and compared to other communication media through three common aspects of any forms of communication: synchronicity, recordability, and anonymity. Each of these aspects vary widely for different forms of communication. For example, instant messaging is highly synchronous, but rarely persistent since one loses all the content when one closes the dialog box unless one has a message log set up or has manually copy-pasted the conversation. E-mail and message boards are similar; both are low in synchronicity since response time varies, but high in persistence since messages sent and received are saved. Anonymity and in part privacy


or even the concept of new technologies must be perceived differently. That was the intention of the previous chapter where reference was made to the different ideas about technology expounded by Heidegger and Haraway. Our next stage of analysis is to expand on the cultural dimension of technology, which I consider more a better way to identify our understanding of technology as a medium 71. If we are to consider this, a first question comes to light concerning how a postmodern cultural environment emerges: when is technology a medium? Such an inquiry is undertaken by Martin Lister, Jon Dovey, Seth Giddings, Iain Grant, and Kieran Kelly. For them, a medium is a particular use of technology; a harnessing of a technology to an intention or purpose to communicate or express (2003:83). The relevance of such definition relies on implying that there is an active and purposive dimension to human agency in the use of technological artefacts. Thus, such a conception relies on the idea of the social shaping of technology, which further on I shall relate to the dangers and possibilities of technology and the debates they awaken. It is in this context that that I am now addressing technology from a cultural dimension, one that it is more suitable to conceptualize it as new media. Such consideration relies on the idea that technology becomes a medium through many complex social transformations and transitionsthe product of culture (Lister, M., Dovey, J. et al. 2003:83). The emphasis here then is on the perception of new technologies as a medium of communication, where human ventures are characterised by expression, representation and imaginative projection. In concordance with the aforementioned issues of technology and media, and the relevance of ideas such as the active dimension of human agency, the opportunity is given to perceive differently the exercise of technology. We have seen this above in Haraways vision of technology, where there is an acknowledgement of its ambivalence 72 because there is no unique correlation between technological advance and the distribution of social power. Such ambivalence runs through two principles: 1) conservation of hierarchy and 2) democratic rationalisation. 73
and security, depends more on the context and particular program/web page being used. It is important to remember the psychological and social implications of these factors, instead of just focusing on the technical limitations.

This is why Poster urges by mentioning: It is now imperative to study a new region of experience, the domain of the mediated, a domain that is imbricated with everyday life in a manner that is different from industrial societys man-machine relation. (2001b:12) 72 Such ambivalence of technology is that it can be perceived as an instrument of domination or can be conceptualized for opposition and resistance, thus technology can have a dual function, that of control and productivity; and alternatively considers technology as a resource of counteractive struggle, that is technology considered as a medium where among other things cultural politics take place. There is also Andrew Feenbergs statement: I call the availability of technology for alternative developments with different social consequences, its ambivalence. (Feenberg, A. 1999:7) Also in respect to technology ambivalence is Peters and Lankshear (1996)that mention ambiguous relation of culture by capitalism, when following Jamesons (1991) cultural logic of late capitalism and noting the question that there is always a possibility to resist such cultural logic and consequently the emergence of the notion of postmodern politics of resistance. 73 Feenberg recalls the notion that technologies are forms of power and stresses that Marcuse and Foucault introduce a more socially specific notion of domination since they do not really claim that technology is autonomous. Rather, they relate technical domination to social organization and argue that


Postmodern culture and the pre-eminence of identity In the previous chapters I have linked subjectivity constitution or identity formation by first noting how this is a characteristic and a result of the impact of a post-Fordist flexible mode of accumulation, and how also the new networked social structure has an impact on the experience of individuals to such extent that, as a consequence of the cultural multiplicity of choices, identity is perceived as fragmented; subsequently, I pursued such issues by relating them to the theme of the lifestyle of consumption, since for instance Richards establishes that finding ones identity means establishing oneself in a particular niche in the world of commodities[adopting] an idiosyncratic style of consumption (1985, quoted by; Peters, M. and Lankshear, C. 1996:27). Such a problematic has bean addressed by different authors in a variety of ways, and so next I shall review some of these various comments in respect of these issues. In doing so one must initially mention Castells work The Rise of the Network Society in which he makes the claim that The first historical steps of informational societies seem to characterize them by the pre-eminence of identity 74 as their organizing principle (Castells, M. 2000:22). An alternative viewpoint in respect to identity in the context of globalisation is that which takes into consideration new emergent life conditions and lifeworld experiences that involve different forms of identity and skills. In words of Luke and Luke such identity namely the techno-subject is confronted by new pathways that are changing and convoluting, twisting and mutating in complex ways beyond the grid maps and investigative skills of governments and researchers(2001:94) taking further such considerations bring Luke and Luke to assert that we make a polemical case that these new pathways have, in a Kuhnian sense, destabilized much of the accepted generational wisdom among print literacy experts and developmentalists, among educationists and policy makers (Ibid: 94). Similarly, Mark Poster mentions in his Postmodern Virtualities that: The discussion of postmodern culture focuses to a great extent on an emerging new individual identity or subject position, one that abandons what may in retrospect be the narrow scope of the modern individual with its claims to rationality and autonomy (Poster, M. 1995a). Elsewhere, in What's the Matter with the Internet? he claims that postmodernity registers a new configuration of the self by noting that: If we are to study the culture of new media we need to take into account the information machines that increasingly mediate our symbolic practices. And these machines extract us from territorial spaces and phenomenological time, repositioning us in strange new ways. (2001b:10)

Comentario [MHCh1]: No page number since it is from a web site

technology has no singular essence but is socially contingent and could therefore be reconstructed to play different roles in different social systems. (Feenberg, A. 1999:7) 74 Castells understanding of what identity is expressed by: the process by which a social actor recognizes itself and constructs meaning primarily on the basis of a given cultural attribute or set of attributes, to the exclusion of a broader reference to other social structures(Castells, M. 2000:22)


In this line of thinking, identity is perceived as fragmented as a consequence of a cultural multiplicity of choices - hence, for instance, the notion of multiple subjectivities advanced by Luke and Luke (2001) to highlight questions of fragmentation, hybridity, and subject historical positioning. And also, when addressing such matters and relating them to social encounters in cyberspace and to the ways in which mediated communication shapes the experience of the self, Debra Grodin and Thomas Lindlof allude to the idea that the self becomes multivocal as we carry a number of voices with us. Individuals, then, may find that they no longer have a central core with which to evaluate and act, but instead find themselves decentered (1996:4). Nick Dyer-Witheford links these new cultural forms to questions concerning postFordist regimes and the emergence of the new subject by emphasising that: Capitalized culture envelops all aspects of the social in an omnipresent wrap of imaginary whose multiple surfaces extinguish material references or sense of history, subjectivity becomes, as postmodern theory suggest, increasingly decentered and unstable, -experiencing a condition not so much of alienation as fragmentation, induced by the fluctuating stimuli of electronic media and the malleable spaces of commercial architecture and urban design (Dyer-Witheford, N. 2000:169). If within this context of postmodern culture we are to perceive certain effects as fragmentation, dispersed identity, multiple subjectivities, or subject decenteredness, which are related to a new postmodern communicational environment, then it is worth considering how far these changes are to be framed as pre-eminent features of the new challenges that educational theory and practice 75 are to confront in the circumstances of these new cultural forms. In this line of questioning diverse insights emerge.
Martin Packers and Jessie Goicoecheas understanding of identity is interesting. They state that The Sociocultural conception of identity addresses the fluid character of the human being and the way identity is closely linked to participation and learning in a community. (Packer, M.J. and Goicoechea, J. 2000:229) It is relevant to bring this connection to the consideration of questions concerning new technologies, identity constitution and education. As noted before when referring to Luke and Luke, there is a claim that these new pathways have destabilised much of the received wisdom among educationists and policy-makers, just as other scholars have drawn attention to a misfit between the life experience of young people and the schools traditional function of conforming subjectivity. For others, such a misfit goes so far as being what has being termed a generational disjunction. For instance, Paul Willis has observed that schooling may be becoming increasingly marginal to the actual formation of subjectivity, identity, and culture. (1999:140)

This generational disjunction is finely expressed by Allan and Carmen Luke when they write: With an average age of 45, teachers and principals in the North and the West are facing human subjects, life pathways, economic and cultural fields that are alien to their training and life experience. Indeed, it is a matter of perspective: the new demon breed of todays techno-youth

It can be highlighted that recent attempts to theorize culture have had an impact on different ways of educational enquiry; one of this is an emergent area of cultural and media studies in education, which this study attempts to belong.


is often seen by educators as aliens in the classroom, much as students perceive teachers as techno-phobic aliens. (2001:105) Similarly, Douglas Kellner comments that Conditions of postmodern life are producing novel experiences and subjectivities that come into conflict with schooling (Kellner, D. 2002). The reason for this, according to Peters and Lankshear, is that the way in which young people now grow up [is] in the market rather than home (1996:27). Again the presence of such a phenomenon is perceived by Allan and Carmen Luke as a result of the fact that Current educational systems, curricular systems and pedagogical models were designed for the production of a post-war human labouring subject who has become an endangered species in this economic and community landscape. (2001:106) This combines perfectly with Girouxs observation that youth do not simply rely on the technology and culture of the book to construct and affirm their identities; instead, they are faced with the task of finding their way through a decentered cultural landscape no longer caught in the grip of a technology of print or closed narrative structures. (Giroux, H.A. 1999) While these considerations, which speak of inevitable socio-cultural transitions, point to the conclusion that these changes are the result of a rise of a hybridised horizon of communication environments, we shall see later on, in another chapter, that there are motifs related to the pedagogical struggle over identities in the discussions of educational thinkers within the tradition of critical pedagogy that have led them to explore the possibility of critical pedagogy in cyberspace and to take into question and debate the possibility of critical theory and emancipatory education within the postmodern arena. For instance, in the context of critical pedagogy, Henry Giroux writes: Pedagogy represents forms of cultural production and struggle implicated in and critically attentive to how power and meaning are employed in the construction and organization of knowledge, desires, values and identities. Pedagogy in this sense is not reduced to the mastering of skills or techniques. Caught between the modalities of a timeless universal aesthetic or a narrowly defined politics, culture in both instances is removed from power and viewed as either untainted by politics or simply a weak or secondary version of politics. Lost here is the attempt to develop a notion of culture that explores how learning is linked to social change, how authority makes it difficult for subaltern groups to speak in a way that carries any legitimacy, or how the pedagogical struggle over identities, meaning, affect, values, and desires takes place across a spectrum of public spheres in society. My own interest in cultural studies emerge out of an ongoing project that attempts to theorize the regulatory and emancipatory relationship among culture, power, and politics as expressed through the dynamics of what I call public pedagogy. (Giroux, H.A. 1999) Such considerations go beyond understanding schooling as enclosed in institutional sites, extending to the public pedagogies of media and new technologies, and to such contexts as the street or the networked civic and social space of the Internet (Kellner, D.
Comentario [MHCh4]: Amen ded

Comentario [MHCh2]: No page number since it is from a web page

Comentario [MHCh3]: The same


2002). This, therefore, focuses attention on the characteristics and potentials of new communicational environments within new educational and pedagogical goals. In questioning issues of postmodern culture in relationship to technology, and thus speaking of technoculture, we have explored how matters concerning identity and subjectivity conformation have led to the recognition of the importance of the texture of communication. This, then, will be our next step in our analyses.

The new postmodern communicational environment The Shifting Media Environments I have established so far a link between postmodernity and technoculture. By doing so I have identified a communicational texture of postmodern culture. This has emerged, I have claimed, because it has met an emergent new communicational environment. Through this discussion I have been able to deepen understanding of the question of how these changes relate to the configuration of subjectivity. . When referring to this new communicational environment 76, Poster identifies the constitutive character of media not in some form of technological determinism but as a space that encourages practices that, in turn, serve to construct new types of subjects (2001b:4). But, as Poster writes, As long as we remain within an instrumental . framework we cannot question it, define its limits, or look to new media in relation to how it might generate new cultures (Ibid:3). I want to draw attention to the way that Poster makes an epochal distinction (between old and new media). He argues that the shift towards decentralized networks of communication brings upsets the logic of what he calls the first media age (print to broadcast media). This is the consequence of a new mode of information that effects a transition in communicational environment constituting a second media age. This promotes communicational practices that constitute subjects as unstable, multiple and diffuse (Poster, M. 2001a:81) and that take place through the mechanism of interactivity a thematic to which we shall return at a later stage. So next I shall concentrate on delineating the diverse transformations in communicational settings, which I shall identify, in line with Poster (2001b), as essential shifts in media environments corresponding to different landscapes (modern/postmodern). The main delimitation we are to make about communicational environments is in respect of different types of media in relation to human experience. Media culture and its historical evolution can be defined in terms of specific and predominant developments of types of media. Thus, we can distinguish print- based and broadcast or hyper-media based, each supported by different types of media objects. For instance, in a modern landscape, within the era of mechanical reproduction, the essential media is print based and its exemplary cultural objects are the book or the newspaper. Such media favour specific relationships. In corporate newspapers the characteristic
76 When referring to new media & technological environments, authors allude indistinctly to different notions, such as: Communicational systems, electronic environments, modes of communication, technocultural environments or new hypermedia environments.


relationship is from few-to-many, and in consequence the subject/object relationship is determinate. Therefore, print based media can be said to encourage a particular type of subject - the autonomous, rational individual and to promote a stable, centered identity. (See the Table 1 below.) In postmodern landscapes broadcast and hyper-media are to be distinguished. Broadcast media are differentiated from print media because they are based on a different material form and space/time regime; they belong to the era of electronic reproduction, and their characteristic forms are television, radio and film. These forms are (or have become) mobile, with the consequence that the subject/object relationship is indeterminate. Where the individual is invited by commercial advertising through the media and by the discourse of the simulacrum to identify with simulacral (self-representing) objects, the subject becomes fragmentary and multiple. In the postmodern landscape hyper-media (new media) are dominant, and digital reproduction brings to the fore such forms as the Internet (cyberspace) and hypertext with their virtual objects. In the hyperreality that is created, objects are without originals, and the subject/object relationship becomes indeterminate. Contingency goes one step further to produce the postmodern subject - or, better, the self that is no longer a subject since it no longer relates to the world as if from an outside but operates as a point in a circuit within a machine-like apparatus. The New Hyper-media Communicational Environment 77 From another view point Ronald J. Deibert approaches the question of recent change in technological environments as new modes of communication, which, he explains, will favour certain social forces and ideas by means of a functional bias toward some and not others, just as natural environments determine which species prosper by selecting for certain physical characteristics (Deibert 1997:30). This perspective puts the emphasis on the fact that social forces or individuals subjectivity may or may not fit or match what he calls the new hypermedia environment. These new transitions are to be seen in the context of two things: a) the emergence of new media and b) the development of multiple subjectivities. It is from this point of departure that we can perceive the hybridised horizon of the communicational environment. It is most important to acknowledge the complexity of this social and communicational setting, where education is being called into question and challenged. This is why, as mentioned before, we shall consider at a later point the concern of educational thinkers about these matters and in consequence explore and debate the


Hypermedia is a term used as a logical extension of the term hypertext, in which audio, video, plain text, and non-linear hyperlinks intertwine to create a generally non-linear medium of information. This contrasts with multimedia, which, although often capable of random access in terms of the physical medium, is essentially linear in nature. The World Wide Web is a classic example of hypermedia, whereas a movie on a DVD is an example of standard multimedia. Of course, the lines between the two can (and often do) blur depending on how a particular technological medium is implemented.


possibility of a critical theory and an emancipatory education within the postmodern arena of new techno-cultural environments. So far our argument has pursued the idea that different media environments encourage certain types of subject. Hence, by implication, a central tenet of media theory is acknowledged: that no medium of communication can be seen as a purely empty vessel or transparent channel. In the next chapter we shall see the implications of this. In educational debate about new technologies the focus of analysis shifts from media content to the intrinsic properties of the medium itself with its effects on society and culture.


Essential Shifts in Media Environments and its Influence to Subjectivity.

Table 1 Types of Media
As a Region of Human Experience, Domain of the Mediated & Everyday Life.

Types of Media Objects

Artefacts & Cultural Objects
Mechanical Reproduction

Type of Subject that Encourages

Subject/Object Relationship


Print Media

Book Paper

Newspaper Elicit credulity

- Has supported & disseminated the autonomous, rational individual. Promoting a stable centered identity. - Print media encourages an independent act of critique. - The citizen. The intellectual and the democratic subject is inconceivable without print media. - This media invites to a cognitive response. - Advertisements invite to identify with the object. - Support subjects as diffuse, fragmentary & multiple. - Subject does not sustain its modern characteristics because it faces simulacral object. - Objects still remain tied to the real, and simulacra sustain their difference from copies with originals.



Broadcast Media
Different material form & space time regime from Print Media Few-to-Many

Electronic Reproduction

Television Radio Film - The object has become too mobile, too self-representing, too enticing to sustain the subject in its older form.
Digital Reproduction

Underdetermination Level of complexity or indeterminateness Postmodernity

Hyper Media
(New Media)
A new region of experience. Many-to-Many

- New objects without originals Hyperreality. (Digital Being Virtual Reality). Internet - Cyberspace Hypertext Simulacral object, the subject - A more completely postmodern subject or, better, a self does not sustain its modern that is no longer a subject since it no longer sustends the world as if from outside but operates within a machine characteristics. apparatus as a point in a circuit. Virtual Objects.

Underdetermination Level of complexity or indeterminateness & contingency goes one step further



Essential Shifts in Media Environments and its Influence to Subjectivity.

Based on Mark Posters (2001b) chapter one: The Culture of Underdetermination


In relation to the above Ronald Deibert (1997) comments that different media act as extensions of the human senses with consequences for both cognition and social organization (Deibert 1997:23). So too, Colin Lankshear, Michael Peters, Michele Knobel make the point that practices involving new technologies occurring within nonformal and non educational sites have crucial significance for how we think about knowledge and truth and about their relationship to educational work (Lankshear et al. 2000:25). To understand fundamental transformations in the communication environment and the consequent changes in human interaction, Deibert distinguishes two types of effects one in what he calls distributional changes and the other in what he names changes in social epistemology (Deibert, R.J. 1997). The idea of distributional changes is related to the necessity of a technological infrastructure (a particular communication environment) - for instance, the so-called information highway that allows the distribution or flow of information. Such technological infrastructure is grounded in a logic that is related to certain interests and goals of predominant social forces. Deibert suggests the need to identify social forces whose interest, goals and logics of organization are likely to fit the new communicational environments, and those whose do not (Ibid:32). This is what I have been doing in the previous chapters by historically building an interpretative framework for information society theories, and more precisely by underlining the conformation of the network society in the economic context of the restructuring of capitalism and in circumstances of post-Fordism. The interests and goals of this new regime are related to an endeavour to rebuild and strengthen capitalism rather than to suggest its supersession (Webster, F. 2002:85). Such effects impact not only upon social organization but also on the internal world of the individual. Therefore, a second type of effect relates to changes in social epistemology. In other words particular media encourage particular types of subjectivity. As Deibert, speaking then of the constitutive character of media, puts this, communication environmentsalso select ideas, social constructs and modes of cognition (Deibert, R.J. 1997:33). The point is that communication technologies influence and shape transformations within the domain of what might be understood as intersubjective phenomena. Deibert puts an emphasis on the relationship between social epistemology and such phenomena, specifying that this relationship encompasses an interwoven set of historically contingent intersubjective characteristics - ranging from spatial or temporal cognitive biases to shared symbolic forms, to various group identities, or to imagined communities that are unique to a specific historical context and that differentiate one epoch from another (1997:33). In line with the above and the theme of postmodern culture, we can distinguish a postmodern social epistemology, which has its specific shared symbolic forms and cognitive dispositions and which can lead us to an understanding of an emergent new mode of information (Poster, M. 1995b; Castells, M. 2000). This unfolds or forms part of what we have termed a communicational hyper-media environment.


If such considerations are to be taken, within the context of modes of development such as the industrial or the informational, which is more current, then there emerge questions concerning the different social epistemologies that operate. We can distinguish, therefore, different individuals or subject positions that imply varied perceptions of the world. Such positions and perceptions are functions of individuals conformation and reflect their fitness to the new hyper-media communicational environment. Contemporary youth are subject to an increasing acculturation into the new hypermedia environment, a situation that leads individuals to see a particular symbolic formas more natural and reasonable (Deibert, R.J. 1997:35) in contrast to older generations constituted in an earlier mode of development such as the industrial. We have here a confrontation of different eras, the era of mechanical and electronic reproduction versus the era of digital or virtual reproduction. We have mentioned the notion of the constitutive character of media. To further support such argument, it is important to explore the nature of media by attending to the key characteristics of new hyper-media environments. This will help us to understand how this encouragement of types of subjectivity is constructed through interactivity within media, and also to link such issues with pedagogical practices and their aims and goals. Consequently such exploration will also be helpful in understanding how such issues are being questioned and debated by recent educational theorists 78. It will help in the enquiry into the possibilities of practicing critical pedagogy in this new postmodern communicational environment. As we shall see in the next chapter, this will lead to questions concerning the educational potential of cyberspace, laying the groundwork for considering the possibility of a critical pedagogy in cyberspace.

Characteristic Elements of New Hyper-media Communicational Environment In this section I shall set aside educational questions, which will be taken up in the next chapter, and shall approach solely the matter of new media environments and their characteristics. By doing so I shall include not only technical or instrumental matters but also questions related to human communication. So, briefly, I expect to expose in a specific but amplified perspective the nature of new media. This is based upon a general assumption that all this has its relevance to the further understanding of critical pedagogy proposals that purport to engage with Internet technologies and the challenge they present to educational practice. I will claim, on the basis of the writings of a number of authors that sustain among some questions (Fidler, R. 1997; van Dijk, J. 1999; Lister, M., Dovey, J. et al. 2003), that there are at least five main concepts that can help to identify the nature or main
When educational thinkers approximate such media issues as a question of the relation of education and media, stand over against an interdisciplinary problematic, which some times lead to a lack of depth of discussion or lack of comprehension behind the understanding of the nature of new media and the possibility to renew from this perspective educational theory and practice, therefore the next section is relevant because it will offer a conceptual context setting that will help to understand the relating debates of the possibility of critical education in cyberspace.


characteristics of new media, and that these are: Interactivity, hypertextuality, virtuality digitality, and dispersal. It is important to perceive these concepts as interconnected, even if, in defining them, we treat them separately. As to which constituting elements of new media have the greatest cultural influence or impact, views differ. Many (van Dijk, J. 1999; Castells, M. 2000; Lister, M., Dovey, J. et al. 2003) take the view that the fact of the digitalisation of technology and media is what is crucial . Since digitality is a theme we have approached in Chapter One and that we have linked with the issue of the convergence of technology and technological fields (the integration of micro-electronics, computing and telecommunication/broadcasting), and the convergence of media (a merging between print and visual or other media), I shall not comment further upon how far it is a characteristic to new media. The concept of interactivity and new media Interactivity is a concept that defines new media in the sense of its providing the opportunity to manipulate and intervene in or through media - thus the question regarding the interactive potential of new media, which is closely related to the theme of mediated human communication (Grodin, D. and Lindlof, T.R. 1996). The idea raises a broad question, however, which brings into view a diverse cluster of associated meanings, and because of this it is often the case that such a notion is approached in a broad manner and with a lack of definition. Because of this I shall make some broad comments around this important term. One of the reasons why the idea of interactivity has diverse meanings and connotations is that it has been constructed from different disciplines. For example, communication studies understand interactivity in terms of reciprocal communicational processes, focusing on the phenomenon of interaction as a core human behaviour that allows understandings about community and culture. Other approaches such as that of media studies focus on the study of audiences; and there is the sociological perspective on interaction that involves different understandings depending upon whether the phenomenon of interaction is studied before the emergence of new media or after. Other perspectives address the matter of interactivity by linking it with themes such as artificial intelligence (AI) (Kling, R. 2000) and human-computer interaction (HCI) 79. Cultural studies and literary studies centre on the theme of interactivity in relation to the notion of hypertexts (Landow, G.P. 1992).


Human-computer interaction (HCI) is the study of interaction between people (users) and computers. It is an interdisciplinary subject, relating computer science with many other fields of study and research. Interaction between users and computers occurs at the user interface (or simply interface), which includes both hardware (i.e. input and output devices) and software (for example determining which, and how, information is presented to the user on a screen). A basic goal of HCI is to improve interaction between user and computers, by making computers more user-friendly and easier to use.


A first approximation of the notion of interactivity can be achieved by distinguishing two operating levels: the ideological and the instrumental. At the ideological level 80 interactivity is understood as one of the key value added characteristics of new media. Regarding this, Lister et al. write: The term stands for a more powerful sense of user engagement with media texts, a more independent relation to sources of knowledge, individualised media use, and greater user choice. These ideas about the value of interactivity draw upon the popular discourse of neoliberalism which treats the user as, above all, a consumer. Neo-liberal societies aim to commodify all kinds of experiences and offer more and more finely tuned degrees of choice to the consumer (Lister, M., Dovey, J. et al. 2003:20). This ideological level stresses the dissimilarity between old media and new media: old media is considered to be passive in terms of its interactive potential, while new media is thought to offer an active potential for interactivity, with significance for the independence of the user, and seen as functioning not only practically but as an ideological context that feeds into the way we think. This last point can also be associated with the question of post-Fordist flexibility and individual life style choices, which I have referred to in previous chapters. An example that can show such ideological level that includes the value of interactivity can be that of the promotional idea of Sky Digital TV service which is self-represented as a Welcome to a whole new interactive world on digital satellite: When existing subscribers purchase the Open Keypad (a standard QWERTY keyboard designed to interface with the set-top box) they gain access to a number of additional interactive services. First, the ability to send and receive email through the digital TV network, using the TV screen as the display medium instead of the PC. Second, the chance to shop online through the Open network: These stores are now open 24 hours a day7 days a week. The third service on offer is home banking; a fourth is an entertainment channel that offers a limited choice of games, plus listings and review information (Ibid). As to interpretation of interactivity at the instrumental or functional level, Lister et al. write: being interactive signifies the users ability to directly intervene in and change the images and texts that they access (Ibid). The key question here has to do with the extent to which the individual can actively intervene in the context of the new hypermedia environment. Here we are talking about user control and participation. Other understandings of interactivity depart from a basic inquiry into what interactivity actually means, since, within the bounds of social and communication science, it is often poorly conceived and the term is often misused (van Dijk, J. 2000). This starting
80 Later on when demarcating the different boundaries in discourses that engage the advocacy for technology and their cyber-optimistic views; I will distinguish those that contain ideological elements in their discourses and that are present in the so called radical right wing cyberspace rhetoric or cyberlibertarian perspectives.


point relies on the discovery that interactivity is generally assumed to be a natural attribute of face-to-face conversation, although it occurs in mediated communication settings as well (McMillan, S. 2002). For instance, Jan van Dijk examines this matter by asking: does interactivity equal the pattern of conversation, or are information retrieval, selection and feedback in digital broadcasting, as well as reply functions in electronic questionnaires and transactions, also interactive? (2000:47). In relation to such questioning we present schematically how van Dijk (1999) has developed a model 81 based on four cumulative levels and dimensions of interactivity, a model intended to combine the objective characteristics of media and their intersubjective contextual applications. Each of these levels/dimensions allows us to evaluate the nature and interactive limitations or potential of the four types of media described before in another section: print media (book, newspaper), broadcast media (television, radio, film) and hypermedia (Internet, hypertext).

Table 2 A Model Based on Four Levels and Dimensions of Interactivity

Consists of the possibility of two-way communication allowing action and reactions (to reactions). 82 Synchronous communication is granted a privilege because it contrasts with the limitations of asynchronous communication. A level of control of communication by the (inter) actors involved, where there is the possibility of role exchange (sender and receiver) at will and on every occasion. What takes place is the acknowledgement of what is called the intelligence of contexts and the presence of shared understanding.

The spatial dimension of interactivity The time dimension of interactivity The action and control dimension The contextual and mental dimension

(Based on: van Dijk, J. 2000:47-48)

Other contrasting perspectives that try to grasp conceptually the phenomenon of interactivity are those that consider the subjective question of interactivity, in which the most important thing to be examined in measuring the level of interactivity is not the provision of technological features, but rather how users perceive and/or experience
81 82

Based on levels described by Frederick Williams, Ronald Rice, et al. (1988) For instance print media and broadcast media have a possibility of two way communication but is based on a few-to-many interactive relationship (editors/broadcasters-to-audiences), in contrast Internet Technologies (Browsers, e-mail, etc.) are based on a many-to-many interactive relationship, thus then the Internet could be said to have wider characteristics in relationship to the potential for interactivity that that many other precedent communicational technologies.


those features (McMillan, S. 2002:165). Here interactivity resides, at least in part, in individual perceptions. Different approaches have been revealed, and among them I would like to highlight that of Sally McMillan (2002), who emphasises three dimensions in which researchers are actively engaged in exploring interactivity: 1) how people interact through media, 2) the nature of interactive content, and 3) how individuals interface 83 with the computers and telecommunication tools that host interactive communication. Thus, according to McMillan (2000; 2002), on the strength of the three dimensional above a set of models is defined that identifies three types of interactivity: Users-to-users, users-to-documents and user-to-system interactivity. Within these three types of interactivity users exert three types of control: relational (or interpersonal), content (or document based) and process/sequence (or interface-based) controls. (See the schema below.) These three types of interactivity seem to encompass the primary literature on interactivity in new media (McMillan, S. 2002:166). It is acknowledged, however, that there are conceptual traditions that predate new media and that come from sociology, such as Erving Goffmans (1967) or Blumers (1969) development of the field of symbolic interaction; and by the late 1980s scholars who studied social interaction in face-to-face group settings had begun to equate the terms interaction and communication McMillan (2002:167). Based on McMillans (2002) model of the differences between the three types of interactivity, I have made a schematic representation (see table 3 Infra) of some of her basic ideas. I append to this pertinent comments that related to the schema. (See Tables 3 and 4.)


The user interface is the aggregate of means by which people (the users) interact with a particular machine, device, computer program or other complex tool (the system). The user interface provides means of: Input, allowing the users to control the system, Output, allowing the system to inform the users (also referred to as feedback). To work with a system, the users need to be able to control the system and assess the state of the system. For example, when driving an automobile, the driver uses the steering wheel to control the direction of the vehicle, and the accelerator pedal, brake pedal and gearstick to control the speed of the vehicle. The driver perceives the position of the vehicle by looking through the windscreen and exact speed of the vehicle by reading the speedometer. The user interface of the automobile is the whole composed of the instruments the driver can use to accomplish the tasks of driving and maintaining the automobile. The term user interface is often used in the context of computer systems and electronic devices. In computer science and human-computer interaction, the user interface (of a computer program) refers primarily to the graphical and textual information the program presents to the user, and the control sequences (such as keystrokes with the computer keyboard and movements of the computer mouse) the user employs to control the program.


Table 3

Three Different Types of Interactivity

Dimensional Constructs

How people Interact Through Media

The Nature of Interactive Content

How Individuals Interface with Computers

3 Types of Interactivity



User-to-System Interactivity

3 Types Of Control

Relational/Interpersonal Content/Document based

Process/Sequence or Interface-based

Next I will review some of the basic questions of new media and each of the three types of interactivity:

New media and the user-to-user model of interactivity. Many could agree that computer networks and telecommunication systems enable new forms of social interaction such as electronic mail, electronic bulletin boards or chat, and in this way it has been asserted by some scholars that computer mediated communication (CMC) provides us with a medium in which to test, modify, and expand our understanding of human social and educational interaction. There is an emphasis than in CMC on directions of communication, such as one way, two way and multidirectional communication, and on forms that enable different levels of participant control, with higher levels of participation as a result of responsive and interactive discourse. Under the new conditions of new media and interpersonal mediated communication it has been widely acknowledged that such communicational tools provide users with the possibility of more control over their communicational experience. Thus Cathcart and Gumpert (1983) comment that interpersonal mediated communication refers to any


person-to-person interaction where a medium has been interposed to transcend the limitations of time and space (quoted by 2002:168). On this question we refer (supra) to van Dijks (1999) distinction between interactivity levels, including the spatial dimension of interactivity, which gives the possibility of two-way communication, and the time dimension of interactivity, which relates to questions of synchronous and asynchronous communication.

New media and the user-to-documents model of interactivity Besides people interacting, there must be the consideration of document-based interaction in which people actively interpret and use media content - for instance, word-processing. From this perspective different issues have come to light, such as the emergence of collaborative media systems that make possible interaction with content and content creators, providing individual control over content and over the forms of the presentation of such content (multimedia). In the user-to-documents model of interactivity it is possible to focus on different aspects, but of particular interest to us is the academic work domain in which, as a quotidian exercise, students or academic staff constantly relate to text document content activity via information processing, retrieval or information exchange. Different studies have centred on varied types of control document-based communicational experiences and the nature of the audiences or participants interactivity in searching for information, retrieving documents (e-journals, electronic libraries, etc.) or the creation and presentation of content exchange, or co-created content, via software tools. The levels of activity here will depend upon the type of activity.

New media and the user-to-system interactivity The question of how individuals interface with computers and the telecommunication tools that host interactive communication raises important considerations concerning the balance of control in the human-computer relationship. Studies into this tend to incline in one of two directions: towards human-based interaction or towards computer-based interaction; in conjunction these are called technically a human-computer equation . In relation to such human-computer equation or interaction (HCI) McMillan comments that Computer-controlled interaction assumes that the computer will present information to learners who will respond to that information. By contrast humancontrolled interaction assumes a much more active individual who uses interface tools provided by programmers and designers to manipulate the computer and obtain information McMillan (2002:174-75) So when the focus is on computer-controlled interaction, such studies explore the ways that humans respond to information presented to them by a computer. Therefore, the attention is turned towards the experience that users will have when they interact with


any computer system. This has led to another aspect that is central to this humancomputer interactive process: the question of user interface 84 design. Research that considers the user interface also takes two directions: one that focuses more on human perception and another that centers on computer system design. For instance, among the studies that focus on the human side are those that examine how individuals interpret computer personality, the level of agency that individuals perceive they have in working with the computer, individual decision styles and goals that the individual brings to the system (McMillan, S. 2002:173). Also in this line of interest and in terms of human factors, McMillan (2002) mentions that human-computer interaction (HCI) 85 research tends to focus on the ways that human beings communicate directly with computers. This we relate to the questions of subjectivity constitution with regard to the ways that individuals experience their interactivity with computer interfaces in terms of the fitness or mindsets they bring to these new hyper-media environments and the hurdles they confront. This line of analysis concerning issues related to the subjectivity structure of individuals and their experience and relationship with ICTs explores their conceptions and responses as users of technology. This relates to educational maters and media literacy, where the individuals prospects of acquiring the adequate informational subjectivity structures can make possible responsive social interaction through these new media technologies. The studies that focus on the human side of the HCI, address the concept of flow, which is determined by the individuals sense of being in control and the level of challenge perceived in using computers (Ghani, J. and Deshpande, S. 1994:381). There are also recent studies where results suggest that using the World Wide Web is an activity that facilitates flow, which generates an optimal, extremely enjoyable experience with total involvement and concentration (Chen, H., Wigand, R.T. and Nilan, M. 2000:263). Lastly, with regard to these matters related to HCI, come questions such as: how much is the interface apparent enough to require user attention as opposed to its becoming a transparent part of the users experience? In this respect McMillan (2002:175) describes adaptive communication as a phase where the computer is still in command of the interaction; while in contrast you can assume a state of flow 86 when there is a high user activity in which the computer becomes virtually transparent as individuals lose themselves in the computer environment, although this could be contested if we consider the role of the agents as one of the components of the modern interface (see supra).

84 For Martin Lister, Jon Dovey et al. (2003:388) the concept of interface is usually used to denote the symbolic software that enables humans to use computers, and to access the many layers of underlying code that causes a software to function (e.g. the desktop). 85 Computer-controlled interaction assumes that the computer will present information to learners who will respond to that information. By contrast human-controlled interaction assumes a much more active individual who uses interface tools provided by programmers and designers to manipulate the computer and obtain information. Sally McMillan (2002:174-75) 86 For Sally McMillan (2002) the concept of flow can be conceived as the users perception of the interaction with the medium as playful and exploratory, and this from my perspective opens an interesting aesthetic dimension.


Considering the above, the understanding of the interface is vital; for instance Steve Bramall claims that the idea that the interface has educational significance[,] is grounded in the idea that the interface between members of our culture and the web of information to which it grants us access is of cultural significance (Bramall, S. 2000:81). It is appropriate briefly to consider five components of the modern interface: the desktop, which has developed within the context of the office and which is largely visual (the trash can, a desktop, the folder, etc.). The windows 87 as multiple and rectangular frames on the computer screen through which documents, programs and the Web are viewed; such multiple viewpoints are considered by Steven Johnson (1997) to change not only our psychological profiles but also our ethical and legal expectations about the proper use of information. In addition there are the links, which are created within the hypertext medium of the World Wide Web, the text, which is the traditional words on the screen, and lastly the agents, which are related to the so-called intelligent software. These last, the agents constitute one of the most interesting aspects, since they point to the ways in which the future of interfaces may transform our culture and are directly related to user-to-system interactivity. Johnson provides an interesting description of the agent as a component of the modern interface. So next I assemble some of his relevant observations. Those zeros and ones are organized into something closer to an individual, with a temperament, a physical appearance, and aptitude for learning - the computer as personality, not space. We call these new creatures - these digital personalities agents. (Johnson, S. 1997:176) Why not imagine the computer as a person-chatty, obliging, perceptive? Most of us talk to our machines anyway, cajoling them to download files, cursing them out after the floppy drive fails. Why not endow the computer with an equivalent response mechanism? If we are going to be talking to our PCs, we might as well give them the opportunity to talk back. And so the anthropomorphic agent was bornAgents, however, dont require personification; they can just as easily take the shape of a Web browser, or a dialog box, or a text document (177). They settle into your computers hard drive and stay there for good, watching your behaviour and helping out when they get a chance. Other agents are full-time tourists, roaming across the Net in search of information and trudging back home only when theres news to report. Some agents are extroverts; they compile relevant data for you by chatting with other agents, swapping stories and recommendations. These three classes represent the range of possibilities for agent-driven interfaces: the personal agent, the travelling agent, and the social agent. Each implies a different understanding of human-computer interactionAs with much of the modern interface, design choices for agents will ripple out into the larger culture, transforming regions of

A windowing environment displays multiple windows while enabling the machine to run more than one program at the same time (as in multitasking).


experience that otherwise seem to be disconnected . . . Because agents are the most independent - the most autonomous - tools in the interface repertoire, their influence may turn out to be the most far-reaching and the most subtle. Thats one reason that the design of our intelligent agents shouldnt be left up to the CEOs and the technocrats (178-79). Wiith intelligent-agent technology the visual metaphor 88 is not as important as the underlying behaviour of the agent itselfBut this raises another question: does that underlying behaviour really belong to the realm of the interface at all? The answer to that question gets to the essence of intelligent agents. The modern graphic interface is defined by direct manipulation. The user makes things happen in an immediate, almost tactile way: instead of telling the computer to delete a file, you drag it into a trash can. The underlying event is the same (the CPU follows instructions to erase a few sectors of the hard drive), but the illusion of the graphic interface is that you seem to be doing the work yourselfBut agents dont play by those rules. They work instead under the more elusive regime of indirect manipulation. As the name suggests, agents are delegates, representatives. They do things for you. Being able to delegate responsibility to a software agent can be enormously liberating, but it comes at a price (179-80) but there are dangers in ceding that additional control to the computer. The original graphicinterface revolution was about empowering the user - making the rest of us smarter, and not our machines. Agents work against that trend by giving the CPU more authority to make decisions on our behalf. Its this new authority - and not the representations of cartoon puppets or digital butlers - that endows the intelligent agent with its intelligence (18081).


A butler, a talking dog, a text report, a personalized newspaper.


Three Different Types of Interactivity User to User Interactions

Human-to-Human Through Old and New Media Table 4 Type of control over communicational experience: Relational How do people interact through media? - Different Directions of Communication between & among senders (S) and receivers (R) that interact in computer based environments. Computer mediated communication (CMC) tradition and interpersonal mediated communication perspective. ~ One Way Communication --- Participant control = One-to-Many Feedback and Monologue ~ Two Way Communication --- Participant control = Reciprocal Responsive Dialogue ~ Multidirectional Communication --- Participant control = Many-to-Many Mutual Discourse........ Type of control over communicational experience: Document-based What is the nature of interactivity within content based media? - Nature of audience (inter) activity in their access to information & control over presentation of created content. Packaged Content & Content on Demand ~ Passive ----------------------------------~ Active ----------------------------------Content Exchange & Co-Created Content

Userto-Documents Interactions

User-to-System Interactivity
Human-to-Computer User Interface

Type of control over communicational experience: Interface-based, Process/Sequence How individuals interface with the computers & telecommunication tools that host interactive communications? - Balance of control in the human-computer relationship (interaction between people and the computer it self). ~ Human -------------------------------Centre of Control : Human-Based Interaction - Interface Apparent Centre of Control : Flow - Interface Transparent Centre of Control : Computer-Based Interaction - Interface ~ Computer ------------------------------Apparent Centre of Control : Adaptive Interaction - Interface Transparent 91

(Based on:McMillan, S. 2002)


The concept of hypertextuality: Interactivity and navigation Interactivity hyperlinks 89 and hypertextuality are strongly linked together, and if we are to explore later the possibilities and limitations of the educational potential of cyberspace, then interactivity and different interactive features are key questions. This is so because it relates to questions about how actively and pedagogically to intervene within the context of the new hyper-media environment and to pursue certain types of objectives. Up to now we have considered first, about issues of user control (relational, document based or interface-based) and participation (one-to-many, reciprocal and many-tomany); second, matters that concern issues of interfaces 90 (Windows/Mackintosh operating systems) and input devices 91 (keyboards), which draw attention to navigational 92 tools (i.e. Internet Explorer, search engines), interactive features that allow for user choice, and input. Such dimensions of interactivity are made possible by hypertextuality, and this characteristic enables us to understand ways in which linked text can be used to manage non-linear communication. To understand further the interconnection between interactivity and hypertext 93 a functional level of the notion of interactivity must be developed. This leads us to the contiguous concept of hypertextual navigation. This necessarily takes us to another distinctive feature of new media hypertext. In this respect Peter Lunenfeld (1993) (quoted by Lister, M., Dovey, J. et al. 2003) distinguishes two paradigms of interaction, which he calls extractive and immersive. Hypertextual navigation is conceived extractive when it is used to gain access to data and information by way of using computers and computer software to make reading choices in a database 94; in contrast, immersive 95 interaction has to do with navigating
Hyperlink: The text or graphics on a web site that can be clicked on with a mouse to take you to another Web page or a different area of the same Web page. 90 Interface: In a general sense, it is the portion of a program that interacts between a user and an application, meaning it is what you see on the computer screen. It usually refers to "user interface," which consists of the set of operating system commands, graphical display formats, and other features designed for use on a computer or a program. A "graphical user interface" (GUI pronounced: goo-ey) provides users with a picture-oriented user-friendly way to see what is on a computer system.. The word has permeated into mainstream culture too; as a verb "to interface" means to communicate with another person or object. 91 Any machine that feeds data into a computer. For example, a keyboard is an input device, whereas a display monitor is an output device. Input devices other than the keyboard are sometimes called alternate input devices. Mice, trackballs, and light pens are all alternate input devices. 92 To navigate: The act of moving around the Web by clicking on hypertext links (or paths) that take you from one Web page to another. As you navigate, you move from one computer to another and from one server to another without realizing it. 93 Hypertext: A system for writing and displaying text that can be linked in multiple ways to related documents and available at several levels of detail. The term was coined by Ted Nelson to refer to a nonlinear system of information browsing and retrieval based on associative links between documents. The World Wide Web uses hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) to link pages and multimedia files. 94 Database is understood here inn general manner which is any collection of memory stored information, text, image or sound.


representations of space or simulated 3D or visually represented worlds (e.g., video games). Thus then immersive interaction is likely to be different from the extractive paradigm. Instead of a text-based experience aimed at finding and connecting bits of information, the goals of the immersed user will include the visual and sensory pleasures of spatial exploration (Lister, M., Dovey, J. et al. 2003:21). In this light, hypertext must be seen as the navigational aid of an interface webdesigned structure that offers diverse possibilities to human-computer interaction. As a result a network of links is made available (hyperlink structure), and this is also understood as an abstract conception of hypertextual architecture. This, as we shall see later, has pedagogical implications. To some scholars, such as Burbules and Callister (2000), hypertext has brought quantitative change since it opens up possibilities in the amount of textual information that can be accessed. According to them, this quantitative dimension can change into a qualitative change in the processes of reading and in constructing knowledge, and therefore such changes raise fundamental issues for educational theory and practice. Hypertext can be described as a basic element in an informational environment in which textual material and ideas are linked to one another in multiple ways. In this manner hypertext organizes information and gives flexibility to the structure of information, an inter-linked structure, by offering different possibilities and by creating diverse relations among such information and for different purposes. This is why it is said that hypertexts actively invite and facilitate multiple and alternative readings of the same material (Burbules, N.C. and Thomas A. Callister, J. 2000:44) or other associated sources of reading material. With hypertext we have information that is woven together and can be presented into a linear narrative flow, at the same time allowing divergences from it in a non-linear manner. This empowers the reader (and author) to surf, jump, and navigate to different points (nodes 96) of connection, therefore permitting her to follow different chosen pathways according to individual choice; such process grant relevance, selectivity and meaningful forms of linkage in relation to the information that is accessed. Therefore, hypertext systems provide the possibility of balance between flexibility and accessibility, a question that can be related to issues seen in previous chapters, such as the restructuring of capitalism and the Fordist mode of accumulation. This also has implications for subjectivity constitution and identity formation, especially because of fragmentation.


While normally referring to being under the surface of, or in a body of liquid, in the present context it refers to the experience of being inside the world of a constructed image. The image is not before the viewer on a surface from whose distance they can measure their own position in physical space. Rather, it appears to surround them. (Lister, M., Dovey, J. et al. 2003:387)


A node is a device that is connected as part of a computer network. Nodes can be computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), cell phones, or various other network appliances. On an IP (Internet Protocol) network, a node is any device with an IP address. Nodes are often times connected by hubs, routers, or by a network switch.


As to the instrumental or functional level in which interactivity has an interpretation, where being interactive signifies the users ability to directly intervene in and change the images and texts that they access (Lister, M., Dovey, J. et al. 2003:20), the key question is whether the individual can actively intervene in the context of the new hypermedia environment. Here we are talking about user control and participation. Another related concept to hypertext is that of multidimensional linkages 97, which can provide a seamless shifting from text to text in the on-line environment; its the structure of such linkages involves a hypertext organization that offers the possibility of reading any text non-linearly and non-hierarchically. This is why many hypertexts are inherently rhizomatic 98 - in other words, they have a decentered structure, where the line between primary and supplemental materials fades and disappears. Perhaps one of the most important characteristics of the rhizome structure is that it has multiple entryways, which permit flexible navigation. The above issues disrupt traditional concerns about linearity in narrative and customary patterns in reading. This is so because the rhizomatic structure of hypertexts complicates conventional forms, such as beginnings, endings, order and sequencing, and enable a different kind of navigability, through multiple entrance and exit points. At the same time, they transform conventional forms of reading: the more dialogical or interactive dimension of hypertexts opens different links, paths 99 and new forms of hyper-reading. This, according to Burbules and Callister (2000), rightly complicates the kinds of literacy involved. This is why Delany and Landow stress the point that: hypertext is composed of bodies of linked text that have no a priori axis of organization. In other words, hypertext has no fixed center . . ., [which] means that anyone who uses hypertext makes his or her own interest the de facto organizing principle (or center) for the investigation at the moment. One experiences hypertext as an infinitely decenterable and recenterable system (Delany, P. and Landow, G.P. 1991:18). These considerations have led to a different theoretical view of the text - as decentered, open-ended, and dependent on other texts, and they inevitably raise debates that relate to education and prompt pedagogical concerns that are perceived by many as positive and by others as negative. Either way, however, the provide and imperative for the making of educational decisions. They encourage us to consider the educational potential of hypertext as an informational resource.

Hypertext is notable for giving the possibility of co-existence of multiple textual elements that can be represented at the same level of importance, without any one of them being primary; this possibility can be called multidimensional linkages. 98 Many authors refer to Gilles Deleuze and Flix Guattaris (1988) metaphor of the rhizome (or grass) as opposed to the metaphor of the tree or root system to emphasise a decentered structure which spreads in all directions such as some rhizomatic plants (certain types of grasses and weeds). (Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. 1988) 99 Lister, Dovey et al. (2003:24) also define hypertext as a work which is made up from discrete units of material in which each one carries a number of pathways to other units.



Where hypertext is involved, there are complicated questions related to literacy (Delany, P. and Landow, G.P. 1991; Landow, G.P. 1992; Lankshear, C. and McLaren, P. 1993; Landow, G.P. 1994a, 1994b; Lankshear, C., Peters, M. and Knobel, M. 1996; Kellner, D. 1997; Lankshear, C. and Bigum, C. 1999; Standish, P. 1999; Burbules, N.C. 2000; Kellner, D. 2001, 2002). It is relevant to mention that it can be said that one dimension of the history of hypertext is tied into academic literary and representational theory (Aarseth, E.J. 1997; Lister, M., Dovey, J. et al. 2003). For instance the prefix hyper means above, beyond, or outside in Greek - hence hypertext has become to describe a text which provides a network of links to other texts that are outside, above and beyond itself (Lister, M., Dovey, J. et al. 2003:23). This is why for these scholars: This places any text as comprehensible only within a web of association that is at once above, beyond or outside the text itself. At another level, the conventional means of footnoting, indexing, and providing glossaries and bibliographies - in other words the navigational apparatus of the book - can be seen as antecedents of hypertext, again guiding the reader beyond the immediate text to necessary contextualising information. (Lister, M., Dovey, J. et al. 2003:23) We can now understand the nature of what I have called the hypermedia environment as a distinctive new media environment and as opposed to other media eras and or environments, such as those of print or broadcast media, since we have the term hypermedia to describe the effects of hypertextual methods of organisation on all mediated forms (Lister, M., Dovey, J. et al. 2003:26). George P. Landow understands hypertext and hypermedia in the following manner: Hypertext . . . denotes text composed of blocks of text what Barthes terms lexia and the electronic links that join them. Hypermedia simply extends the notion of the text in hypertext by including visual information, sound, animation, and other forms of data. Since hypertext, which links a passage of verbal discourse to images, maps, diagrams, and sound as easily as to another verbal passage, expands the notion of text beyond the solely verbal, I do not distinguish between hypertext and hypermedia. Hypertext denotes an information medium that links verbal and non-verbal information (Landow, G.P. 1992:4). This new cultural dimension could be defined as an opposition between the network knowledge system and the book based knowledge system, where the traditional linear processing of contents of the latter is replaced by the making of the links, jumps and associations of the former (van Dijk, J. 1999). According to some analysts, this is bringing about an overturn in the existing structures of knowledge, which have been based until now upon the book. The printed world has established an entire taxonomy and classification system for the management and production of knowledge (e.g. contents, indices, reference systems, library systems, citation methods). It is argued that this literary apparatus of knowledge is defined around sequential reading and writing (Lister, M., Dovey, J. et al. 2003).


In the actual situation, with hypertext, there is an open possibility of non-sequential reading and writing, and therefore no specific order in which a text must be encountered. Hypermedia environments offer to the individual a new multilinear experience; in the light of this, the primary advantage of hypertext is the provision of control of interactivity 100 granted to the user who navigates through a computer-based system 101(user-to-system interactivity) (McMillan, S. 2002). But the potential and consequences of this are still to be seen, and this will take us into a further debate of the educational potential of cyberspace. For instance I would think that Landow (supra) understands hypermedia as something that simply extends the notion of the text in hypertext by including visual information, sound, animation, and other forms of data. Such a distinction is reductive. First, it perceives hypertext as mere multimedia; second, because such a view tends to be instrumental, since such an approach would focus more on hypertext and hypermedia methodologies and techniques that lead to design of media material. In my view hypermedia can be seen to be a more complex cultural phenomenon if we reflect on its impact as a new form of human experience that changes our relationship with information and knowledge and ultimately our view of ourselves and of the world. Such changes raise the cultural and philosophical questions that we have pursued thus far in this thesis. Hypermedia can be defined as postmodern culture, which tends to be based more and more on anti-representationalist premises in which hypertext is really a metaphor that links and gives way to a new spatial configuration of reality, characterised by the use of pastiche, collage and montage, and where there are no beginnings, middles or ends; instead there is an overlapping spatial orientation of discontinuity and depthlessness that offers a plurality of worlds or multiple realities and in consequence brings the dissolution of the binary opposition of theory and fact. New oppositions emerge: difference over uniformity, flows over unity and mobile arrangements over systems. In the view of Ronald J. Deibert, there has emerged: a spatial bias that is less exacting and rigid, and more fluid, bypassing the idea of a firm reality that is fixed and immutable and open to a single accurate representation. Instead, the spatial bias of postmodern epistemology embraces discontinuity and juxtaposition with mutable boundaries superimposed upon one another. (1997:188) Deibert explains: Postmodern social epistemology will flourish to the extent that it fits the properties of the new mode of communication- that it will find a more receptive audience among those acculturated into the hypermedia environment. (Ibid: 178-79)
100 This takes us to questions such as the formulation of personalized navigation strategies tailored to specific needs. 101 It is important to perceive the computer server as the technology that is the heart of the dispersed system of the new media. Lister, Dovey et. al. (2002) define a server, by contrast to a transmission mast, is a multiple input/output device, capable of receiving large amounts of data as input as well as making equally large quantities available for downloading to PC. The server is a networked device. It has many input connections and many output connections, and exist as a node in a web rather than as the centre of a circle. (31)


A first conclusion can be made in respect to the understanding of subjectivity and identity conformation under the new determinants of new media. This is that discontinuity is produced by hypermedia, and this brings about a blurring between reality and unreality by opening new paths - life pathways with tangential routes, with irruptive and sudden digressions or changes of course (such as hypertext navigation), which in consequence cannot any more be conceptually measured in terms of false consciousness or reality distortion. Again we must underline how Jean Baudrillards ideas of the simulacrum and simulation express finely these questions: Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being, or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor does it survive it. It is nevertheless the map that precedes the territory precession of simulacra- that engenders the territory...It is the real, and not the map, whose vestiges persist here and there in the deserts that are no longer those of the Empire, but ours. The desert of the real itself. (1994:1) Furthermore, I think that these themes around hypertext and the nature and structure of hypermedia environments can be related to how subjectivity conformation in the postmodern condition is taking place; I believe that Lars Lvlie in his study of postmodernism and subjectivity puts this: Let us pursue the idea of the subject as text, that is, submitted to or enmeshed in the ever changing permutations of its own life. . . Doubt has been thrown on the idea that subjectivity is the essential unity of self or reason. Then the bold move was taken towards describing subjectivity as a structure of signs. By this version of the linguistic turn the idea of a centre as either an origin or an end had to be discarded and replaced by the notion of subjectivity without a centre. (1992:125) Considering the above, hypermedia are is ?a determinant feature of postmodern culture. It is in respect of this that Mark Poster considers that the culture is increasingly simulational in the sense that the media often changes the things that it treats, transforming the identity of originals and referentialities. In the second media age reality becomes multiple (1995a). This takes us to our last theme, which concerns the characteristics of new media in other words, virtual reality.

The concept of virtuality It is now days common to consider the virtual or virtual reality (VR) as a feature of postmodern culture. But in addition to this I want to considerer it as another characteristic that defines the nature of new media. In the process of understanding this other characteristic of virtuality I have come to perceive, in different bodies of literature (Hillis, K. 1996; Lvy, P. 1998; Steuer, J. 1999; Bryant, R. 2001; Lister, M., Dovey, J. et al. 2003), a distinction between two major but intertwined reference points.


For instance Lister et al. (2003) raise two points. First, they examine the literal notion of VR, which involves the immersive and interactive experiences provided by new forms of image and simulation technology. 102 This perspective emphasises and describes the experience of immersion in an environment constructed with computer graphics and digital video with which the user has some degree of interaction (Ibid :35). Second, the look at the metaphorical places and spaces created by or within communicational networks. These two features are often discussed/confused as if they were the same thing. The prevailing point of view is that virtual reality is to be understood as a medium, that is, something like television. As such, VR is defined usually as a collection of technological hardware, computers, head mounted displays, etc., that produces an electronically simulated environment. Such a definition, Steuer would say, is technologically focused, and it is unacceptable in view of the fact that VR is understood solely in terms of the presence or absence of the requisite hardware. Steuer suggests instead that VR should be understood in terms of a particular type of experience, a particular mediated experience. Steuers (1999) attempt to define virtuality in terms of human experience takes him to the key concept of presence and telepresence is interesting. The first is defined as the sense of being in an environment, and unmediated perception is taken for granted. However, Steuer notes that, when perception is mediated by a communication technology, One is forced to perceive two separate environments simultaneously: the physical environment in which one is actually present, and the environment presented via the medium. The term telepresence can be used to describe the precedence of the latter experience in favour of the former; that is, telepresence is the extent to which one feels present in the mediated environment. Telepresence is defined as the experience of presence in an environment by means of a communication medium. (Steuer, J. 1999:35-36) This leads to the idea of virtuality as producing an experience of being there 103 and sometimes in consequence allowing people to feel attachment and belonging. This is why Slater (2002) says: the ideas of virtuality and simulation evoke the construction of a space of representation that can be related to as if it were real, and therefore effects a separation from, or even replacement of, the really real. It therefore contrasts with several terms that might characterize the offline world: real, actual and material' being the central ones (Slater, D. 2002:534). To sum up virtuality as a new reality. One should consider it as an emergent new existential human phenomenon. Philosophically speaking, it could be acknowledged as
Virtual reality is a computer-generated place which is viewed by the participant by goggles. An interesting examination of such phenomena within television media is the film by Hal Ashby titled Being There (1979), based on the novel by Jerzy Kosinsky.
103 102


a new metaphysical and ontological form, involving a new way of becoming, a new mode of being-in-the-world - that is, a mode of being-in-the-World-Wide-Web, being-in-Cyberspace. This is because being there gives people a new sense of belonging and being (Araya, A.A. 1997). This is clearly manifested in ethnographic form in Sherry Turkles study Life on the Screen. Identity in the Age of Internet: Windows has become a powerful metaphor for thinking about the self as a multiple, distributed system . . .The life practice of windows is that of a decentered self that exists in many worlds and plays many roles at the same time. Experiences on the Internet extend the metaphor of windows - now RL [real life] itself can be just one more window. For example: My web browser is a window through which I can get connected to the world. We may acquire a specific identity or an individual character, which is a peculiar mode of being in cyberspace, or On the web I exist as my user id. I meet other people, talk with them, shop for products, enter a chat room, or visit this or that chat room, or visit this or that site I dwell in this intelligible factuality whole called the web (Turkle, S. 1996).

Conclusions I want to reflect on the research questions that are guiding this work, considering what they imply for the advancement in such inquiry. These are: How is education to respond before socio-cultural changing processes shaped by the development and innovation of new informational and communicational technologies? How will educational theory and practice respond in relation to the new subjectivity formation developed as consequence of new technocultural processes, specifically those that determine the new forms of relation that individuals have to reality and to the acquisition to knowledge? In such a context I have in this chapter delineated emergent new communicational environment transformations in such as way as to link postmodernity and technoculture. These have been to be a result of capitalist restructuring. In doing this I have also directed attention to how such phenomena help to deepen understanding of the question of how these relate to the configuration of subjectivity and its formation within postmodern culture. What we have seen up to this point allows us to acknowledge the very firm relationship between the restructuring of a mode of accumulation and the restructuring and assembling of everyday life. This can be discerned in the very process of globalization as an expression of such restructuring. This is because capitalist globalization not only pursues the control of network flows of international investment and finance, but also establishes the global reorganization of consumption 104. Such consumption is implemented in multiple ways by media transnational corporations that consolidate the

We have seen in chapter one how post-Fordism and its patterns of information activity go around organisation of production and arrangement of consumption. See Table 1.


commodification of culture and their associated electronic and digitalized mediation, bringing human experience to a condition of increasingly cultural commodity relations. These new transitions, as we have seen, manifest some of the following characteristics: a) the characteristic elements of new media environments, b) changes in human interaction, c) changes in social epistemology, and d) the conformation of multiple subjectivities. It is from this point of departure that we can perceive the hybridized horizon of the communicational environment. It is most important to acknowledge the complexity of this social and communicational setting, where education is being called into question and challenged. This is why, as mentioned before, we shall consider in the next chapter the concern and debates of educational thinkers about these matters, consequently exploring the educational value of the Internet within considerations of the characteristics of new media - for some the groundwork for proposing the educational possibilities of the Internet. When considering such a value usually we can find two general attitudes: optimism and skepticism. These foster debates that involve different ethical and political issues. Some of the more linear and dichotomy-based discussions are those of simple pro-anti debates, as found, for example, in technophile vs. luddite or luddite vs. utopian discussions. These typically centre on instrumental contentions about the dangers and benefits of new technologies and their usefulness. Many of them sustain the neutrality thesis based on the idea that technologies carry no moral import and are maintained in an uncritical way. Some of them thematise novelty, efficiency, effectiveness, and costbenefit criteria (Blake, N. and Standish, P. 2000).

Such trends have their extremes, one of which might be expressed in the following terms: Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather (Barlow, J.P. 1996). Others recall such extremes by noting politics and machines, describing temporary autonomous zones. New ideas, free of grounding in reality, were free to spin around the network, discussed on news spools, placed in carefully sorted FTP sites. Very often the power of the "network" was seen to have a built-in social Oorder that would topple governments, destroy churches, and revolutionize business (Ford, P. 2001). General discussions concede that the impact of technoculture reflects on epistemologies, identity, and community, and manipulates imagery, notions of representation, modes of informal and online learning, autonomy, privacy under the eye of surveillance. These have repercussions within two contexts: a) civic and political involvement, and b) social interaction and expression (See Table 5 below).


Communicational Environments and its Uses & Possibilities.

Means: Education, Learning, Teaching, Communicating, Processing of Knowledge, etc.

Table 5


Types of Communicational Environments

Learning Environments Distance Learning Environments Gaming Environments Electronic Journal/Library Environments Interface Environments Etc.

Modes of Interactivity Civic & Political Involvement

New Media: Uses & Possibilities Virtual Community Public Sphere . Virtual Democracy

User-to-User User-to-Documents User-to-System Interactivity Via new media

Opportunities for

Online Education

Feedback Monologue Responsive Dialogue Mutual Discourse

Social Interaction & Expression

Network Sociality Public Pedagogies New Forms of Social Identity


Chapter IV: Towards a Possibility of a Critical Theory and Emancipatory Education in Cyberspace: A Debate
Cyberspace is a new field for old dreams. It is the latest meeting place for both doing things together and trying to figure out, as we never cease to do, where we might be going with it (Phelan, J.M. 2003:153). Cyberspace is the `place` where a telephone conversation appears to occur. Not inside your actual phone, the plastic device on your desk. Not inside the other person's phone, in some other city. The-place-between-the-phones. The indefinite -place-outthere, where the two of you, human beings, actually meet and communicate." Bruce Sterling

Optimism of the potential of cyberspace, an introduction Cyberspace 105 is characterized by a wide range of cyberspatial activity and within this is a wide spectrum of visions in respect to different aspects and themes about the Internet, but what does seem to predominate in respect to its possibilities is optimism. Educational thinkers are also debating about the educational value of the Internet; such disputes are contained within an ample range of understandings but also are dominated by cyberoptimistic attitudes. Among discussions surrounding the issues of cyberspace are many that dont directly bring about educational questions, but centre instead in a wider social perspectives, but still may have indirect influence on specific educational matters, since these dont have direct issues relating critical education and critical pedagogy which will be the main interest in this chapter they need not be dealt with.

The word cyber, apparently referring to the science of cybernetics, was well-chosen for this purpose, as it derives from the Greek verb "Kubernao", which means "to steer" and which is the root of our present word "to govern". It connotes both the idea of navigation through a space of electronic data, and of control which is achieved by manipulating those data. For example, in one of his novels William Gibson describes how someone, by entering cyberspace, could steer computer-controlled helicopters to a different target. Gibson's cyberspace is thus not a space of passive data, such as a library: its communication channels connect to the real world, and allow cyberspace navigators to interact with that world. The reference to cybernetics is important in a third respect: cybernetics defines itself as a science of information and communication, and cyberspace's substrate is precisely the joint network of all existing communication channels and information stores connecting people and machines. The word "space", on the other hand, connotes several aspects. First, a space has a virtually infinite extension, including so many things that they can never be grasped all at once. This is a good description of the already existing collections of electronic data, on e.g. the Internet. Second, space connotes the idea of free movement, of being able to visit a variety of states or places. Third, a space has some kind of geometry, implying concepts such as distance, direction and dimension. The most direct implementation of the latter idea is the technology of virtual reality, where a continuous three-dimensional space is generated by computer, which reacts to the user's movements and manipulations like a real physical space would. Principia Cybernetica Web: [19/08/2004 19:57:58]



Although briefly are to be mentioned perspectives that stand by cyberoptimism that can be acknowledged as right wing oriented or neo-liberal, these sometimes share conservative and pragmatic analyses linked to globalisation and free market under the scope of entrepreneurial dynamics. Some critiques have indicated there convergence with a deterministic view of technology and new managerialism. Another aspect of this optimist trend can be found in the less traditional Cyberlibertarian vision 106 which is perhaps most clearly enunciated in a publication first released in (1994) by the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a manifesto entitled Cyberspace and the American Dream: A Magna Carta for the Knowledge Age by Esther Dyson, George Gilder, George Keyworth, and Alvin Toffler. This and other similar discourses lie in obtaining its legitimacy from metaphysics of technological progress and therefore Kelemen and Smith mention that the mobilization of cyberlibertarian rhetoric for political and managerial ends is not surprising (2001:372) 107. As a token of the cyberlibertarian optimism and its rhetoric, I extract the following expressive paragraph from Cyberspace and the American Dream: A Magna Carta for the Knowledge Age which reads: What our 20th-century countrymen came to think of as the American dream, and what resonant thinkers referred to as the promise of American life or the American Idea, emerged from the turmoil of 19th-century industrialization. Now its our turn: The knowledge revolution, and the Third Wave of historical change it powers, summon us to renew the dream and enhance the promise (Dyson, E., Gilder, G. et al. 1994). Langdon Winner perceives cyberlibertarianism as collection of ideas that links ecstatic enthusiasm for electronically mediated forms of living with radical, right wing libertarian ideas about the proper definition of freedom, social life, economics, and politics in the years to come (Winner, L. 1997a); other cyberlibertarian visions and other much the same discourses can be seen also as virtual ideology that produces illusions and propaganda which builds a rhetoric of the mythology of cyberspace instead of a sociology of cyberspace. (Robins, K. 1995; Robins, K. and Webster, F. 1999; Karim, K.H. 2001). Such mythology of cyberspace is overthrown as a mythology of progress, in this respect Karim comments: The utopic vision of progress is characterized by a millennialism that conceives of a progressive movement towards ultimate fulfillment. Whereas religion offers the individual the dream of paradise, she is promised material comforts in an earthly utopia in the secular domain. The means of progress for the righteous is good deeds and correctly performed ritual, while for the adherents of the technological world-view it is hard work and the proper use of technology. Contemporary propaganda implies that technological improvements within information society will

Other proponents of this vision could be: Nicholas Negroponte, Being Digital -- A book (p) review," Wired, February 1995; Bill Gates, The Road Ahead, revised edition (New York: Penguin Books, 1996). 107 For instance Kelemen and Smith (2001) mention as examples government initiatives to offer Internet training to the unemployed as a way to increase their chances to find employment.



ultimately lead to the arrival of the perfect state in which all desires of consumers will be fulfilled (Karim, K.H. 2001:118). We have for instance Vice President Albert Gore statement: We are on the verge of a revolution that it is just as profound as the change in the economy that came with the industrial revolution. Soon electronic networks will allow people to transcend the barriers of time and distance and take advantage of global markets and business opportunities not even imaginable today, opening up a new world of economic possibility and progress.
Vice President Albert Gore, Jr. in President William J. Clinton A Framework for Global Electronic Commerce, Washington D.C.

Further Karim (2001) mentions how Wertheim (1999) in his The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace: A History of Space from Dante to the Internet, notes that many characterizations of the Internet, as described above are drawn from biblical descriptions of heaven. 108 But again in respect to cyberlibertarian perspectives, it can be said that they are composed by a special amalgam of ideas 109 that separates them in contradictory ways from more traditional right-wing contesters 110. In first place because they embrace a radical anti-establishment stance. For them the internet is thus seen as inclusive, not exclusive, domain that can be purposefully used by individuals in order to challenge and resist existing hierarchies (Kelemen, M. and Smith, W. 2001:378). In contrast, cyberlibertarian agenda for the government is Defining property rights in cyberspace is perhaps the single most urgent and important task for government information policy (Dyson, E., Gilder, G. et al. 1994), but at the same time they are defined by their anti-regulation and management control imposed by any government. Its other stance, is its Laissez-faire cyberlibertarian view which enhances individual freedom and the potential to experience pleasure, they oppose the view that liberty is a product of regulation. In cyberlibertarian rhetoric the nature of freedom, of a free society, also can grasped as free market capitalism where technology is perceived within its usefulness, so they say In cyberspace itself, market after market is being transformed by technological progress from a natural monopoly to one in which competition is the rule(Ibid), and within this rhetoric there is a stretch relationship between freedom of market and individual freedom, as we can see in the following
108 It is interesting to point out an analytic tradition which studies how dominant information society theory and its rhetoric produces an ideology that could be called mythology of progress, and therefore emphasises a need to de-mythologize. See for instance Karims (2001) Cyber-Utopia and the Myth of the Paradise (Karim, K.H. 2001). Also there is a reference of such discourses as evangelism. 109 The origins of the radical libertarian stance lies in the history of the development of the personal computer (PC) as a radical social artefact which was associated with non-mainstream innovators and once non-conformist linked to the 1960s counter culture movement; an interesting account of these events can be found in Roszak (1994) The Cult of Information. (Roszak, T. 1994) 110 Langdon Winner (1997) emphasises that The combined emphasis upon radical individualism, enthusiasm for free market economy, disdain for the role of government, and enthusiasm for the power of business firms places the cyberlibertarian perspective strongly within the context of right wing political thought.


statement in the Cyberspace and the American Dream: A Magna Carta for the Knowledge Age: America, after all, remains a land of individual freedom, and this freedom clearly extends to cyberspace. How else to explain the uniquely American phenomenon of the hacker, who ignored every social pressure and violated every rule to develop a set of skills through an early and intense exposure to low-cost, ubiquitous computing. Those skills eventually made him or her highly marketable, whether in developing applications-software or implementing networks. The hacker became a technician, an inventor and, in case after case, a creator of new wealth in the form of the baby businesses that have given America the lead in cyberspatial exploration and settlement (Dyson, E., Gilder, G. et al. 1994). We have then within the cyberlibertarian perspectives an interesting mix of anarchism and eighteenth-century laissez-faire (Kelemen, M. and Smith, W. 2001:380); in here we can perceive behind their emphasis on individualism that their understanding of cyberspace is a pleasure machine or a money making machine. Furthermore Langdon Winner (1997a) mentions that another key theme in this emerging ideology is that of radical individualism. Writings of cyberlibertarians revel in prospects for ecstatic self-fulfillment in cyberspace and emphasize the need for individuals to disburden themselves of encumbrances that might hinder the pursuit of rational self-interest. The experiential realm of digital devices and networked computing offers endless opportunities for achieving wealth, power and sensual pleasure 111. In accordance to the issue above, Kelemen and Smith (2001) in their critique of cyberlibertarian rhetoric emphasize that there is no rational project in which the individuals engage collectively, rather their only individual project is pleasure for themselves and the presence of the other serves exactly this purpose (383). We have the following example: Our world is changing, and communications are central to this change. Digital media have revolutionised the information society. Multi-channel television will soon be available to all. More and more people can gain access to the Internet, through personal computers, mobile phones, and now even games consoles. The choice of services available is greater than ever before. High-speed telephone lines give households access to a whole new range communication services and experiences. Using their TV sets people are able to email, shop from home, and devise their own personal viewing schedules. The communications revolution has arrived.
Foreword to A new Future of Communications UK Government White Paper (Policy Proposal) DTI/DCMS, December 2000 []

There are other similar expressions which permeate positive utopian orientation in respect to cyberspace which are characterized by conservative and nostalgic right-wing

Emphasis mine.


tones identified also as technoromanticism designated by Kevin Robins (1995) as the otherworldliness positive cyber-utopianism which is conformed by a view of the magical-aesthetic aspect of technology. It is important to acknowledge that even if such rhetorical lucubrations dont directly address issues related to education, they do show directives of how is education to be addressed and managed, therefore it can be asserted that the logic behind the right-wing cyberlibertarian perspectives are close to the analyses I have made in chapter two about the entrepreneurial engagement of universities and the virtual informational model of the university within the context of post/Fordist social rearrangements. Such right-wing perspectives may have different streams in respect to their positions, but can be associated with a general Neoliberal discourse of technology (based on economical theses) in which John Armitage interprets as principally concerned with legitimating the political and cultural control of individuals, groups, and new social movements through the material and ideological production, promotion, distribution, and consumption of self-styled virtual technologies like virtual reality (VR) and cyberspace (Armitage, J. 1999). For liberals, the favored response to signs of social unrest is now, as it has always been, to boost economic growth. Alas, that strategy no longer carries the warm glow it had in decades past. For it is increasingly obvious that the material benefits of growth presently flow only to the top twenty percent of the populace; everyone else is sinking. Seizing upon the oxymoron of "corporate responsibility," even conservative politicians feel compelled to address an obvious sickness in democracy: rapidly growing inequality. Again Langdon Winner annotates the link between technological tendencies and globalism: For liberals, the favored response to signs of social unrest is now, as it has always been, to boost economic growth. Alas, that strategy no longer carries the warm glow it had in decades past. For it is increasingly obvious that the material benefits of growth presently flow only to the top twenty percent of the populace; everyone else is sinking. Seizing upon the oxymoron of "corporate responsibility," even conservative politicians feel compelled to address an obvious sickness in democracy: rapidly growing inequality. The sources of these complaints can be traced to the rise of the global economy of the late twentieth century under the guidance of transnational corporations. Flexible arrangements of finance, communications and production now easily extend to every corner of the planet. Capital formerly invested in public and private institutions of North America is now mobile and is, in fact, rapidly on the move. Aided by convenient channels of information technology, those who control the world's wealth are now liquidating organizations, vocations, and social practices of every description, regardless of how crucial they are to the vitality of local communities. The same cost-cutting impetus that inspires corporate downsizing now informs the reduction of government budgets and public services. Individuals, households, villages, towns, states,


nations, and regions have all been put on notice: you will be evaluated solely on your ability to "add value" in the global marketplace. At stake at the Education Summit and in increasingly common pronouncements from politicians and businessmen is one of the thinly veiled threats that have become so common in the age of global economics. "Yield to our corporate demands or we are out of here!" The worldwide, virtual corporation uses its power to extract concessions from states and local communities. Along with tax breaks, subsidies and the relaxation of environmental and workplace regulations, it now wants effective control of what is taught and how. Favoured now are classrooms with "high standards" (the CEOs will let us know what they are) at rock bottom prices, and with plenty of high technology to acclimate students for computerized, surveillancecentered workplaces now upheld as the desirable norm (Winner, L. 1997b). Up to now there has bean a brief description and comments about cyberoptimism within its more conventional strand in which outstands the Neoliberal view point; this is as I have shown from a more critical stand point it is not very promising in many aspects if we are to consider that generally withholds the status quo and therefore tends to be uncritical economism and many of their claims are based on technologically determinist tendencies 112, so this awakens at least several questions. How do we go beyond this Neoliberal technological discourse? How to go beyond their implicit or explicitly agendas and their implied politics of cyberculture? Or, how do we go beyond the truths that may be concealed or fail to reveal their true intentions? How to further understand optimism when there are other progressive perspectives that are to optimist? How can cyberoptimism be justified? I think that one possible course of action is to explore and review the state of debates around the Internet and education in which we can follow from a more critical reception of the related issues, in doing this it will be relevant to mark a line between different optimist trends and the need to outline if in such debates there is a clear stance about technology. Also in displaying the nature of the discussions in such debates they should not only be integrated by enthusiastic and critical views, but also skeptical ones, in this context it is relevant what Blake and Standish point out: To be sceptical about certain aspects of the Internet is not to be indiscriminately dismissive. One might coherently like or dislike different applications and their uses. So it does remain possible to discuss with critical enthusiasm a radical variety of potentials of the internet, not least in education. Nonetheless, critical scepticism about the Internet retains it serious purpose, and we anticipate this will be an ever-present and important strand in educational writing on online education (Blake, N. and Standish, P. 2000:3).
A more well balance overview of the Internet in general can be found in Castells were he focuses in the conflicting trends of rapid globalization and the corresponding resistance against the same, stemming from the structural instability of work, space, and time. as a possibility in cyberspace is the practical considerations of the use of new technologies as countercultural activity, and not as mainstream activities in the Internet which depend on more entrepreneurial activities.


Because of the above I have opted to present a debate that incorporates the problematic of education, cyberspace and critical pedagogy 113, these discussions depart from two approaches but share the tradition of critical theory inaugurated by Adorno and Horkheimer 114. The first approach leads to a development digital narratives of cyberspace and intends to renew the traditional form of freirian Critical Pedagogy, and the second approach auto defines herself as Counter-Education and overtly responds to critical educational theorist and addresses the challenges imposed by cyberspace 115. My presentation of the debate will focus in exhibiting within their discussion, their aims, claims, main arguments, and the nature of what is the centre of its critique, also I will delineate their implicit or explicit concept of education, finally I will offer my own interpretation of such debate, by emphasising on what is common in their discussion and what is not. Within this, I will also delimit from my point of view the misunderstandings and/or disagreements turned about in the response acknowledged by Counter-Education (Gur-Zeev) to Critical Pedagogy in its postmodern version. Lastly I must strengthen the matter that critical pedagogy 116 and its discourse on the potential of cyberspace in the context of postmodern cultural spaces, takes into question central matters of this thesis, and one of this is: How is education going to respond in reassessing its goals, its theorizations and practices as a result of the effects of technocultural processes? Among the different mentioned perspectives, next I synthesize some of their basic elements in the following table:

There can be distinguished different kinds of cyberoptimism with different proposing educational paths; I will centre in those who share the critical theory from the school of Frankfurt. We can differentiate those who build their theoretical framework within a modernist perspective, and those who are oriented by postmodern ideas and are optimist (positive utopianism), and those who are pessimist with different expressions which speaks in terms of cultural pathology, and the negative technocultural effects of cyberculture (negative utopianism). 114 Some antecedents of negative utopian visions of technology and society can be encountered in Adorno and Horkheimer (1972) and can further be identified as analysis of Technology as Domination Theorist in certain Marxist traditions such as the Scientific Socialism and also by some neo-Luddite theorist; some basic determinations of such positions would be: a) Focused on the labour process, and how technology dominates labour power. b) Focused on media processes and the development of Culture Industry this perceives subjectivity constitution by a machine-saturated society and as a process of victimized exploitation. 115 Noted also should be, that this dual debate is also a response to the mainstream discourse of the Neoliberal system. 116 But also I must recollect from my first chapter that a central assumption of the argument of this thesis which is based on the idea that traditionally classical ideals of education ranging from the Greeks version of Paideia, up to the German tradition of Bildung, remain important insofar for their intended goal to shape and form more fully realize human beings, a vision of humanity as being that which is capable of transcending itself and reshaping itself and its world; in opposition with other more contemporary conceptions of education that chose other paths in respect to their selected goals.



A schematic account of different visions of technology, society and its impact on possibilities for education

Uncritical Cyberoptimism



Economic Thesis Technology for Progress Technological Means for Managerial or Entrepreneurial Ends
(Functionalist Oriented)

Cultural Thesis

Cultural Thesis

Technology as an Instrument of Domination

Focus in Labour Studies Focus in Media Studies

Anti-Establishment Use of Technology

Post-Fordist Perspective Restructure of a mode of accumulation. Flexible Accumulation Virtual University ----A conservative, nostalgic, right wing version and a more radical and Laissezfaire cyberlibertarian view. The Cyberlibertarian Perspective Promoting legitimacy from metaphysics of technological progress. Neoliberal Discourse of Technology & Globalism Education & new managerialism e-learning.

Frankfurt School Tradition: Critical Theory Adorno-Horkheimer Idea of Bildung Analysis of Culture Industry perceives subjectivity constitution by a machine-saturated society and as a process of victimized exploitation. Dystopian and radical pessimism in respect to technology and society.

Frankfurt School Tradition: Critical Theory & Critical Pedagogy in Its Different Forms Within a modern perspective Pablo Freire, Giroux et. al. they seek to preserve critical theory tradition in its classic sense.

Counter - Education Perspective A struggle against normalising education and a critique to postmodern oriented critical pedagogy. Ilan Gur-Zeev

Within postmodern spaces: Michael Peters, Colin Lankshear, et. al. they depart from a need to rearticulate critical pedagogy.


A Debate on the Educational Potential of Cyberspace The first proponents in the discussion we are to begin to explain depart from the idea of the possibilities of critical pedagogy in cyberspace, so before we start to expound such proponents I will briefly introduce some elements that can define the basic elements of critical pedagogy. We begin to contextualize critical pedagogy discourse in relation to its intention of the possibility of a critical theory and emancipatory education. To do so, I will next emphasize on the general tenets that serve as an historical tradition of humanistic education in which critical pedagogy inserts her self; so we can further perceive the analyses made by the first proponents of this discussion. Briefly I will turn to Nimrod Alonis (1999) Humanistic Education where we can capture basic questions of the historical educational projects of humanization, first he distinguishes three fundamental tenets of humanistic education: 1. - The philosophical, with a conception of men and women as an autonomous and rational being and a fundamental respect for all humans by virtue of being endowed with freedom of will, rational thinking, moral conscience, imaginative and creative powers. 2. The socio-political, consisting of a universal ethics of human equality, reciprocity, and solidarity and a political order of pluralistic, just and humane democracy, and, 3. The Pedagogical, consisting in the commitment to assist all individuals to realize and perfect their potentialities. For Aloni (1999) theoretically, Humanistic Education can be classified into four distinct forms or approaches: The first form is the classical, the second form of humanistic education the romantic, naturalistic, or therapeutic approach, the third form is the existentialist, and the fourth form of humanistic education is most often identified with Radical Education or Critical Pedagogy and with the pedagogical theories of Freire, Apple, Giroux, Simon, and Kozol. The rational or philosophy that guides critical pedagogy according to Aloni is that: radical educators argue, pedagogy should become more political and the political more pedagogical. This implies three major changes in our educational system. It requires, (a) that educational discourse, policy, and practice would deal directly with the notions of power, struggle, class, gender, resistance, social justice, and possibility; (b) that teachers would aim to emancipate and empower their students towards the kind of critical consciousness and assertive point of view that allow people to gain control over their lives; and (c) that teachers, in the words of Giroux, would struggle collectively as transformative make public schools democratic public spheres where all children, regardless of race, class, gender, and age, can learn what it means to be able to participate fully in the ongoing struggle to make democracy the


medium through which they extend the potential and possibilities of what it means to be human and to live in a just society (Aloni, N. 1999) Another central matter in the question about addressing critical pedagogy perspective as a possibility in cyberspace is the practical considerations of the use of new technologies as countercultural activity, and not as mainstream activities in the Internet which depend on more entrepreneurial activities; this takes us to initiate our depiction of the first proponents. An initial discussion of the viability of critical pedagogy in cyberspace Although there are various analyses and discussions within critical pedagogy about new technology, new media and critical literacy, I will centre specifically on an edited book by H. Giroux, C. Lankshear, P. McLaren and M. Peters entitled: Counternarratives: Cultural Studies and Critical Pedagogies in Postmodern Spaces (1996) and will explore in particular its chapter 6 denominated Critical Pedagogy and Cyberspace, a perspective by Colin Lankshear, Michael Peters and Michele Knobel. It must be acknowledged that such a discussion is part of a more extensive body of work, among them would be: (Bigum, C. and Lankshear, C. 1998; Lankshear, C., Peters, M. and Knobel, M. 2000; Goodson, I., Mangan, J.M., Lankshear, C. and Knobel, M. 2001; Peters, M. 2002; Lankshear, C. 2003; Peters, M., Lankshear, C. and Olssen, M. 2003; Knobel, M. 2005; Lankshear, C. 2005). In line with their commitment to an educational project of critical pedagogy their main contention is that critical pedagogy is a most definitely viable educational enterprise within cyberspace although they argue on the need to rearticulate Freirian critical pedagogy, they comment that: Critical pedagogy does not, however, enjoy an easy transition from the space of conventional printed texts to that of the digitally coded ether. On the contrary, it undergoes something of a sea change: elements need to be rethought and reworked (Lankshear, C., Peters, M. et al. 1996:149). The structure of their arguments is developed in four sections A) Characteristic features of critical pedagogy within according to them are its modernist space of enclosure, B) Postmodern spaces emerging with information society, cyberspace C) A dissertation of four themes that lead to new possibilities for critical pedagogy in cyberspace, and D) Resumed ideas for theoretical and practical extensions of critical pedagogy in cyberspace. A) Characteristic features of critical pedagogy within its modernist space of enclosure and the pressing impediments imposed in practice of critical pedagogy in such contexts. Initially I will start with a brief description of their conception of education as is to be in the context of modernity. In a generic sense they define critical pedagogy as a family-related set of critical practices in and around education originating, most visibly, with Paulo Freires work in the 1960s. Freires work was taken up and developed from the late 1970s as a distinct (ive) educational project, especially in North American settings (Ibid:150). This trend is mainly represented among some of them by Giroux, McLaren, Weiler, Aronowitz, and Ellsworth. 112

Their emphasis is that critical pedagogy is grounded in a view of schooling as a form of cultural politics, this because schooling referring to Peter McLaren - always represents an introduction to, preparation for, and legitimation of particular forms of social life(1989:160). Furthermore, schooling always involves power relations, social practices, and privileged forms of knowledge Therefore critical pedagogy is a response to these cultural politics of schooling (Ibid: 150). In consequence Colin Lankshear, Michael Peters, and Michele Knobel, underline that: The task of critical pedagogy, in this regard, is to unmask hegemonies and critique ideologies with the political and ethical intent of helping to empower students and, more generally, the social groups to which they belong; by fostering awareness of conditions that limit possibilities for human becoming and legitimate the unequal distribution of social goods (Ibid:150) Such view which relates to the practical issues of critical pedagogy they continue mentioning- represent central questions in late modernity, run by a transformative ethos (knowledge as a practice) which is linked to the theme of empowerment, in terms of an education for the self (personal growth) and social change (public life), thus challenge unequal and antidemocratic structures and processes, and seek to establish a more egalitarian and humanizing alternatives in their place (Ibid:151). Some of the central themes of the late modernist conception of critical pedagogy would be: Themes of empowerment/emancipation in terms of an education for self and the social change, relating critical pedagogy to personal growth to public life, by emphasising the dialectics in the conformation of self and society. The twin concepts of hegemony/ideology are politically conformed as a task to unmask hegemonies and critique ideologies and thus helping to empower by engaging students and teachers in transformative social practices that challenge unequal and antidemocratic structures. The social constructed character of knowledge, which is grounded epistemologically by defining knowledge as praxis, in this way we get to know the world by acting on it in way that can change it. Pedagogy would then engage students in developing habits for inquiry and critical curiosity.

Consequently with theses practices of critical pedagogy intend to produce a counternarrative of pedagogy as cultural practice which draws on progressive aspects of extant narratives and critiques their counterproductive tendencies, in pursuit of narratives of democratic pedagogy in opposition to official normalizing conceptions and practices of instruction and measurement (Ibid:31). Although Lankshear, Peters, consider that some pressing impediments are imposed in practice by exigencies of the classroom setting, curriculum and syllabus demands, the organization of learning around conventional text forms modeled, paradigmatically, on the book, and by the historically evolved role and identity of the teacher 117.

Emphasis mine


(Ibid:152). In this manner, such problems are identified within spaces of enclosure which is characterized by the school as a modern institution, and where the book, the classroom and the curriculum can be viewed as intermeshed fixed enclosures which operate in concert to separate educational engagement from wider spheres of social practice: substituting reliance on text for an integrated experience of word in relation to the world 118 (Ibid:154). This critique which perceives the school as the quintessential modernist institution space of enclosure since it is based in the book as the text paradigm, leads to several relevant questions that lead to expose at least two matters: First, they arrive to the question that critical pedagogy needs some reshaping in this new context of transformation (Ibid:160-61) thus their emphasis in a transition for critical pedagogy in respect to changes in technological and communicational environments. Accordingly they undergo in defining the characteristic features of critical pedagogy within the above mentioned modernist spaces of enclosure and by doing so, they address and reveal shortcomings within this historical context and therefore they arrive in distinguishing a range of issues and concerns that emerge from the practices and theories of critical pedagogy in the context of modernity. Second, it leads them through the examination of the characteristic features of critical pedagogy within numerous accounts of theory and practice in schools that evolved during the 1980s in the context of modernity and as a result underlining the shortcomings they have encountered, and from there theorize some contemporary themes that relate to the questions of new communicational environment uses and potentials. (See table 1, Chapter III) The Pressing impediments imposed in practice of critical pedagogy by the exigencies of the demands of the classroom, the curriculum and the syllabus in the cultural context of modernity, and some of the issues and concerns that emerge from the practices and theories of critical pedagogy in the context of modernity, are according to the aforementioned authors are the following: (i) Even though building critical inquiry was to be done by generative themes which would reduce teacher-centredness, critical pedagogy often remained strongly teacher-controlled orchestrated.

In this respect Lankshear, Peters, et al. acknowledge Elizabeths Ellsworth critique when referring that critical pedagogy is inescapably vulnerable to compromises inherent in the essentially paternalistic 119 project of education itself and by underlining that there is the constant risk that strategies such as student empowerment and dialogue may give the illusion of equality, but, in effect, leave the authoritarian nature of the teacher/student relationship intact. (Ellsworth, E. 1989:306) there are also reports on difficulties in effecting transformative action and in changing in significant ways the social relations of authority and
Emphasis mine. Although the theme of paternalistic education is never problematized by the authors. For instance, a given guidance by parents and/or teachers can be considered as paternalistic thus under the above logic guidance can be considered a negative feature, reasoning which is open to question. It seems that they associate paternalism with hierarchy/authoritarianism.
119 118


knowledge production within formal settings (Lankshear, C., Peters, M. et al. 1996:154). In view of these issues I must stress how they can be related to questions I have mentioned before around the new nature of hypermedia environment, in this case the opposition among hierarchy-centredness structure vs. non-hierarchical rhizomatic structures and forms of organization characteristic of the new media structure such as the web and in general the network society. (ii) As indicated before, Lankshear, Peters, et al. determine that in modernity practices of critical pedagogy within formal settings remain bounded by curriculum (which is obligatory and requires full-time attendance) and syllabus demands, and consequently the book (print media) turns to be the central medium and mediator of knowledge, this is interpreted as forms of spaces of enclosure (1996:153)

They emphasise that the book/text (and the curricular knowledge embodied in the book) stands between the learner and the world, with several limiting consequences. Learners experience of much of the world to be known is in danger of remaining bookish: the World is reduced to Words, and remains known at the level of words (Ibid). In their analyses of the pedagogical determination of the book Lankshear and Peters emphasise that in order to establish coherence on the model of linear arguments, authors of print texts are almost inevitably obliged to forgo much of the fluidity, dynamism and complexity of their subject matter (Ibid: 155). The above they continue to mention- is closely related to the assumption that books and other text enclose meaning, and that the task of readers is to extract this meaning, legitimates the role of teacher as the presumed authority on matters of interpretation and accuracy: the teacher standing in for the author and for the (experiential) world (Ibid) Necessarily as we shall see in this line of argument it will lead to matters relating to hypertext. (iii) Another limitation or restriction described to critical pedagogy in practice was inevitably limited and partial scope of local and immediately available concerns, experiences, expertise, subjectivities, and identities. (Ibid: 153) this because there was a restriction to the range of possibilities available within the community. This can also be contrasted within the possibilities that can be obtained now with the use of networked media.


Another critique was in relation to the conception of social identities in the sense that they were too centered and reductionist, this because Lankshear, Peters, et al. continue: Centered and reductionist social identities screened out many important issues and masked the contradictory and overlapping nature of social positions and identities: leaving students with a limited perceptual and experiential base from which to frame and enact moral and political changes (Ibid:154) This has


brought into question the need to include richer and more realistic accounts and theoretical models of human subjectivity and identity (Ibid: 155-56).

B) Postmodern spaces emerging with information society, cyberspace One of the premises that these authors depart is that of the theme of transition, first the point out the not so easy transition from the space of conventional printed texts to that of the digitally coded ether (Ibid:149) and because of this is the challenge for critical pedagogy to be rethought and reworked. But the context of the discussion about transition is linked to understanding the transition between modernity and postmodernity, between modernist and postmodern culture. It is in such context that they acknowledge how different theories have emerged since the 1960s; they are the post-industrial society, Information society, network Society that develop notions about the signs of change within different terms, noting that some changes are to be understood as a continuity, such as Frederic Jameson insistence in perceiving postmodern development as part of the cultural logic of late capitalism. Others emphasise that current transitions are a result of a break that brings a new social form. What is underlined by Lankshear, Peters, et al. is that such theories about sociocultural transition introduce queries about the effects of information technologies and therefore open debates that include positive tendencies or attitudes to such developments, thus the emergence of ideas of utopian promise, but at the same time contemporary social analysis has its darker side, pessimistic forbidding side (Ibid: 159) that points to increasing economic rationalization that is related to capitalist restructuring as economic rationalization. Lankshear, Peters reassume the optimist side by developing contemporary themes around postmodern spaces emerging with information society, and specifically cyberspace. And as mentioned before, this inevitably takes them to the discussion of some of the main characteristics of new media and educational considerations in the light of the emergence of the new hypermedia communicational environment; and as an outcome building an argument on how in the context of postmodern culture these technologies can be perceived as a potential for a reshaped practice of critical pedagogy, and therefore make possible a viable educational enterprise within cyberspace. Such line of thinking within the arguments mentioned above takes their aims and analyses to looking beyond modernist spaces of enclosure: being open to developing emergent postmodern spaces in ways that employ and enhance their distinctive potential for critical practices of learning and educating (Ibid:157) and underline the prominence of redefined notions of textuality that impact a wider reconfiguration of subjectivity, which leads to the re-examination of the question of the subject directly in terms of decentring and multi-vocality, multiple and shifting subjectivities and the fluidity of identity in cyberspace, which at the same time can be forwarded to possibilities for multiple and non linear forms of learning and teaching interactions (Ibid:160). 116

At the light of the shortcomings mentioned above, Lankshear, Peters, et al. underline that theorist committed to the project of critical pedagogy address such situation by insights from postmodern post-structural theories as a way to look beyond modernist spaces of enclosure. This transition obeys to the late changes in society and culture which I have previously exposed in other chapters about the information society as a result of the restructuring of late capitalism. C) Themes that provide fruitful bases for generating new possibilities for critical pedagogy in cyberspace. (i) The Decoupling of body and subject, theorizations of multiple and shifting subjectivities. This theme is the one related to new formations and the proliferation of the subject through the interventions of the twentieth-century technologies, this is why Lankshear, Peters, et al. underline the fact that we are already in a world of information flows, relays and feedback cycles, and that these have begun to reshape our subjectivities in ways that are fundamentally important to understanding critical pedagogy in cyberspace (Ibid:163) In here, the authors recognise and give analytical relevance to the fact that there has being a changing of the textual environment, such transition has being from the printbased text (book) and its hierarchical linear logic to a new form of electronic text with a logic that brings about the dissolution of centrality by recurrent use of hypertext as a establishing point of multiple electronic links. Lankshear, Peters, et al. critique commences then in denouncing how critical pedagogy in its archetypal modernist formulations was largely theorized around models of consciousness based on the book as the text paradigm. Subjects tended to be conceived as stable, fixed, continuous identities in a manner roughly analogous to that by which the book (Ibid:161) (I try to summarize in a schema some of the relating questions to models of consciousness see below table # 6) In contrast, new technologies and particularly cyberspace calls in to question all this, for example George Landows statement confirms that we must abandon conceptual systems founded upon ideas of centre, margin, hierarchy, and linearity, and replace them with ones of multi-linearity, nodes, links and networks. (Landow, G.P. 1992:2) Lankshear and Peters undertake this notion of cyberspace and propose the reshaping needs of critical pedagogy under this new context of the fluidity of hypermedia, by emphasising that: practicing critical pedagogy in cyberspace must build upon sophisticated notions of multiplicity. Critical educators must recognize that there are multiple paths for reading and writing, and possibilities for multiple and non-linear forms of learning and teaching interactions. Correspondingly, they must also reconfigure teaching and learning in terms of the concepts of links and networks which have the power to redefine the roles of teachers, administrators and learners (Lankshear, C., Peters, M. et al. 1996:160).



Democratization and the virtual community.

It is recognized by them that critical education have always made the practices of democracy central to education this in terms of democratic process and content by means of shared decision-making, peer group discussion, self evaluationIn cyberspace, we might say, democracy is realized implicitly and as underlying principle (Ibid:163) without ignoring issues of access, pc ownership and other matters. They do no extend much on these questions besides mentioning an often cited characterization of new media and democracy, such as: Cyberspace is constituted by a logic which is both participatory in nature and interactive in terms of format. (Ibid: 164). But the do differentiate between information/data which reduces everything to bits and bites and the relevant distinction of knowledge/meaning, this is to perceive meaning related information that gives possibility to open critique. This they link to the theme of democracy because: In cyberspace meaning making and communicational practices admit a distinction between (realms of) information and knowledge which undercuts the sorts of norms and procedures of regulation and legitimation that have prevailed within enclosures of bookspace. While much more work needs to be done than can be done here, we would suggest that the logics and purposes of user groups, on-line discussion groups, and conferences, etc, and other virtual communities, provide the basis for a first cut at a qualitative distinction (Ibid:171). The Word-World relation in cyberspace. Such notion intends to capture the awareness of textual practices and the making, transmitting, giving and receiving of meanings in and through language (word) are contiguous with and co-constitutive of the larger embodied and enacted meanings that constitute socio cultural practice(s) per se (Ibid). Within such notion assert Lankshear, Peters, et al. is that Pablo Freire draws attention to the relationship between reading the word and reading the world as constitutive elements of socio-cultural practices. It is agued that the typical modernist institutional enclosure does not offer an easy distinction between the Word-World relations; such is the case of the school as an institution with its derived sub-institutions, the book, the textbook, classroom and curriculum which separate out and constitute a set of bounded social practices as educational, and differentiate them from other sets of similarly bounded social practices (Ibid:165) Thus then mystifying the Word-World relations. This according to Lankshear, Peters, et al. in at least four ways: As literacy, Word is thought in school as decontextualized, and therefore as a neutral tool. Meaning itself is very much misconstrued, mainly because it tends to be perceived as it belongs to the Word/book alone rather as a result of social practices of communication.


Consequently they are understood as neutral tools and as matters of individual choice and control The text-dominated school curriculum encourages partial and distorted understandings of the relations and practices that constitute the World. (Ibid: 166)

Some concluding questions in Lankshear, Peters, et al. contributions

If we are to make reference of the contributions made by these authors, then first one to be noted is the recognition of cultural changes in the stance of knowledge, this in the distinction of two changing spheres of knowledge, the modern and the postmodern, I try to capture the essence of this in the following table # 6. These authors in their analysis give certain priority to the question of the emerging new media and the nature of its characteristics, this is so because it is these characteristics that give new possibilities to pedagogy and its critical potential, opening a fruitful terrain on which to revitalize, expand, and reconceived theories and practices of critical pedagogy (173). Related to this situation, is why they share Henry Giroux argument of the need to expand the definition of pedagogy, which suggest: To move beyond a limited emphasis on the mastery of techniques and methodologies and enable students to understand pedagogy as a configuration of textual, verbal and visual practices that seek to engage the process through which people understand themselves and the possible ways in which they engage others and their environment. And to how pedagogy represents: A form of cultural production implicated in and critically attentive to how power and meaning are employed in the construction and organization of knowledge, desires, values and identities (Giroux, H.A. 1996a:54). If well they do refer to many possibilities of extending critical pedagogy into cyberspace environments under formal settings of the classroom, they bestow the possibility to transcend those enclosed spaces impaired by the school and its practices via the curriculum and syllabus demands, and open to thinking of different possibilities of critical education in non formal settings such as cyberspace, this because the openness of cyberspace. This is why the relevancy of the following affirmation: Just as critical pedagogy in cyberspace provides possibilities for transforming classroom practice along more democratic lines, so the insights, information, and exposure to differences and experiences of solidarity gleaned from encounters in cyberspace enhance the prospects of individual and collective action aimed at transforming social practices and relations outside the classroom (Lankshear, C., Peters, M. et al. 1996:185).


We must concede in a need to further a discussion on the many issues exposed by such authors, I will leave to the end of this chapter further comments that can be contested. So the next section of this chapter will be about a particular response that Ilian Gur-Zeev gives to the main proposals of Lankshear, Peters, et al.


CULTURAL CHANGES IN THE STANCE OF KNOWLEDGE Table # 7 MODERN CONCEPT OF KNOWLEDGE MODES OF CONSCIOUSNESS BASED ON THE BOOK PRINTED TEXT ENVIRONMENT (Enclosure forms of consciousness) Based on logic of: centre right - left up down. Favouring a linear structure of arguments. Search to capture: Truth, reality, objectivity. Perceives modernistic concepts of empowerment and the distinction of subject-object dichotomy. POSTMODERN CONCEPT OF KNOWLEDGE MODES OF CONSCIOUSNESS BASED ON A NETWORKHYPERTEXT ENVIRONMENT (Fluid and multiple forms of consciousness) Hypertextual dissolution of centrality and hierarchy, implicit political dimension. Based on a non-linear structure. (Electronic links, nodes) Favouring multiplicity, difference, contingency, fluidity, non-hierarchy and hybridism.

Limitations or shortcomings relating to education: - Determined by modernist spaces of enclosure. - The book as the text paradigm. Separating educational engagement from wider spheres of social practice. - The counterproductive tendencies in critical pedagogy in the context of modernity are based on how some pressing impediments are imposed in practice by exigencies of the classroom setting, curriculum and syllabus demands, the organization of learning around conventional text forms modelled, paradigmatically, on the book, and by the historically evolved role and identity of the teacher (152) - Mystification of the Word-World relationship.

Open possibilities relating critical pedagogy: - Wide access to information on the Internet. - New forms of textuality & intertextuality, providing a new reader-writer control environment, by giving possibilities of diverse forms of engaging text by appropriating it and reauthoring the text and editing it. - Promising directions for reconstructing consciousness and the subject. (Epistemological and ontological dimension) - Thus this implies the overthrow of the book? - Extensive possibilities for constructing personal identity for insights and transformative practices.


Ilan Gur-Zeev responsive critique to critical educational theorist to the challenge posed by cyberspace In this second part of the debate we are going to depart with a response and critique of Ilan Gur-Zeev and which it is aimed to many known representatives of particular trends of critical pedagogy tradition, but giving special attention to Lankshear, Peters, and Knobels (1996) Critical Pedagogy and Cyberspace. I will try to capture some of the basic elements of his responsive critique, which is strongly argued from the Frankfurt School tradition and particularly from Adorno and Horkheimer mature work founded in a philosophic pessimism. Among his body of work (Gur-Zeev, I. 1991, 1998, 1999a; 2002a, 2002b, 2003b) I will turn mainly to Critical Education in Cyberspace? (2000), as noted above it is a direct response to orientations in critical pedagogy that have adopted postmodern thinking. I will also resort to his mentioned body of work to further delineate his conception of education which he auto-denominates Counter-Education. One of the central and mayor critique that Gur-Zeev addresses and challenges is that of disapproving those who endorse critical pedagogy under the post-structural theoretical vein and within such seek the educational possibilities of cyberspace. Such dispute is depicted in the following statement: I claim that in various degrees and ways the influence of postmodernism and the suggestive power of the capitalist order has dissolved the revolutionary and transcendental eros of these critical thinkers and domesticated the modes and the aims of their critical education. Within their cyberoptimism, dialectical thinking is overtaken by the faith in paralogism within the system. Here there is no room for the ideal of the subject or the transformative dialogue. In contrast with traditional critical pedagogy, the postmodern concept of paralogism and contingency cannot move beyond the possibility of change towards the Enlightenments Utopia of emancipation. If I am right, then here these critical thinkers follow postmodernists such as Lyotard, who places his hopes in the uncontrolled paralogism of the capitalist system, and are on the verge of departing from the central aim of critical pedagogy. (Gur-Zeev, I. 2000:216) From such a strong statement follows an argumentative structure of his critique that would include a discursive development that would include at leas some of the following elements: A) The difficulty of critical thinkers in justifying optimism about the possibilities of the educational potential of cyberspace, such difficulty is underlined by emphasising optimistic affinities between critical cyberoptimists and those who are coming from right wing orientations, thus condemning an inability of the critical thinkers to mark a dividing line between them and the right-wing cyberoptimists (Ibid:215).


B) The argument that It is wrong to separate critical pedagogy, critical literacy, or critical education and cyberspace from the issues of capitalist globalisation (Ibid) in other words he considers that they do not face their cyberoptimism with a critical reconstruction of globalising capitalism, its technologies, and the culture industry. C) The problem of an unresolved question in the existence of a gap and tension between the modern contexts of classical critical pedagogy that can be remitted to a modern manifestation of the enlightenment educational project, and that of the postmodern concepts introduced in the idea of the possibilities of critical education in cyberspace. 120

For Gur-Zeev departs from the idea that cyberspace and the globalisation process of capitalism are inseparable, and therefore his conception of cyberspace and its educational possibilitiesif any, must be seen from this perspective. Therefore he develops a critical reconstruction of globalising capitalism, its technologies, and the culture industry, which reflects and enhances its further advancement.

Transcendence in Counter-Education Education

Before we get closer to understanding the authors critique to the new proponents of critical pedagogy and its possibilities in cyberspace it is relevant to understand his conception of education, which can in general terms be understood as a struggle against normalizing education which in his word faces not only the closure of the system as an historical set of power relations and symbolic exchanges [and]begins by addressing the closure of the pre-conditions which enables thinking and activates human relations and the evolution of their products into a system(Gur-Zeev, I. 1999b), so to understand the programmatic function of counter-education we must apprehend the notion of normalizing education, Thus then for Gur-Zeev: Normalizing education has many faces. At its best it is power realizing its responsibility for the efficient subjectification of the subject and its pleasures. Within the process of subjectification it produces the "I". In the course of its production the "I" is constituted as a focus of selfhood in a manner that ensures the identification of the subject with the present order of things, reinforces its justifications, and makes possible the invisibility of the violence which constructs and represents it as "reality". Normalizing education guarantees efficient orientation in the given order of things, perfects competence in its classification and representation, and allows communication and functional behaviour, success, security, pleasure, and social progress. i It distributes these competences, knowledge, and powers in a socially uneven manner,

Such as multiple subjectivities, decentred identities, difference, contingency, fluidity, consequently perceiving cyberspace as one of the manifestations of the postmodern condition.


creating or reproducing social and cultural asymmetries and violences within the system. It not only permits human social life and its normalities, it even constitutes its telosNormalizing education does not influence or limit the self it actually produces the I and the self-evidence of the self. In this respect normalizing education produces the human subject as some-thing and prevents her from becoming some-one, a true subject (Gur-Zeev, I. 2002b). According to Gur-Zeev in the actual globalizing context where cyberspace is dominant normalizing education is moreover present, and becomes more sophisticated, productive, and effective, as the need grows for the international systems ever greater sophistication, for a capitalist reproduction and technological advance (Gur-Zeev, I. 2000:220). Consequently furthering his claim that the aim of education is that of normalization of human beings and the levelling of all into mere things, and by this forcing them to function as agents of the system, as some thing and not as some one (Ibid:221). In these annotations there is implicitly a relation with Heideggers notion of enframing and technology, but further Gur-Zeev is more explicit of such a problematic and its relation to education, in his paper: Martin Heidegger, Transcendence, and the Possibility of Counter-Education he asserts: Modern technology and modern science also display - but in an essentially different way, namely in an instrumental, calculating, and subordinate manner a diminishing of the otherness, the uniqueness of the object. Everywhere everything is ordered to stand by, to be immediately on hand, and indeed to stand there just so that it may be on call for a further ordering... We call it the standing-reserve (Bestand). 121Within this process modern science and technology transform man himself into a standing-reserve. Enframing and unconcealment as roads to realizing human freedom are blocked in a manner that does not enable the human to acknowledge and challenge it. Modern education is part of this process of dismantling the possibilities for self-constitution, of life as unconcealment. Instead life becomes a concern and a response to the call of instrumental, calculated thinking and its fabrications. This is where education can celebrate its victory over the possibilities for counter-education. 122 When thinking comes to an end by slipping out of its element it replaces this loss by procuring a validity for itself as techne, as an instrument of education and therefore as a classroom matter and later a cultural concern 123 (Gur-Zeev, I. 2002b). This is why the concept of instrumental rationality is central to understand the impact of technology and the thinking to the possibilities of critical pedagogy in cyberspace, for Gur-Zeev (2003b) the instrumentalisation of rationality is reconstructed as representing and serving the growing needs of technological progress and economic development (27) and therefore leaves no room for non-efficient and non-pragmatic considerations, and drives out the concepts, ideals, and traditions that allowed
121 122

Martin Heidegger, The question concerning technology, in: Basic Writings, p. 322 Bold mine. 123 Martin Heidegger, Letter on humanism.


speculation and critique of the self-evident and offered transcendence from the oppressive practices of all master signifiers (Ibid:29). Counter-Education, suggests a philosophical, existential, and political negation of normalizing education, this by taking into consideration of a tension between a closure of a system and meaninglessness in one side and human openness and mission which enables transcendence and meaning, on the other (Gur-Zeev, I. 1999b). These annotations are relevant to signal a basic distinction of Counter-Education from that of Critical Pedagogy, which consists in addressing a combination of the ontological with the historical. Within this stance Gur-Zeev emphasises that critical pedagogy avoids the dialectics of nothingness and being, closure and openness, which opens the door for transcendence, and vitalizes the possibility of a disillusioned de-mystification of the realm of self-evidence. In this respect I think it was wrong to assert that my thesis is but another version of Critical Pedagogy (Ibid). From a Counter-Education point of view, transcendence is a central element for struggle, in which can be distinguished different levels, an ontological one that addresses the need of transcending self evidence, transcending the isolation of the ethical I which should strive for alternative subjectivity and the closure of life and its meaningless, thus then the struggle of the human being as a subject for their desubjectification, a struggle to become some-one not some-thing; this is why transcendence is a Utopia. The other level which is a more sociological one, addresses within the logic of communicative action the struggle for autonomy, self-creation, and dialogue, which can turn in many cases as a struggle that is contingent and within temporary and local settings (Ibid). What has being exposed up to here serves right for understanding why Gur-Zeev considers that education contrary to critical pedagogy, has no positive Utopia, this marks his nexus to a tradition of philosophical pessimism and to a the negative utopianism 124 of the mature work 125 of the Critical Theory of Horkheimer and

In Horkheimers work, the change from a Marxian Critical Theory to a pessimistic philosophy is paralleled by an articulation of Critical Theory as a new, Jewish, Negative Theology. This is where the Diasporic dimension is so central to the mature thinking of Adorno and Horkheimer, following the lead of Walter Benjamin on this path. The refusal to dwell in peace in the present order of things, the negation of the facts of the actuality, is but a manifestation of refusal to metaphysical violence and to all kinds of homes, dogmas, and self-satisfaction in a world of pain, injustice, ugliness, and betrayal of love. Since the refused a positive Utopia, in their mature thinking they could not promise a better world as a justification for resistance to normalizing education and the quest for pleasure, success, and hegemony. Homelessness and worthy suffering are ontologically here grounded and become a religious way of life. It is a kind of religiosity which is Messianic without a Messiah. It has no promise of salvation or of redemption. But it might offer a Messianic moment, which will overcome the violence of the governing now-time and open the gate for an alternative way of life, an alternative thinking in which Spirit is reclaimed and the de-humanization of human by the manipulations of the system is being resisted. (Gur-ze'ev, I. 2003a) (Bold mine) 125 In the second stage of the development of their work, both thinkers offer a counter-educational praxis whose religiosity is fertilized by the alarming recognition of the impossible realization of the imperative of human advance towards God, absolute Spirit, or Reason; towards the progressing true knowledge of genuine human interests and realization of their potentials. (Gur-Zeev, I. 2003b:28) The current work of Slavoj Zizek (1993:15) who writes that "the paradox of self-consciousness is that it is possible only against the background of its own impossibility".



Adorno, 126 which from his point of view critical pedagogy has ignored. Thus his criticism by marking that they overemphasize their optimism about the possibility of the constitution of a theoretical and educational framework that will enhance a praxis that, on the other hand, will overcome the logic of capitalism and other forms of oppression (Gur-Zeev, I. 2003a:18). Gur-Zeev then expresses a commitment to confront critical theory with its own negativity (2003b:31) therefore from this position it implies that genuine education must not attempt to transcend negativism; it is committed to antidogmatism and it must resist any manifestation of the self evident (2003b:31) it is within this that countereducation can be understood, and in this sense in his own words, Counter-Education cannot join the party of the cyberoptimists (Ibid). The texts of later Adorno and Horkheimer reconstruct a cultural moment that resembles an Arab story which can also help us capture their sensibility of the present state of things. About vicious magician who poisoned the water of the well whence all the tribe drew its water. Everyone drank from the well - and went mad. Only the king did not drink. It took no time before the rumor spread all over: How sad, our beloved king went crazy. The king, according to this story, who was a wise man, asked his servants to hurry as fast as they could and bring him water from the poisoned well, and when left alone he drank from it. In no time a new rumor spread all over: How wonderful, our beloved king came back to his senses. And so, according to the story, the tribe was saved (Ibid: 30-31). The genuine philosopher is introduced by Adorno and Horkheimer not as a promising educator, but as a neurotic, who manifests his refusal to be cured when insisting on continuing his project of curing normal, realistic-oriented, sane, people (Ibid:30).

Ilan Gur-Zeev Understanding of Cyberspace

The first observation he elaborates around global capitalism and cyberspace are in respect to the restructuring of capitalism in its new mode of production which is known as post-Fordism: Central to global capitalism are its flexibility in contrast to Fordism and the disappearance of the physical market, facing the furthering of

To express the negative dialectics of Horkheimer thinking, Gur-zeev quotes some of such ideas: It is the nature of the revolutionary, every revolutionary, according to later Horkheimer, to become an oppressor. Every revolution, especially a successful one, is a manifestation of power. And justice, when it becomes powerful, is realized only at the cost of its transformation into oppression. In contrast to the Marxian tradition, it is now conceived that as long as even some remnants of freedom survive violence will flourish. In the end, whatever hopes Marx did hold on behalf of true society, apparently they seem to be the wrong ones, if and this issue is important to Critical Theory freedom and justice are interrelated in mutual opposition. The more justice there is, freedom will diminish accordingly. (Gurze'ev, I. 2003b:26)



the identification of the commodity with its representation, of economics with culture. As Frederick Jameson shows us, it is a process within which the reception of the process of consumption is vital to the Hollywoodisation of reality, which manifests the cultural logic of current capitalism. This post-Fordist flexibility is required at all levels and arenas of lifefrom the global flow of finances to the production and consumption of commodities, identities, and knowledge (which is transformed into information) even in schools (Ibid:218). His departure for understanding cyberspace is consistent within the idea that Internet is not a politically and economically neutral sphere; it is in the contrary the most sophisticated manifestation of current global capitalism and its culture industry. (Gur-Zeev, I. 1999a), this is why he declares: It is wrong, I think, to detach the `democratic tendencies of `voice and decentralized symbols and passions floating in cyberspace from current development in global capitalism and the kind of `radical democracy that Mark Poster and Kellner envision in the cyberspace. I think that cyberspace and the globalisation process of capitalism are inseparable. Not only as an economic trend but also as a logic, as a world of passions, hopes, and human narcissistic coexistence where there is nowhere for the `totally other than the present order, and surely not for the otherness of the Other. At the same time, and as part of the current culture industry, there is more need for hailing `free will , subjectivity, relativism, diversity, democracy, fluidity, pleasure, and critical thinking- as long as they are part and parcel of the same dehumanising order (Gur-Zeev, I. 2000:219). Close to the theoretical contributions of Adorno and Horkheimer of the Frankfurt school and their analyses of the culture industries, Gur-Zeev ends up conceiving cyberspace as a pleasure machine, and citizenship in this environment is conditioned by global capitalism. All this is consistent with what is part of the current culture industry and the rhetoric were there is more need for hailing free will, subjectivity, relativism, diversity, democracy, fluidity, pleasure, and critical thinking - as long as they are part and parcel of the same dehumanising order (Ibid: 219). And continuing with the above question he develops an interesting matter in relation to cyberspace and its function to what he calls normalizing education by referring to: Within cyberspace, with technologies as virtual reality, the Internet, the MOOs, and the like reproduce a certain kind of representation, where there is room only for a horizontal diversity, contingency, temporality, fluidity, hybridity, and spectacle, which prospers as long as it efficiently supports the further productivisation of the system. As such, cyberspace 127

contends successfully with all traditional attempts to eternalise, mystify, and de-mystify reality, and allows a new kind of normalising education (Ibid:220). For instance, in respect to cyberspace and its many times suggested dimension of openness, he refers to it as an openness which contains a quantitative infinity, not a qualitative infinity. In it, sameness is clothed as openness to difference only as long as it is part and parcel of the system and its inner logic (Ibid:226) This consequently leads him to reveal that the constitutive element of cyberspace is sameness which generally is camouflaged as infinite diversity, difference and s contingency (Ibid:225). In this respect Gur-Zeev arrives to the conclusion that all of the hopes of critical pedagogy in respect of the possibility of critical education in cyberspace should be contextualized in the present culture industry and its normalising education apparatuses, next to the questioning of the very existence of the subject in cyberspace which duels before the intention of seen him/her as an effective consumer-producer in the capitalist market, as opposed to a subject realising his/hers potential. Being true to a discussion Many of Gur-zeevs critique to critical thinkers seems to be decontextualized since if we revise a wider spectrum of such criticized authors, we actually can find discussions that respond to Gur-Zeev questioning, so in what fallows next we will select some of such cases. I will begin with the following Gur-Zeev annotation: The amazing thing, however, is that when thinkers who see themselves as part of the tradition of critical pedagogy explicitly try to realize critical pedagogy in cyberspace they do not address the theoretical gap between critical pedagogy and its modernist context and cyberspace as a manifestation of a postmodern condition. In their important `critical pedagogy and Cyberspace, Colin Lankshear, Michael Peters, and Michele Knobel are aware of the need to rearticulate critical pedagogy, but there is no systematic theoretical elaboration of the gap and the tensions between a postmodern and an Enlightened educational project 127 (Ibid:211). To be true to a discussion, I must emphasise about two questions in Gur-Zeev critique, and these are related to: a) to detach the `democratic tendencies of `voice and decentralized symbols and passions floating in cyberspace from current development in global capitalism, and about the aforementioned b) the tensions between a postmodern and an Enlightened educational project. When referring to this he is relating it to chapter 6 denominated Critical Pedagogy and Cyberspace, a perspective by Colin Lankshear, Michael Peters and Michele Knobel. Which is part of the edited book by H. Giroux, C. Lankshear, P. McLaren and M. Peters entitled: Counternarratives: Cultural Studies and Critical Pedagogies in Postmodern Spaces (1996), and seems he did not review previous parts of such book where there are

Bold mine


questions mentioned to globalization and global culture, I think relevant to describe some of this. In Chapter One of the mentioned book entitled Postmodern Counternarratives Michael Peters and Colin Lankshear emphasise on the issues criticized by Gur-Zeev, and that as we now shall see, are not omitted, but problematized differently in the following questioning: Postmodernism is often seen as associated in some way with advanced, or late, capitalism. To say this however, is to raise an issue without resolving it. Is postmodernism reactionary and anti modernist? Does it enter into a relation with the logic of late capitalism which serves simply to reinforce that logic, as Jameson (1983) claims, or does it have a double capacity to also resist that logic? (Peters, M. and Lankshear, C. 1996:4) This brings about the issue of an ambiguous nature of postmodernism and within this Peters and Colin Lankshear develop the idea of postmodern counternarratives that have two dimensions. A first, which consists as a critique of the modernist predilection for grand, master, and meta narrativesOne model of the counternarrative in this sense is Theordor Adorno and Max Horkheimers 128 Dialectic of the Enlightenment, a counternarrative which emphasises the dark side of the enlightenment. (Ibid:2); and a second 129 where counternarratives, counter not merely (or even necessarily) the grand narratives, but also (or instead) the official and hegemonic narratives of everyday life (Ibid). For Peters and Colin Lankshear terms like the cultural industry, mass culture, consumer culture, popular culture, information culture or more recently global culture mention that These terms variously attempt to describe culture in its ambiguous relationship to late capitalism or advanced industrial society. In a word these epithets attempt to characterize what we call postmodernism (Peters, M. and Lankshear, C. 1996:23) In this respect we can see that they imply how postmodernism is associated in some way with advanced or late capitalism. They also acknowledge a relationship between postmodernism and the emergence of a systemic global culture in which local differences and knowledges are increasingly submerged in the endless torrent of a global consumerism, circulated more effectively than at any time in the past bay technological advances in telecommunications and world media (Ibid:20), and to this they take up Jamesons ideas: The idea of a cultural dominant does not exclude forms of resistance, and emphasises that postmodernism has both positive and negative factors: the democratization of culture cannot be altogether bad, even heterogeneity is a positive thing. Underlining Jamesons pointing out that many of these seemingly negative features

This is interesting notation when Gur-zeev mentions a complete disregard of Adornos and Horkheimers mature work, which in addition Adornos and Horkheimers work Dialectic of the Enlightenment has been considered by some authors as a critique to modernism. 129 Within this second dimension is that Peters and Colin Lankshear position their book Counternarratives: Cultural Studies and Critical Pedagogies in Postmodern Spaces (1996)


can be looked at positively if they are seen historically; so they recall the following words: The way in which much larger sections of the public now consume culture on a regular basis and live within culture in ways that they didnt have the occasion to do before. Thats a crucial part of postmodernism, which underscores its ambiguity. One cannot object to democratization of culture, but one must object to other features of it. These mixed feelings have to be preserved in any analysis of the postmodern (Jameson, F. 1990). Other examples of how cyberspace characterizes itself in terms of ambivalence or the contradictions between it and the social development of information and communication technologies, are David Lyons (2002) suggestions of at least three ambivalences: a) globalization turns in because the death of distance made possible by ICT, but In todays world the rising speed of communication disconnects certain groups as fast as it connects others. It produces polarization, not a homogeneous global village(Lyon, D. 2002:25). b) Cyberspace like the information society bespeaks both utopia and dystopia, and c) the question of cyberspace an (un)reality, if in many information society scenarios bold claims where made about the dreams of yesterday becoming the realities of today, the world of cyberspace seems for some to invert that. The reality of yesterday is supplanted by the simulations, the hyperreal and the dreams of today (Ibid:27). To the above respects Gur-Zeev is adamant, thus by stating that: If cyberspace is fundamentally a mere part of the postmodern system which contains no transcendence, and as a manifestation of fast capitalism incubates no revolution or essential change of the system, how then, I may ask, should I understand the critical cyberoptimists and the affinity of their hope for freedom, equality, and democracy with the hope of the right-wing cyberoptimists? (Gur-Zeev, I. 2000:218), I do not claim that the authors of the right-wing Magna Carta and Poster or Kellner share the same stance, yet their common cyberoptimism and the inability of the critical thinkers to mark a dividing line between them and the right-wing cyberoptimists is very important in my mind. It shows to what degree it is vital to understand the stance of technology per se 130, and especially current communication technologies. (Ibid:215) I think that the answer to this is partly shown in what above I have noted. Another interesting annotation made by Gur-zeevs critique should be noted: Critical educational thinkers who are aware of `the dangers within cyberspace and call for education for critical thinking, critical literacy, and the like, should, in my opinion, contextualize these hopes in the present culture industry, and in its normalizing education apparatuses. But at the same time they should also ask the basic questions: what is the stance of the human subject? What are the present conditions for

He refers here to Paul Standish, Only connect: computer literacy from Heidegger to Cyberfeminism, in: Conference Papers of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, pp. 100 116 (Oxford, PESGB, 1998). Later published (Standish, P. 1999)


her struggle to realise her dialogical potential or her potential autonomy or self -creation or the foundation for the meaninglessness of the concept of human potential autonomy? What is the stance of knowledge under these conditions, and is there today any room for the quest for dialogue? Under these conditions, is it possible that the subject will enter a dialogue and actualize reflection? Are there moments of negativity, which will decipher ontological signs and challenge the governing sameness? Is there room for transcendence in cyberspace and for an effort by the subject to be more than a mere object or dehumanized `subject? And if the answer to some of these questions or all of them is negative, what does this imply for us as human beings? (Ibid:221). In the context of my putting forward different aspects of a debate, I have in this last section presented three elements in Gur-Zeev critique which have been: a) The difficulty of critical thinkers in justifying optimism, b) It is wrong to separate critical pedagogy, critical literacy, or critical education and cyberspace from the issues of capitalist globalisation, and c) The problem of an unresolved question in the existence of a gap and tension between the modern contexts and that of the postmodern concepts introduced in the idea of the possibilities of critical education in cyberspace. In respect to the last aspect we can also find In Chapter Three of the mentioned book entitled Postmodern Counternarratives the section entitled: Slacking off: Border Youth and Postmodern Education by Henry Giroux, and there we can see that the mentioned issue of a supposed unresolved question in the existence of a gap and tension between the modern contexts and that of the postmodern mentioned by Gur-Zeev critique is actually treated by Giroux, thus then I will refer to some of these annotations. In the above mentioned chapter Giroux is explicit in his intentions by noting that I want to illuminate and then analyze some of the tensions between schools as modernist institutions and the fractured conditions a postmodern culture of youth along with the problems they pose for critical educators. (Giroux, H.A. 1996b:64) and mentions the challenge for critical educators is to question how a critical pedagogy might be employed to cancel out the worst dimensions of postmodern cultural criticism while appropriating some of its more radical aspects (Ibid:69). Giroux is interested in exploring the political potential and power of pedagogy within a context where youth is positioned within a postmodern culture, and by focusing in this, he stresses the idea that postmodernism is to be neither romanticized nor casually dismissed. On the contrary, postmodernism is acknowledged as a fundamentally important discourse that needs to be mined critically in order to assist educators in understanding the modern nature of public schooling in societies like our own. It is also useful for educators to comprehend the changing conditions of identity formation within electronically mediated cultures and how they are producing a new generation of youths who exist between the borders of a modernist world of certainty and


order, informed by the culture of the West and its technology of print, and a postmodern world of hybridized identities, electronic technologies, local cultural practices, and pluralized public spaces (Giroux, H.A. 1996b:61). Giroux departs from the idea of certain negative attitudes towards postmodernism, a current backlash in which he defines as having a: Different intellectual quality to it, a kind of reductionism that is both disturbing and irresponsible in its refusal to engage postmodernism in any kind of dialogical, theoretical debate. Many of these left critics often assume the moral high ground and muster their theoretical machinery within binary divisions that create postmodern fictions, on the one side, and politically correct, materialist freedom fighters on the other. One consequence is that any attempt to engage the value and importance of postmodern discourses critically is sacrificed to the cold winter winds of orthodoxy and intellectual parochialism. I am not suggesting that all critics of postmodernism fall prey to such a position, nor am I suggesting that concerns about the relationship between modernity and postmodernity, the status of ethics, the crisis of representation and subjectivity, or the political relevance of postmodern discourses should not be problematized. But viewing postmodernism as a terrain to be contested suggests theoretical caution rather than reckless abandonment or casual dismissal (Ibid:64). Instead of focusing on the idea of the end of reason, postmodernism can be critically analyzed for how successfully it interrogates the limits of the project of modernist rationality and its universal claims to progress, happiness, and freedom (Ibid:63).

The fact of the matter is that the mass media plays a decisive role in the lives of young people, and the issue is not whether such media perpetuate dominant power relations but how youth and others experience the culture of the media differently. Postmodernism pluralizes the meaning of culture, while modernism firmly situates it theoretically in apparatuses of power. It is precisely in this dialectical interplay between difference and power that postmodernism and modernism inform each other rather than cancel each other out. The dialectical nature of the relationship that postmodernism has to modernism warrants a theoretical moratorium on critiques that affirm or negate postmodernism on the basis of whether it represents a break from modernism. The value of postmodernism lies elsewhere (Ibid).

Giroux will ultimately understand the challenge in the discussion over postmodernism is whether its more progressive elements can further our


understanding of how power works, how social identities are formed, and how the changing conditions of the global economy and the new informational technologies can be articulated to meet the challenges posed by progressive cultural workers and the new social movements (Ibid). We can perceive a high contrast of Gur-Zeev appraisals in respect to the positive utopian view of the critical pedagogy followers, in Gur-Zeev there is a persistent negative and pessimistic view in respect to the possibilities of life in cyberspace where the dwellers of cyberspace do not avoid and do not overcome social manipulations that constitute, guide, develop, and destroy their potential autonomy as human subjects in normal power games. (Gur-Zeev, I. 1999a:444), I have also show that to be true to the debate not all Gur-zeevs markings are totally acceptable if we are to consider a wider contexts of the works of Peters and Colin Lankshear and other critical thinkers. I will turn next to some of my own considerations in respect to the debate here presented. Some conclusions about the debate The first important thing to notice about the presented discussion in terms of the possibilities of critical pedagogy in cyberspace is to distinguish that even if both are critical perspectives of education; both depart from different conceptions of what education is about and its relationship around society and the subject, and this reflects on their optimistic vs. pessimistic approach. These differences make an uneven discussion, because at the end they are emphasising on different levels of possible discussions. For instance Gur-Zeev in his critique to the critical pedagogy perspective of Lankshear and other critical thinkers does not seem to grasp that their accentuation is primarily on level of pedagogy didactics and not on as opposed to him, which is centered more on a wider social aspect of education. I would say that in such distinction pedagogy 131 would have more of its focus on particular educational practices and its practitioners, thus Arcigas (2005) comments that the concept is more commonly used in educational contexts that acknowledge the practical and critical characteristic of teaching are pedagogy and didactics. Although are to be considered that the meaning and development of these concepts is not unproblematic, it is necessary to refer to them for two reasons: First, they reflect the transition from the location of teaching as an integral part of the educational process to the more focused locality of the practice of teaching developed within its own field of theoretical knowledge. Second, they define a formal place for the diverse ways of interpreting and applying pedagogical knowledge to educate (Arciga-Zavala, B.E. 2005:106). Lankshears and other authors analysis focuses around issues of methods and practices of teaching (modes of intervention) which its relevancy is highlighted by discussing novel characteristics of new technologies such as cyberspace and hypermedia (modes of consciousness based on the book vs. modes of consciousness based on a networkhypertext environment) which can lead to newer possibilities for critical pedagogy.
131 One of the things that still would be needed to be done is a reflection between pre-electronic pedagogy and post-electronic pedagogy; this would mean a clear distinction of classic pedagogical thinking, and postmodern pedagogical thinking.


Therefore Giroux annotation that to understand pedagogy as a configuration of textual, verbal and visual practices that seek to engage the process through which people understand themselves and the possible ways in which they engage others and their environment (1996a:54). Although it must be highlighted that pedagogy is a far more diffuse set of activities than techniques for imparting knowledge (or for that in using new media). It can be identified as a personal activity and as a socially framed and constructed activity, which has the power to transform and redefine social institutions. Thus then Arciga-Zavala stresses that to consider pedagogy, as a unity is to ignore its complexity. Such complexity can be delimited by al lest three levels of analysis; a) the presentation of the self, which implies the unique style of teaching by the practitioner and which constitutes his/her professional identity or professional knowledge, b) the collective operation and organization of school and c) the tradition from which the conception of pedagogy emerged. In this sense pedagogical perspectives comprise; action and thought which implies assumptions, judgments, solutions, schemes of interpretation and structures (Arciga-Zavala, B.E. 2005:106). But when Colin Lankshear, Michael Peters and Michele Knobel comes to discussing hypermedia to pursue the ideal of a possibility of critical pedagogy in cyberspace they seem to focus in the very specific technical issue of new media, and it seems be that they overstate a polarity between print-media, book and hypertextual media (guided in many times by the linear-non linear opposition). Such a polarisation signals some times a fear of becoming too bookish, which I think is a bit of an exaggeration, this because among other things we can think that the culture of the book in many third world schools is not so consistent 132. Besides we must not forget that the book has its own Hypertextual navigational system which may not have the dynamics (by the click of the mouse) brought by internet technologies, but has its own logistics which are not as linear as some authors would suggest. (See below Table # 7 example of hypertextual navigation in a book page). Douglas Kellners observation in relation to this is relevant: Thus, the concept of multiple literacy and the postmodern pedagogy that I envisage would argue that it is not a question of either/or, e.g. either print literacy or media literacy, either the classical curriculum or new curricula, but a question of both/and that preserves the best from classical education, that enhances emphasis on print literacy, but that also develops new literacies to engage the new technologies. Obviously, cyberlife is just one dimension of experience and one still needs to learn to interact in a "real world" of school, jobs, relationships, politics, and other people (Kellner, D. 2001).

To presuppose that the school is text-dominated is in many ways euro-centred, since many schools in third world countries, textbooks are scarce. An interesting anecdote of an European intellectual visiting a university in Latin-America and receiving many students that wanted him to sign one of his published books, though the amazement of the European intellectual was that actually non of the students had the edited book, instead all of the students had photocopies that wanted to be signed. What was unknown to the European was that there is a culture of photocopies in many Latin-American universities, this is linked to very specific practices of economy that are related to a certain development of a culture of reading in the third world. Thus an often theme related to the question of access to information on the Internet, takes a different stance in third world countries.


Also we must stress the questioning of Colin Lankshear, Michael Peters in relation to the formal settings and their confinement to syllabus, curricula and the classroom, which leads us to a more interesting discussion to think education beyond such formal settings and explore the added possibilities of more open settings by new technological means and progressive aims of education. But necessarily another question must be noted into what I would call here the uneven globalization and the educational potential of the educational potential of Internet, to this situation at least Id like to mention some matters: First it has been considered that most discussions of online education tend to take for granted the technologically advanced conditions of the western world, this means that the very condition of the possibility of critical pedagogy in cyberspace, requires a previous condition that of a proper supportive network communicational infrastructure. A second matter is that of which is noted by Blake and Standish is that of Access to ones own culture depends heavily on the use and grasp of ones own language. For English-speaking users of the Net, there is no obvious problem here(2000:13). But for everyone else it is. Gur-Zeev is very keen in this respect: Globalising capitalism is possible only in a postmodern world, yet the condition for the reproduction of postmodern conditions and their culture industry involves the reproduction of modern and pre-modern conditions in its margins: more efficient production of software cannot prevent the modernist and pre-modernist modes of production for those who have been pushed to the margins. All take part in global capitalism, but surely not all take part in a postmodern mode of production and distribution. The differentiation in modes of production parallels and re-creates different production relations and oppressive social organisation on a global scale (Gur-Zeev, I. 2000:219). But not all analyses depart from the above insights and it would seem that many discussions about globalization and the potentials of ICT within educational environments are grounded on the idea of the learning society, and such can be considered as a predominant contemporary myth in where any political, social, economic and educational problems may all be addressed through the development of the learning society. Along to this myth are interlinked others such as the productivity myth, lifelong learning myth (Lelliot, A., Penlebyry, S. and Enslin, 2000) and that of the change or revolution myth which induces optimism in the transformative power of ICT. This takes us naturally to open discussions on about different themes such as the digital balance between industrialized and developing countries, the different demands for ICT devices in industrialized and developing countries, also the search for new forms of electronic participation, policy options and models for bridging digital divides and the ideal of digital empowerment (open and collaborative models) linked to ideas of freedom, sharing and sustainability in the Global Network Society. (See


Then again in reference to the debate presented her we can see that Gur-Zeev centres his discussion within the interactive dimensions of education within globalising capitalism, this in relation to which he opposes we can perceive unevenness in the levels of the discussions and critiques. I think that this sometimes may be because they withhold two opposing cognitive attitudes of the positive and the negative, the optimistic and the pessimistic in respect to their analyses, and some times in the case of Gur-Zeev a certain dualism or polarity in placing the issues of modernity and postmodernity where it seams there is no space for a critique of modernity in Gur-Zeev and a over emphasise dismissal of postmodernism. Although this brings me to the consideration of what I consider here the strongest argument in Gur-Zeev critique, which is, his mentioning of the difficulty of critical thinkers in justifying optimism, which in the long run seems to be overshadowed by Gur-zeevs positioning in the mature work of Adorno and Horkheimer and the nexus to a tradition of philosophical pessimism that develops a negative utopianism. In respect to the above positioning we can consider the recent comments of the sociologist Alain Touraine: In most parts of the world what is prevailing is the incapability to think, to act, to anticipate and foresee and develop projects for future prospects. There is no capacity for collective actions. In Latin-America and Europe nothing is happening. Models have become exhausted, so have ideas and social actors, there is no will, no thought. It is a world that does not think it self, and including this continent I do not see trends of thought (Garfias, E.M. 2005). Another issue that most be referred about the debate here presented is a certain disregard coming from both parts in the question about technology, it is true that GurZeev considers that it is vital to understand the stance of technology per se and that as mentioned before relies on Heidegger to mention enframing, but aside from this none of the authors rely much on philosophy of technology to explore technologies dimensions. Two things related to the above can be said, first, it seams that in the case of Colin Lankshear, Michael Peters, et. al. since they centre on the characteristics of new media they withstand on a predominant instrumental view of technology, and they do not advice on the dangers of technology and cannot perceive the essence of technology, second, If a philosophic stance is to be taken within the influence of Heidegger it is not enough to undertake his ruminations around the essence of technology (Standing reserve, enframing, imprinting on thought which is his dystopian reading on technology, as noted on another chapter) but also Heideggers annotations of Poiesis which are related to saving power of the artistic empowerment which emphasizes the value of the artistic creation over production. A further question that must be pursued that I will retake in the next final chapter and that will be the question of education within the framework that has been taken throughout all of this work. Although in this chapter has emerged interest and compromised questions about education within critical pedagogy we have seen how it has centred on knowledge and aspects related to organization of learning situations to make the most of the potential of new technologies, such as openness, flexibility, and was directed to diverse forms of cultural politics, which sees cyberspace as an


environment where communication occurs and in consequence people create messages, transfer information, make meanings and how individuals form relationships and create communities and construct identities. In the second perspective, denominated by his proponent as counter-education there was a mentioning about the theoretical gap between modernitys strive for emancipation coming from the enlightenment and the opposition within the postmodern condition, its critique withheld the basic idea of contesting normalizing education. Although we have seen how both orientations a part of a critical view of education within a context of socio-cultural changes. So we will turn on next chapter to further problematize these questions.


Table # 8

Example of a present day navigational system of the book designed as a textbook

Refers to other sections of the book

It is organized in a given possibility of non-linear reading.

Sends us to outer limits of the book the WWW


Chapter V: Enterprise Culture and the Learning Society: A New Educational Reality
Introduction From the beginning of this work I have engaged in a historical questioning of the structure and the (re)organization of society that have occurred since the beginnings of the 1970s. These are changes that have lead to what is known as informational capitalism or, more commonly, the information society. The approach has been based upon the conceptual problematic of the restructuring of capitalism as a means to examining different explanations of socio-cultural change and its relation to technology and education. I have considered these matters in the light of a new fluency and flexibility in the structure of society, the way that this determines different forms of organization of institutions (among them higher education), and the way this exerts influence on different lifestyles and reshapes subjectivity structures. To pursue the above I have set forth some of the dominant or hegemonic interpretations of the unfolding restructuring process of the world capitalist system: a) the regulation school theory, b) the explanation of shifts from the Fordist regime of accumulation to , the post-Fordist model in terms of flexible specialization, and c) the idea of the network society expounded by Manuel Castells. In considering these interpretations I have linked such issues as the restructuring of society, crisis, continuity and change in the global information society, and the nature of the information revolution. Such an inquiry has lead to a questioning of what it is that the informational capitalist restructuring phase responds to and what can this mean for understanding the changes brought about by technological innovation, social cultural change and human beings. This has been undertaken with a view to building a framework of interpretation and to foresee how this brings new challenges to education as theory and practice. With such aim I have further developed certain ideas as to the restructuring of the educational system itself, with particular reference to the virtualization of higher education as a sign of informational capitalist restructuring. By pursuing this strategic path of explanation, based particularly on economic factors and a deterministic interpretation of technology, our inquiry has progressed towards the consideration of cultural dimensions, which involve approaching the question of technology from a philosophical standpoint. Thus the restructuring of capitalism and its crises were considered as either a) originating from internal barriers such as productivity, norms of efficiency or other economical related issues, or b) in terms of a dialectical circuit of accumulation and resistance, which takes into account the impasse of rival social forces. From such considerations restructuring is then, as we have seen through previous chapters, a restructure of a mode of accumulation, but also a restructuring and assembling of the structures of everyday life, have caused the unstoppable commodification of culture and its associated electronic mediation. The result of this is that human experience itself comes increasingly to be understood in terms of cultural commodity relations. The recognition of this lead the account towards a broader consideration of the cultural


sphere and to the pursuit of issues relating lifestyles of consumption to identity formation. Such considerations regarding the cultural sphere lead into an identification of postmodern culture in terms of capitalist restructuring. This in turn involved rejecting the common idea that postmodernity represents an epochal change, inaugurating a new type of society and a new era. In contrast, I defended the view (Harvey, 1989; Jameson, 1991) that postmodernity corresponds to a late stage of capitalism and accordingly can be analysed as postmodern capitalism. Within this I coupled postmodern culture and the self, allowing further understanding of new subject positions characterized by flexible, fragmented, dispersed identity, multiple subjectivities, and subject decenteredness. Further, I established a link between postmodernity and technoculture. By doing so I arrived at the acknowledgment of a communicational texture of postmodern culture in which, for the purposes of my argument, I claimed that such communicational texture has emerged because it has encountered an emergent new communicational environment. Within this I gave space to the question of how this is related to alterations in the configuration of the structure of subjectivity. . For more specific and concrete question concerning the possibilities of new media I opted to present a debate that incorporates the problematic of education, cyberspace and critical pedagogy. These discussions draw upon the tradition of critical theory inaugurated by Adorno and Horkheimer. The first approach lead to the development of digital narratives of cyberspace, renewing the tradition of Freirian critical pedagogy. The second approach, which defines itself as counter-education, overtly responds to critical educational theorists and addresses the challenges imposed by cyberspace. Now in this chapter I intend to articulate further issues of technology and subjectivity constitution within a wide spectrum including the information society, with its economical-political discourse, and the learning society, with its enterprising culture and management discourse. These are overlapping theories of what society wants to be in the context of contemporary global capitalism. This will allow exploring questions relating to the impact of new technologies on society and on social processes through which subjectivities are being changed. And it is through these that education is now being shaped. In considering the above I arrive at the following questions: How is education being reconfigured in the face of socio-cultural change change relating to enterprise culture and enterprise education that seem to be part of an attempt to blend the public concept of person (and citizen) with the entrepreneurial self? How will educational theory and practice respond to the coming into being of a subjectivity conformation developed as a consequence of enterprise culture and the learning society, factors that bring about new forms of reality and new conceptions of knowledge-acquisition?


By presenting a framework of such developments I will lastly explore possibilities of resisting such change by considering the concept of education as Bildung and a specific form of critical pedagogy. The Neo-liberal Governance of Welfare and Education: Responsibilising the Self 133 In order to clarify the main articulations emerging in the learning society and its enterprise discourse, I shall pursue another problematic around education, enterprise culture and the entrepreneurial self. To do so I shall explore briefly its macro social dimension by thematizing the question of the neo-liberal governance of welfare and education and the responsabilising of the self. In other chapters I have spoken of economic and cultural changes that are linked under different conceptualizations, which have been denominated as postindustrialism, the information society, postmodernism, post-Fordism and the network society. Within such contextual dimensions, some authors (Keat and Abercrombie 1991; Peters 2001) have considered that there is an inherent ideological discourse within neo-liberalism in the form of the political rhetoric of enterprise, characteristic of enterprise culture. The notion of enterprise culture, generated within the context of the information society and the learning society, involves a presumption of the prospect of economic growth and development, which has a strong links with technology and education. This new neo-liberal discourse is based on a vision of the future where the emphasis is on excellence, technological literacy, skills training,, performance, quality, and enterprise. Peters writes: Neo-liberalism represents a continuing critique of state reason; its governance of welfare and education consists in some strategic innovations in reconceptualising the exercise of power, most notably the ideas of the responsibilisation of the self effected through a series of market-like arrangements. These new arrangements provide an increasingly accepted social recipe for individualising the social by substituting notions of civil society, social capital or community for state (Peters 2001:62). These considerations make it possible to relate neo-liberal Governance, and the responsibilising of the self, and the development of the entrepreneurial self, which have been manifest, in neo-liberal welfare and education policies, in an intensification of moral regulation. This is why Peters states that Neo-liberals were attempting conceptually to remoralise the link between welfare and employment and to responsibilise individuals for investing in their own education, neo-liberal governments began to dismantle arrangements for State arbitration in the labour market, substituting individualised employment contracts, and exposing workers to the vagaries of the market. (Ibid:59) Such a process will mean a degovernmentalization of the State, that is a government through and by the market, including promotion of consumer-driven forms of social provision in health, education, and welfare (Ibid: 69).


Or the reconstruction of culture in terms of enterprise.


Such processes mean that the state has entered a process of writing itself out of its traditional responsibilities (contracting-out state services) concerning the welfare state, and that it is doing so by promoting a greater individualization of society and the responsibilization of individuals. This is an enterprise form that is generalized to all forms of conduct and that constitutes the distinguishing mark of a style of government. Peters (2001) traces such a form: A genealogy of the entrepreneurial self reveals that it is the relationship, promoted by neo-liberalism, that one establishes to oneself through forms of personal investment (for example, user charges, student loans) and insurance that becomes the central ethical component of a new individualised and privatised consumer welfare economy. In this novel form of governance, responsibilised individuals are called upon to apply certain management, economic, and actuarial techniques to themselves as subjects of a newly privatised welfare regime (Ibid:60). Enterprise culture and enterprise education pursue and develop ways in which human beings are being created as subjects, which then seem like part of an attempt to blend the public concept of person (and citizen) with a form of individual and entrepreneurial self. This can be considered as a transition for the individual from dependent, passive, welfare consumer to free, autonomous, self-regulating individual that is, to becoming an entrepreneurial self. Such a perspective means that importance is given to the relations between the self and power and to the idea of governance. This is a Foucauldian interpretation to the question of governance. According to Peters, it avoids interpreting liberalism as an ideology, political philosophy, or an economic theory and reconfigures it as a form of governmentality with an emphasis on the question of how power is exercised. And this approach understands neoliberalism in terms of its replacement of the natural and spontaneous order characteristic of Hayekian liberalism with artificially arranged or contrived forms of the free, entrepreneurial, and competitive conduct of economic-rational individuals (Ibid:67-68). In this context government is conceived as the community of free, autonomous, selfregulating individuals as a result of voluntary agreement among persons (based on self rule), implying a close relation between government and self-government, with an emphasis on the responsibilization of individuals as moral agents 134. Within the kind of framework offered by Foucault, critical, self-reflective, autonomous life does not constitute an ultimate principle that can be maintained against power relations, but appears as a particular form of self-government determined by power relations, relations


Mary Douglas begins her discussion of the person in enterprise culture by stating that enterprise culture is justified by the claim that it frees persons [driven by self-interested motives] from constraints imposed by bureaucratic regulation which inhibit the pursuit of freely-chosen objectives, and so infringes the essential liberties of the person (Douglas 1992:41) Quoted by Peters (2001)


that are to be conceived as a form of government of self government (Peters 2001; Masschelein 2004). Authors such as Masschelein and Peters tell us that power is but the name for changing assemblages of techniques, discourses and forms of knowledge (or of problematization). And, thus according to Foucault, individuality is one of the effects of a specific modern power apparatus, which in fact produces individuals; consequently we can speak of power as government. Within the neo-liberal context this is based on assumptions of individuality, rationality, self-interest and well-being through the promotion of selfreliance, meaning and a all-embracing redescription of the social, with an emulation of private sector management styles and the free play of market forces. Governmentality refers to the rationalities and technologies through which people conduct themselves and relate to others by calculative rational choice guided by selfinterest. There are different forms of governmentality (liberal, social and neo-liberal), which are seen to emerge not as realizations of underlying principles or development laws, but as contingent assemblages. Individuality in accordance to Foucault is one of the effects of a specific modern power apparatus. Taking a macro-institutional perspective, Peters (2001) tells us that in the governance of education such developments are echoed in a range of applications: the doctrine of the self-managing school, a substitution of educational management for professional leadership, the emphasis of management theory and techniques applied to the classroom and to childrens behaviour. And, taking a micro-individual perspective, he goes on to say that a new tendency to invest in the self at crucial points in the life cycle [. . .] symbolises the shift in the regime and governance of education and welfare under neoliberalism. Risk and responsibility have been thematized in new ways. Thus, Human capital theory is rejuvenated in a privatised rather than statist or public form (Ibid:61). Several questions have now arisen. First, there are questions concerning the idea of enterprise culture and its advent. Peters points out that the valuing of goods is a collective process involving a whole network of judgments and consumption is an active process that takes place against a background of shared categories, beliefs and values constituting a culture(66). Furthermore, in relation to the spirit of enterprise and neo-liberal governance, Heap and Ross (1992) 135 develop the following questions: Is it really possible for a government to achieve such a wholesale change in values of a culture? Will the encouragement of individual initiative and the free play of market forces succeed without an accompanying change in the culture? And if the attempt were to succeed, what would be the costs? Can the public virtues of caring for those unable to care for themselves, survive in this new order? (1992:1). Other ideas regarding the promotion of greater individualization of society can be drawn from the critical perspective in Masschelein. He identifies the problem of individualizing power that separates out the individual, breaking his links with others and yet that also undermines that which makes individuals truly individual and this

Quoted by Peters (2001)


government of individualisation in which the individual is addressed in isolation and separation of others(Masschelein 2004:359). The discourse of the learning society An initial approach to what can be understood as the learning society is that of Stewart Ranson, himself considered as one of the foremost prophets of the learning society. In his edited book Inside the Learning Society, the learning society is to be said to make sense of a period of change similar to that achieved by information society theories. Ranson asserts that the learning society is a society which needs to learn about itself and the significant changes which it faces if it is to survive and flourish in the future.(Ranson 1998b:2) He considers that, in the context of this period of transformations, stable views of occupations, religions, organizations and value systems have been lost. We must learn to live beyond the stable state (Ibid:3). According to Ranson, the learning society as a theory is built around three axes that determine the key components of such theory: presuppositions, principles, and purposes. Presuppositions: The constitutive condition of a new moral and political order. It is only when the values and processes of learning are placed at the centre of the polity that the conditions can be established for all individuals to develop their capacities, and that institutions can respond openly and imaginatively to a period of change. The transformations of the time require a renewed valuing of and commitment to learning (Ibid:101). Principles: Its organizing principles provide a framework for the learning society. Thus its essential structure should be based on citizenship, which should be developed through the processes of practical reason. Therefore, for Ranson, there are two principles: 1) citizenship, which establishes the ontology, the mode of being in the learning society; and 2) practical reason, which establishes the epistemology, the mode of knowing and acting, of the citizen in the learning society (Ibid). Purposes, Values and Conditions: These emphasize that To provide such purposes and conditions, new values and conditions of learning are valued within the public domain at the level of the self (a quest of self-discovery, at the level of society (in the learning of mutuality within a moral order); and at the level of polity (in learning the qualities of a participative democracy) (Ibid:102). From another perspective, Gee and Hull gives a specific and interesting description of what a discourse is: a discourse creates social positions (or perspectives) from which people are invited (summoned) to speak, listen, act, read and write, think, feel, believe and value in certain characteristic, historically recognisable ways in combination with their own individual style and creativity (Gee, Hull and Lankshear 1996:19). In these accounts through the learning society discourse can be seen to be constituted by an assemblage of categories of thought and language that determine the way we are to organize and understand ourselves. These configure the entrepreneurial self (our government of our selves), and by doing so they increasingly express the way in which we read our experiences, relationships and attitudes. In them are expressed the rules


and practices for the naming and description of objects and subjects and of their relation [Such practices] also contain the mentalities and attitudes that participants in the discourse are meant to internalise (Masschelein 2001:2-3). Such processes redefine what it is to be a learner, a worker, a citizen. The terms and categories that constitute the discourse of the learning society 136 are to be found in all levels of society (government, institutions and organizations, individuals) and in all domains (business, industry, state, social work, education, science, and so on), and their context is usually related to the transformation of the information society, to globalization, to technological advancement, and to informatization. Under the information society and its constant processes of transformation are present continuous challenges to society and to the individual. In such a context the individual must respond to new challenges and problems by implementing in his/her self a capacity for renewal. This will mean the adoption of an increasing flexibility and of the capacity for constant change. These in turn imply the capacity for learning and for enterprise. It could be said then that learning becomes the organizing principle of society (Ranson 1998a; Masschelein 2001). In relation to these matters Masschelein asserts that the discourse of the learning society problematises educational as well as social reality in a specific wayin terms of learning and learning to learn and not in terms of teaching consequently all members of society are primarily defined as permanent learners (Masschelein 2001:2). He is more specific on this when he states: It requires a change in the relation which people have to themselves and a change in the idea that people have of their own capacities and competencies. This implies that education should contribute to building active students who feel responsible for their own learning and who develop their learning capacity, their ability to learn to learn (Ibid:5). Hence, learning processes must not be directed but only facilitated by tutors and technological environments (the electronic provision of learning packages). Within such learning environments provision is flexible, but, in the name of the quality 137 of the service provided, such a system undergoes constant monitoring and assessment so as to ensure the essential condition of the accountability of learning. Thus, the rigid systems which restrict learning to school time should be dismantled. Learning is a permanent activity, it last through one's entire life: it is lifelong (Ibid).


Masschelein is clear that there are variations since the discourse is not monolithic, simple and closed, but varied and complex.

In such a context Masschelein would say that the battle for students is more and more conducted around the quality and excellence of education, the specific attractiveness of the provider for the student. Therefore, the quality should be made more visible and transparent. (Masschelein and Simons 2002, 2004)



This is why Masschelein and Simons (2002) assert: Institutions of education schools, colleges, universitiescome to appear as enterprises that produce learning, whose product or service is human capital, while parents (and students, as they come to govern themselves) select this product as a kind of investment. To enable this enterprising choice, information on the quality of the providers is needed so that they can select the school that best fits their needs. And government has to create the conditions for such entrepreneurial schools to develop, conditions for individual self-realisation but also for social welfare and the economic growth of society Living and learning, therefore, are closely related, and lifelong learning becomes a necessity: In a knowledge society, school and life can no longer be separateAn economy and society based on knowledge in this way needs education that is not confined to traditional schools. Lifelong learning must enable the learner to become someone who can deal autonomously with changes in society, and thus to become an entrepreneurial self (2002:597-8). Under conditions that consist in an economy and society based on knowledge, education must not be confined to traditional schools. The development of the virtual university is in accord with such discourse. The virtual university, with its technological environment (its network of e-learning environments 138), is said to offer opportunities for the development of human potential and capital, enabling flexible choices for what best fits the needs of the individual. In the virtual university cyberspace becomes a kind of virtual library - the source of all knowledge. Such a stance decentres the place and expertise of academics. In this context Internet-based learning is a response to consumerism and to the reduction in government funding. To some this has been an unfortunate context for the expansion of on-line pedagogy. E-learning is seen as in strategic terms as it provides the digital tools, methods and technology to help each individual to learn: it supports the learner at any time, anywhere and for any kind of user. These are the reasons for the faith in the application of technological solutions to societal learning 139.

Suzanne de Castell reveals that: Educational perspectives critical of the e-learning imperative are, for the most part, marginalized and/or ignored, as economic interests are prioritized over more specifically educational ones, and a new breed of entrepreneurial academics give intellectual legitimacy to commercial and corporate ideologies. New 'partnerships' of designers and developers committed to technology for its own sake now create products for the 'education marketplace,' with little or no experience of, or interest in, underlying educational goals, while explicitly educational theories are supplanted by a re-purposed economistic discourse. (Castell and Jenson 2002)


So it is said that the creation of technologically-based virtual education has been portrayed as a means of widening access to learning opportunities for those currently excluded from participation in lifelong education and training.


Tara Brabazon gives an imaginary and dystopic example of practices and principles of Web-based pedagogy: Settle down people. Welcome to ERE 102. This course, colloquially known as Selling Silicon Snake Oil, provides an introduction to an Economically Rationalist Education. I teach you how to use the Internet, not for the purposes of critical thinking or creative mobilisations of hypertext, but to administer knowledge. For those of you with busy lifestyles, you are encouraged to leave the lecture theatre right now, and buy yourself a long black at the library coffee shop. Everything I am about to say will appear in my PowerPoint demonstration, which is downloadable from the Web site. Please do not contact me if you have difficulty logging into the course site. Your access is not my responsibility. So, if this is the last time I see you in this lecture theatre, I thank you for enrolling in ERE 102. I look forward to receiving your e-mails. Have a nice life. In keeping with our bullet-point culture, I will now dim the lights and attempt to activate my PowerPoint presentation. Hopefully the projector will work. As I have not prepared a lecture, I will talk to the slides, filling in the space between the headings with banal comments and selfevident nonsense. You will however see some attractively coloured graphs. These are downloadable from the course Web site. Well they would be, but they are rather large documents and cannot be saved to floppy disc. I am certain though that most of you have a superdisc or CD ROM burner in your homes. They will be necessary to get the most out of ERE 102. After all, there is no textbook and not much reading. Everything you need to complete the assignments is found in my PowerPoint bullet points. Copying them down accurately will determine the calibre of your grade in this course(Brabazon 2001). Considering that the main conception of education in the learning society is studentcentered, the point of origin is their needs and problems. Such a perspective rests on an active and constructive epistemology and emphasizes the stimulation of students actively to participate in the learning process. Ranson (1998) emphasizes that the approach that focuses on the teacher and on the transfer of knowledge must be replaced by a student-centered approach, which will help to settle the problem of the erosion of the motivation to learn and encourage participation as active citizens in the learning society. A further point of view is found in the following: There is a growing emphasis upon the provision of education through web delivery services that will allow universities and other educational providers to reach out to a global audience. The benefits for the learner include the prospect of flexible systems that provide greater consumer choice in terms of subject, times and patters of study, and choice of institutions. The availability of such a diverse, rich and accessible opportunity for learners, combined with a larger market place would seem to offer established educational institution many advantages and benefitsthe growth of such a new and dynamic educational


marketplace, populated by a wide range of educational providers, will bring with it significant new problems, or rather new incarnations of older problems, that may challenge existence of some current educational providers. These threats are not technical, instead being driven by market related perceptions that may alter provider/students relationships as the web-enabled client-lead learning paradigm develops (Saber and Dadashzadeh 2002:24). Since the challenge of society requires from the individual a capacity for renewal and flexibility, then the inhabitants of the learning society are confronted constantly with a fight for survival, and this means that in the learning society we are in a permanent situation of threat, the threat of exclusion. Thus, we continually have to solve problems, and that is what is meant by learning. It is in this sense that Masschelein points out that the notion of learning (and learning to learn) has now become the central notion in socio-political and in educational discourse (Masschelein 2001:12). This will mean that educational and pedagogical reality is transformed and objectified around specific learning forms, as, for example, where learning is understood as a reflexive problem-oriented process, where reflexive refers to the permanent process of (rational) choice that is included in learning. It is a process of choice which is said to concern means and ends.(Ibid) As Masschelein emphasizes, these reflexive processes, consist in questioning and are associated with the assessment of whether the chosen ends and means meet the needs of society and of the individual, which in consequence are perceived in terms of their functionality. As said before, learning to learn comes down to acquiring the skills of cognitive selfregulation, and self-regulation involves the choice of activities fitting these ends, through with the means being put into play. The key point here is that learning is understood as a regulating activity that implies self-regulation, self-determination, and conscious self-development. These factors in turn are dictated by needs that take into account the requirements of the market. And since the market-driven demand is in permanent change, then learning has to do with flexibility and adaptability. Learning, it is said, must have an active character. Such a conception can be identified under the logic of bare life because it is related to the preservation and optimal organization of the life-process of the individual (the entrepreneurial self) and of the (learning) society. In accordance with this, Masschelein points out: The leading image of our society and of our educational organisation is of the active, busy, occupied men. Learners are the energetic, working autonomous individuals who are ready to change and learn even in case of unemployment or social failure; who are willing to be active, even when they are poor or when they fail (Masschelein 2001:13-13). In this society every social institution should be conceived as a learning organization that permanently assesses and monitors its own functioning and adaptation to the everchanging demands of the internal and external environment.


The requirement of the capacity for renewal, adaptation, and flexibility, in which the inhabitants of the learning society are confronted constantly for survival, mean, as we saw, that in the learning society we are in a permanent situation of threat. As Peters points out, there is a shift in the regime and governance of education and welfare under neo-liberalism. Risk 140 and responsibility have been thematized in new ways (2001:61). An example of this is to be found in the following news article: ABC reporter fights sacking
The Guardian

A US foreign correspondent yesterday launched a 2.3m claim for unfair dismissal at a London tribunal, claiming that he had been sacked for refusing to cover the war in Iraq. Richard Gizbert, who had worked for US broadcaster ABC News for 11 years, believes his case has wide-ranging implications for other journalists. Gizbert, who has worked in Chechnya, Bosnia and Rwanda, told ABC News in 2002 that he no longer wanted to cover dangerous areas. The network agreed to guarantee him 100 days' freelance work a year and the freedom not to work in war zones. But in July 2004 it failed to renew his contract, citing budget cuts. His lawyers argued yesterday that September 11 marked a turning point for journalists working in danger zones. Patrick Green, representing Gizbert, cited the deaths of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, BBC journalist Simon Cumbers in Saudi Arabia, and BBC producer Kate Peyton in Somalia, as evidence of the huge risks faced by journalists today. Mr. Green said that regardless of precautions taken by news organisations, there was a "residual risk" to journalists sent to war zones. But Mimi Gurbst, vice-president at ABC News, told the tribunal she had been ordered early last year to cut $10m (5.6m) from her $130m budget and that the dismissal of Gizbert had little to do with his refusal to go to Iraq. "I would say that was, in a list, very low down if at all," Ms Gurbst said. "It was easier to deal differently with freelance employees." She also argued that "paying Richard $1,000 a day to cover bureau duty was a luxury we could no longer afford". Martin Bell, the former BBC foreign correspondent, has agreed to appear as an expert witness for Gizbert and is expected to give evidence to the tribunal next week. The case continues (Cozens and Gibson 2005).


The themes of threat, responsibility and risk are an important perspective to understand life in the learning society, thus then the concept of risk and its use is based on a subtle combination of knowledge and uncertainty. When there is a risk, there must be something that is unknown or has an unknown outcome; hence there must be uncertainty. But for this uncertainty to constitute a risk for us, something must be known about it. This combination of knowledge and lack thereof contributes to making issues of risk so difficult to come to grips with in practical technological applications. It also gives rise to important philosophical issues for the theory of knowledge. (Hansson 2004) and this we can link to in the discourse of the learning society choice making or more precisely decision-making under known probabilities is a basic for survival.


Learning society and the logic of bare life In understanding the impact of neo-liberal governance (and the rise of enterprise culture-education) within entrepreneurial practices of the self in the learning society, it is necessary to consider the argument that the learning society is an effect and an instrument of the logic of bare biological life, or of zoe as opposed to bios. Such an argument is advanced by Jan Masschelein in his paper The Discourse of the Learning society and the Loss of Childhood, in which he draws upon Hannah Arendts analysis of the development of modern society. One of the central claims in Masschelins paper is that in the learning society we seem to live permanently under the threat of social exclusion, being permanently put in the positions of learners or problem solvers, without the right to appeal (Masschelein 2001:1). This claim leads to a further critique of the learning society, which I shall now outline. To understand this critique to the learning society it is important to distinguish more clearly between the ideas of zoe and bios. Jess Whytes comments are helpful: Classical political thinkers have sought to delimit politics, setting it apart from mere life, which, they argued, was an essentially private affair. In Ancient Greece, this distinction is evident in the lack of a single word for human life, signified by the split between Zoe: natural life, and bios: the politically qualified life. The purpose of politics was therefore not simply life but the good life, a life that is not naturally given but is an achievement. Hence only through political action could one create a good and truly human life. From Aristotle to Arendt, classical political thinkers have sought to delimit politics, setting it apart from mere life, which, they argued, was an essentially private affair. The purpose of politics was therefore not simply life but the good life, a life that is not naturally given but is an achievement. Hence only through political action could one create a good and truly human life (Whyte 2005). Such a clarification gives the opportunity to further capture the meaning in the statement that the discourse of learning society is an effect and an instrument of the logic of bare biological life, or the logic of survival (a zoological imperative), and that what is at stake is biological existence itself (bios), that is, the possibility that through political action one could create a good and truly human life. What is at the centre of such logic is the management of bare life, that is, saving, securing, supporting, reinforcing, multiplying and ordering it' (Masschelein 2001:2). Additionally, to Masschelein: the discourse of the learning society ushers in what could be called a soft totalitarianism which constricts the imagination and inhibits our longing for something totally different from the given. In the learning society we [] seem to live permanently under the threat of being


excluded from the community or from the society (that is: we have to learn permanently because our survival is at stake) without having the opportunity to lodge an appeal (Masschelein 2001:3). It is also necessary to discern that the discourse of the learning society is at the same time an effect and an instrument of the victory of animal laborans. Hannah Arendt explains why this is so: Perhaps the clearest indication that society constitutes the public organization of the life process itself may be found in the fact that in a relatively short time the new social realm transformed all modern communities into societies of laborers and jobholders, in other words, they became at once centered around the one activity necessary to sustain life. To have a society of laborers, it is of course not necessary that every member actually be a laborer or worker but only that all members consider whatever they do primarily as a way to sustain their own lives and those of their families. Society is the form in which the fact of mutual dependence for the sake of life and nothing else assumes public significance and where the activities connected with the sheer survival permitted to appear in public (Arendt 1958:46). The logic of bare life (zoe) is proper to everything that lives and is detached from all (particular) forms of life. Life then refers to the natural and biological processes of the organism, to the essential properties of organised beings which evolve from birth to death by fulfilling functions that are common to them. (Masschelein 2001:6) Such process consists in a cycle, a cycle that needs to be sustained through consumption, and the activity which provides the means of consumption is labouringTo live in this sense is to approach reality as a source for the satisfaction of needs (Ibid). Further below I shall relate this to the question concerning technology in Heidegger. It has perhaps been Foucault who has inspired different analyses regarding how we might formulate the question of life. Stuart J. Murray (2005) distinguishes al least three forms in Foucault's work: a) the form of life produced through what he calls biopolitics -- that is, life controlled and regulated by the State apparatus where life (bios) becomes indistinguishable from political technologies of control and regulation, our means of understanding life isomorphic with those technical forms through which life is discursively produced; b) the ethico-rhetorical aspect of the self's relation both to itself and to the Other; and c) the understanding of ethics in terms of the care of the self, which is characterized as that style of life that unfolds in the self's transformative relation to itself. One of the key concepts in understanding such a notion of life within the context of the learning society is that of the satisfaction of needs. The relationship between life as labour and consumption/enjoyment is then, according to Arendt and Masschelein, associated with a certain interpretation of the good, namely an ideal of well-being and happiness' (Ibid:7). So life as bare life consists in assimilating and consuming external substances in such a way that living is a matter of approaching the world as a source for the satisfaction of needs. Moreover, things appear only as instruments or means for goals or objects of choice, since they serve only as means for maintenance of life and the satisfaction of needs.


Masschelein states that as a living being the individual cannot in this sense have a relation with something or someone else in their particularity, but only in their functionality. Even co-operation and living together appears as a function of the drive to fill needs and to surviveEverything is evaluated as a function of the promotion and preservation of the process of life (Ibid:7). This is also related to questions mentioned before in respect to the entrepreneurial self, which is understood in terms of the relationship that one establishes with oneself and the other, and in turn connected to the promotion of a greater individualization of society in an entrepreneurial form. Masschelins analysis and critique of life as zoe or bare existence brings to the attention its incapability of individuating the human being (as opposed to individualizing). This individuating speaks of the uniqueness of the individual, not in the sense that it provides a mere characterization of what functions this being serves, as some thing, but instead in terms of who she/he is, as someone. It is on the strength of such a distinction that Masschelein appeals to a second conception of life. Such a distinction, which relates to the question of life, is centered not on happiness and well-being, but instead on meaning. Thus one sees the importance of biography as a narrative report of the meaning or significance of someone's life, bearing in mind that what is proper to human life is that the human being is capable of relating to things in their particularity, apart from life's own exigencies (Ibid). A valuable distinction can be drawn between the environment, the realm of things and artefacts, and world, where human beings exist. In the latter a durable habitat for human beings is realized, as opposed to its being resources to be consumed (standing reserve in the view of Heidegger). This world is the world of freedom. It is not driven or dictated by necessity (Ibid:9), for necessity implies only the processing, making, producing, or constructing of reality (the management of life through saving, securing, ordering it). In contrast, the freedom of individuals based on acting and speaking is internally related to the making of judgments of meaning; it is in this way that the human being becomes someone. Enterprising entrepreneurial ways of thought perceive social relations in the light of the responsabilising of the self, orientated by calculative self-interest, the response of the agent of rational choice. To Masschelein such social relations seem to entail that all importance and value come back to the process and not to the being, henceforth the being owes its meaning to the process from which the being arises[T]he process has a direction but not a goal, no final end (Ibid:10). This means that the human experience is seen as the cause of a product. Social relations are then reduced to purely functional relations. I want to elaborate on the question of how far the production of the self can be understood as a technology of the self. To further this exploration I shall re-evaluate the importance of some of Heidegger's ideas concerning technology, with reference to the related concepts of enframing, standing-reserve, and the essence of technology reviewed in a previous chapter.


The learning society and techne of political power In relation to the various arguments that we have considered, some remarks by Stuart J. Murray are relevant. They concern processes within the enterprise culture and in relation to the entrepreneurial self, and advance views very close to what Heidegger identifies as the dangers of technology: The individual's life now counts merely insomuch as it constitutes a biological member of the population, one biopolitical entity among a mass of others, man-as-species, man subject to statistical control concerning rates of birth, death, reproductive and economic productivity, governed by marriage laws, "pro-life" policies, and so on. The "individual" is displaced, no longer even "disciplined," but is, as Foucault says, regularized by a technology in which bodies are replaced by general biological processesThis is certainly a rather grim depiction of life, biopoliticized, mechanized, reduced to bare biological processes, to technique (Murray 2005). Themes in the discourse of the learning society, such as self-regulation, control of one's own concentration, motivation, calculative self-interest, responsible rational choice, the management of life through saving, securing and ordering it all these incite us to remember again the idea of the essence of technology in Heidegger. These thoughts point to the view that the entrepreneurial self is a particular technology of the self', as a particular form of governance. This also makes it possible to see how Foucaults theorization of life (bios) is related to the techne of political power and biopolitics. This is why Masschelein (2004) turns to Foucault, especially in his thinking about the productive techniques and mechanisms of power: Power is not a substance. Neither is it a mysterious property whose origin must be delved into. Power is only a certain type of relation between individuals. The exercise of power . . . is a way in which certain actions modify others. Power is not an objective ability; it exists only when it is put in action, even if, of course, it is integrated into a disparate field of possibilities brought to bear upon permanent structures. Power is not about direct action on others, but about actions upon their actions, upon the possibilities of their actions, both existing or to come (Masschelein 2004:358). In this perspective, we can see power relations as productive processes of behaviour formation and thus as involved in the constitution of the individual as a subject. This is implemented by means of concrete techniques and concrete forms of knowledge and discourse, within different modes of governance. But above all Masschelein stresses: Power is not only suppressive or oppressive, but productive (Ibid).


Instrumentality and Causality: the Definition of Technology and a Nexus to the Entrepreneurial Self By reviewing Heideggers account of technology we can have a more clear view of why it is possible to talk about the technology of the self as a category that can give a better understanding of the learning society, one that at the same time bypasses any dualistic notion of technology say, as a in terms of the machine (a technological device), on the one hand, and in terms of the human subject (the one who uses the device), on the other. Dualistic conceptualizations such as this contrast, for example, with the position implied by Haraways cyborg. Heidegger makes two main assertions in his enquiry into what technology is. The first is that technology is a means to an end, and the second that technology is a human activity. By doing so he establishes an initial double definition, at once instrumental and anthropological. This first step then takes us to a further point: technology is an instrument to achieve human ends, specifically those of building up or arranging. It is this, so he claims, that leads to the idea of ordering-as-standing-reserve. Heidegger connects this with a particular aspect of causality: For a long time we have been accustomed to representing cause as that which brings something about. In this connection, to bring about means to obtain results, effects. The causa efficiens, but one among the four causes, sets the standard for all causality. This goes so far that we no longer even count the causa finalis (Heidegger 1977:7). The first two definitions of techne, based on instrumentality and causality, are richly suggestive for the understanding of what is behind the new social processes in the socalled information society and what we have called enterprise culture. (see table # 8) A further understanding of Heideggers techne is explained in Standish (1997), where a threefold distinction is drawn: In the first, techne functions as skilled working with things, and with hand tools; in this there is a shift in the centre of gravity from theoretical reason to practical know-how. In the second and third, in the technology of modern industry, we are in the world of endless products and consumerism. The second kind is characterised by factory production geared towards the satisfaction of needs, and the reduction of the human being to the labouring animal. In the third, production is controlled and shaped by cybernetics and hence is conceived increasingly in terms of systems theory. Needs satisfaction is here supplemented by the exploitative creation of desire, especially desires relating to the simulacra of experience and to the celebration of cybernetic systems themselves. This hastens the tendency towards the restriction of thought within the parameters of calculative rationality. More than an instrument for the achievement of maximal availability and the satisfaction of desire, this third manifestation of techne most clearly comes to channel the ends of society and human being itself. The separation of the first kind of techne from the other two makes it possible not only to consider the dangers of modern technology but also to see, in Heidegger's evocation of the first, something of what is at stake (Standish 1997).


In relation to the second kind of techne, and in the context of the information society and the learning society, production takes a different form from factory production. To understand this further, it is helpful to turn to Castells and his notion of network enterprise: Through the interaction between organizational crisis and change and new informational technologies, a new organizational form has emerged as characteristic of the informational, global economy: the network enterprise. To define more precisely the network enterprise, I need to recall my definition of organization: a system of means structured around the purpose of achieving specific goals. I would add a second analytical distinction... [the] difference between two types of organizations: organizations which the reproduction of their system of means becomes their main organizational goal; and organizations in which goals, and the change of goals , shape and endlessly reshape the structure of means, I call the first type of organizations bureaucracies; the second type, enterprises (Castells 2000:187). In a wider context Castells assertions and the notion of production in the information society can be linked to the political rhetoric of enterprise, to enterprise culture, and to the responsibilization of the self. In this context learning needs come to be dealt with entrepreneurially, and this occurs as a result of the ways that educational and pedagogical reality is transformed and objectified. This is manifested in specific learning forms that emphasize the permanent process of rational choice and that are included in the permanent process of lifelong learning. As seen previously, governmentality refers to the rationalities and technologies through which people order their lives. It is characterized by calculative rational choice and based on assumptions of individuality, self-interest, and well-being. It encourages the promotion of self-reliance. Here we can establish a nexus with the third notion of techne, where needs satisfaction within an enterprise culture is geared to and supplemented by a greater individualization of society. Here, as Standish (1997) acknowledges, needs satisfaction is supplemented by the exploitative creation of desire: it hastens the tendency towards the restriction of thought within the parameters of calculative rationality. As we have seen, the learning society is at the same time an effect and an instrument of the victory of animal laborans, where, by introducing the assemblage of different techniques, discourses and forms of knowledge, the modern social realm has been transformed, as Arendt has recognized into societies of labourers and jobholders. Such is the understanding of life under a neo-liberal state apparatus that in effect implements a particular biopolitics with its political technologies of control and regulation. These, with their implementation of the entrepreneurial practices of the learning society, are part of the assemblage that constitutes the human subject.


Thus we can speak of the relationship between life as labour and consumption/enjoyment, which implies a certain interpretation of the good based upon an ideal of well-being and happiness: life consists in assimilating and consuming commodities in such a way that living approaches the world and understands what is real as a source for the satisfaction of needs, and where the individual cannot have a relation with something or someone else in their particularity, but only in their functionality. Such a situation can be considered in terms of the dangers of technology.

The Essence of Technology and Life as an Object If what we have seen above is a close depiction of the essence of technology, then the concept of enframing is central. We can clarify Heideggers understanding of enframing in two claims: first, enframing is a process by which the world is transformed into a supplier of resources for the comfort and sustenance of humanity, and, second, standing-reserve is a method of ordering-as-resource, a new way of ordering the universe in accordance with an efficiency-based goal-directed system. We can consider the impact of enterprise culture, and the resulting technology of the self, in Heideggers terms, as enframing since it reflects mans ordering attitude and behaviour. This can be perceived in entrepreneurial practices that center around calculative outcomes of the kind that are created in the restructuring and new managerial practices of the information and learning society. In such a context, life becomes something else, or, more precisely, it becomes an object, a thing. Heideggerian standing-reserve implies in a rather grim depiction of life, biopoliticized by a regime that is mechanized, digitized, and reduced to bare biological processes, reduced to technique. Although her views are not up-to-date with the digitalization of technology and with the ways that this has transformed our traditional notions of what are machines and tools, Arendts remarks are relevant in this context,: The discussion of the whole problem of technology, that is, of the transformation of life and world through the introduction of the machine, has been strangely led astray through an all-too-exclusive concentration upon the service or disservice the machines render to men. The assumption here is that every tool and implement is primarily designed to make human life easier and human labour less painful. Their instrumentality is understood exclusively in this anthropocentric sense. But the instrumentality of tools and implements is much more closely related to the object it is designed to produce, and their sheer "human value" is restricted to the use the animal laborans makes of them. In other words, homo faber, the toolmaker, invented tools and implements in order to erect a world, not -at least, not primarily-to help the human life process. The question therefore is not so much whether we are the masters or the slaves of our machines, but whether machines still serve the world and its things, on the contrary, they and the automatic motion of their processes have begun to rule and even destroy world and things (Arendt 1958:151).


Since the learning society forgoes production geared towards the satisfaction of needs as enterprise, in which goals, and the change of goals, shape and endlessly reshape the structure of means (Castells 2000:187), the use of technological devices, such as mobile phones, smart phones, or personal digital assistants are developed expressly for the self-management of life. In addition, the use of specific software designed for such purposes has been developed. The following example is of an advertising promotion of software 141 that contains or expresses the logic of entrepreneurial practices that favour or respond to the needs such a modern individual:


Notice the trade mark () next the concept of Life Balance.


Life Balance

The To Do List for Real Life!

Available for Palm OS, Macintosh and Windows

Life Balance is award winning coaching software that provides a dynamically ordered To Do List driven by the importance of your goals, your desired allocation of time and effort, and feedback from what you get done each day. Life Balance is a time and task management program that helps you focus on what's really important to you and actively balance the often conflicting demands of career and personal life. Life Balance emphasizes the intrinsic importance that you've assigned to your projects and life goals, rather than arbitrarily filling every slot in your calendar. This helps you to spend your time and energy on what matters to you the most. You can be self-directed, and know that you are working toward long term goals while still managing your day to day routine. Life Balance helps you to set priorities and increase personal productivity in a very new way. Items on a to-do list can have a high priority for different reasons: because they are part of an important project, because the deadline is near-at-hand, because you are in the right place to take action, or because you have been neglecting the task. Internally, Life Balance uses fuzzy logic math techniques to balance all these competing factors. As a result, it can provide you with an easy to use, sorted list that makes it simple to figure out what is the most important thing that you can do right here, right now. Ultimately, Life Balance is software designed to help you achieve that feeling that you are living authentically and following your own unique path. We have customers who have been successfully using the Life Balance self management methodology since 1995.


In relation to the above questions Murray does formulate some interesting questions: Is the techne designed for life, that is, is it in the service of life itself, imported from the outside, some nonliving apparatus brought to bear on the living, to supplement the living, somehow to sustain the living -- the mechanics of a life- support machine, for instance? Or, is it not more correct to say that techne is of life itself, a technology of life, an extension of life, a way of life, life's own technique? Will this latter view reduce life to a series of technical and instrumental operations? Have we begun to realize Heidegger's fear that the modern techn is not just the predominant mode by which things are revealed to us, but the mode in which we live, our modus vivendi, the [en]frame or Gestell of our subjective life? (Murray 2005). These remarks should make us recall the idea of Haraway, who departs from the starting point of the mythical cyborg, which is a hybrid of machine and organism. For Haraway, the cyborg myth is about transgressed boundaries, potent fusions, and dangerous possibilities that progressive people might explore as one part of needed political work (Haraway 2000). A similar understanding of these issues can be found in Arendts The Human Conditions, published in 1958. She writes: the apparatuses we once handled freely begin to look as though they were shells belonging to the human body as the shell belongs to a body of a turtle. Seen from the vantage point of this development, technology in fact no longer appears as the product of conscious human effort to enlarge material power, but rather like a biological development of mankind in which the innate structures of the human organism are transplanted in an ever increasing measure into the environment of man (Arendt 1958:153).



Flexible Specialization GLOBALIZATION


Information Society

Information Technology

Learning Society
and its discourse

Network Society

Under the Principle of Progress

Virtual University - Digital Academia

and its technological environments for provision of knowledge/information. (Web based Pedagogy e-learning) Learner-centred networked environments ( learning agreements) Government thru information. ----------------Academic Capitalism- Entrepreneurial University Global Knowledge Economy Market Driven (demands-needs) (Goods Persons Information) A community of entrepreneurial academic staff

Under the Principle of Learning (to learn) and the Enterprise Culture

New Economic Structure Restructured Society

-- Network forms of organization & enterprise.

New distributional changes (connectivity) -- Flexibility & fluidity. -- Aggressive development of new markets. - New Managerialism. New Cyberculture - New Hypermedia Settings - Virtuality (Cyber Learning Communities) - Commodification of Culture & Knowledge. (differentiation-individualization)

New Educational Reality New Individual -- Development of Enterprise Culture, a neo-liberal discourse that is sustained by excellence, technological literacy, skills training, performance, quality and enterprise. -- Redefining learner-worker-citizen, thru ideas of responsibilising of the self; thus then to govern our self's in a certain way. The entrepreneurial self. -The transformation of students into consumers of knowledge and customers of the academy. (flexible learners) - Education considered as investment, linked to social economic and personal growth, thus the idea to invest in the self thru a calculative self-interest goal. (investment decisions as free market-based choices)

Decentred Self

Entrepreneurial Self


The refusal to certain forms of government and dissatisfaction with what is

We have seen in other chapters how what predominates in the restructuring of the actual social system is the law of circulation of objects and money. The emerging communicational and networked environments, constituted by modern technology within new media, are the result of the development of global capitalism within the network society or the information society. Such unfolding of society is to Masschelein 'a ruthless totalizing process that shapes our lives in every conceivable aspect, subjecting all social life to the abstract requirements of the market' (1998:521) 142 and that imposes the logic of instrumentalization. The effects of the government of individualization are seen in an internalization of the system in such a way that: no benefit exterior to the system can be imagined, no benefit that could escape cost-benefit analysis, nothing that could escape the law of circulation. Indeed the system is characterized by its capacity to redefine everything in terms of its own (instrumental) rationality and to absorb it under the law of circulation. In this way the hegemonic social-cultural order and its realm of self-evidence are reproduced (Ibid). One way of perceiving the implications of such a process is described by Ilian GurZeev: Control of the legitimization, production, representation, and distribution of knowledge makes possible the reduction of the human subject into a "subject" who will function as an object or an agent of "her" system. In this sense control of knowledge allows much more than the possibilities of policing social behaviour: it provides the means for establishing an unchallenged legitimization for a certain hegemonic version of the production of the "subject", the normalized subject, her possibilities and limitations. Such control is usually called "education" (Gur-ze'ev 2003). We have spoken about some of the effects of the learning society and neo-liberal governance and have underlined the problem of individualizing power, which separates out the individual, breaking his links with others. The individual is addressed in isolation and separation from others. This process has been identified as the government of individualisation, the effects of a specific modern power apparatus. I want to recall again how, in reference of Arendts thinking, the discourse of the learning society ushers in what could be called a soft totalitarianism, which constricts the imagination and inhibits our longing for something totally different

Citing Alain Badiou


from the given. In such a context the title of Masschelins paper, The Discourse of the Learning Society and the Loss of Childhood acquires mayor significance. What loss of childhood means is suggested in the following statement: Hannah Arendt suggests in her famous study on totalitarianism that there is a connection between totalitarian terror and the destruction of the newness and otherness which is contained in birth. The need for terror stems from the fear that with the birth of every new human being a new beginning makes its voice heard in the world. And since the paradigm of birth for Arendt is the birth of Christ, the paradigm of terror is Herod's murder of all the new born. It is the murder of the new beginning which could call into question the given order of things, which could disturb the existing world. This appearance of the possibility of a radical questioning and thus also of a radical change of the given order is what I would like to call the appearance of "childhood" (Masschelein 2001:16). The learning society implies a new social order based on the value of freedom. Neoliberal discourse is enshrined in ideas of individuality and freedom. But freedom in neo-liberal thinking is to be called into question on the grounds that in reality it is based on 'a conditional freedom within the system but not with regard to alternative possible systems' (Masschelein 1998:522). This is the triumph of a realism that seems to neutralize every form of utopian longing and leads to ignoring or discarding of the legitimacy of attention to the impossible. The refusal to enterprise forms of government opens the way to alternatives to such processes. One possibility is suggested by Murray: Moving from the governmental, political control of the subject toward the possibility of that subject having a hand in her own subjectivation, in her own life. It is ethical life that cannot be reduced to techn. If, under a biopolitical regime, the subject was subjectivated through the technological production of her life -- if she was in some sense "made to live" within the terms of biopolitics -- then here we find a possibility for the subject herself to craft the terms of her own life. Foucault's ethics constitutes just such a self-crafting, unfolding through a discussion of subjective life and what he has notoriously called, after Socrates, "the care of the self" The ethical "care of the self" is precisely the relationship the subject has with herself, her "self-self relation. Here the self strives to craft a better self for herself, struggles vitally to re-invent the very terms of her own subjectivity, to become other than what she is in the presentFoucault argues just this, citing the Platonic-Socratic tradition in which the spiritual exercise of self-care was indeed the condition of possibility for access to truth: spirituality and philosophy not yet torn asunder (Murray 2005).


Challenges to normalizing education in the learning society In the beginning of this chapter I formulated the following questions: How is education being reconfigured in the face of socio-cultural change change relating to enterprise culture and enterprise education that seem to be part of an attempt to blend the public concept of person (and citizen) with the entrepreneurial self? How will educational theory and practice respond to the coming into being of a subjectivity conformation developed as a consequence of enterprise culture and the learning society, factors that bring about new forms of reality and new conceptions of knowledge-acquisition?

So far in this chapter I have offered answers relating the first question. The next and final part of this chapter will address the second. This means that the challenge for education takes place against a specific historical background, in which a new educational reality has emerged. In the light of this the central aim of this thesis has been to depict this historical background in terms of at least three analytical categories. These are related to actual economical and sociocultural changes in connection to emerging new developments in technological innovation. They are: a) the restructuring of capitalism, b) the development postmodern culture with its nexus of new media and communicational environments, and c) technoculturural phenomena and emerging new configurations of subjectivity. Such analytical categories have allowed us to explore what has been called the information/network society and the learning/knowledge society in the context of a globalized world. A starting point for alternatives to the learning society is a different idea of education. This departs from a refusal of the type of individuality or subjectivity that is imposed upon us within the enterprise culture. It requires us to invent other and new forms of subjectivity and of being-together. Such a different idea of education is based on the view that education can make resistance possible to the extent that it helps to develop our original human capacities or to realize human potentialities, and meets some fundamental needs (Masschelein 1998:523). Education of this kind leads to more humanizing practices. I believe that the generation of a different idea and practice of education requires the rethinking of such categories as transcendence, self-realization, reflection, autonomy and critique. These categories belong or have already formed part of historical traditions such as Bildung, critical theory of education, and critical pedagogy. In the previous chapter some basic questions around such traditions and their aims were discussed. In what follows we shall expand some of these ideas so as to consider their possibilities and limitations. As we have seen previously, learning society discourse is about the preservation and optimal organization of the life-process, centrering in the exigencies of life and survival. In contrast to this, we could say that the idea of education as Bildung offers different possibilities -- those of the capacity for questioning and of freedom and responsiveness. It includes the idea of becoming more complete and of being


empowered. In respect of this Masschelein contrasts the values of the learning society with the notion of Bildung, which is regarded as the founding and preservation [in the life of someone] of a distinctly human world which includes limits to the logic of life in name of the meaning of life, that is, in the name of justice (Masschelein 2001:17). In consequence, this chapter will conclude by exploring briefly at least two general problematics: first, it will attempt to reclaim the Bildung tradition as a specific and alternative form of problematizing education; and, second, it will emphasize at aspects of critical theory of education and its practice. What follows is a glimpse of some possibilities since such traditions by themselves are being analyzed and reconsidered in diverse ways by different scholars.

The Meaning of the Idea of Bildung and its Classical Roots Even as an impasse, as an imperative of self-constitution or transcendence in impossible conditions, the tradition of Bildung is still relevant. In a certain sense it is exactly amid the impossibility of the realisation of the historical aims of Bildung that the essence of Bildung becomes relevant as the presence of the absence (Gurze'ev 2002:393). The idea of Bildung as a classical educational idea can be understood initially as selfeducation, as a development of the autonomous individual 143 through the cultivation of the inner life. Even though the concept was first used around 1750 in the German tradition of pedagogical anthropology, its classical roots or original sources can be traced all the way to the Greek and Roman culture, along with the ancient educational notion of Paideia 144, which had a humanist 145 impulse. The Greeks as well as the Romans centered on the question of what constitutes an educated or cultivated human Being? Their answer was not characterized in terms of socialization, that is, as the need to adapt the individual to an existing external order. This is why, from the Greek point of view, as Sven Erik Nordenbo puts it, The cultivation of man on his own definitionmanifests itself instead as a general structure, within which the individual sphere and the public or general sphere are in harmony. Thus, thinking about Bildung undermines all attempts to limit man to specific social functions alone (2002:346).

There could be certain equivalency between Bildung and the phrase Liberal education but loses some connotations that are important to that German idea of education; some important historical connections could be the conception of freedom or that idea of education that it should develop the mind or even that of initiation into public forms of knowledge. 144 Paideia embraces a wider meaning that embraces all educational process or formation, and he/she merges with the notions of culture or civilization. Teaching and the education will be carried out in function of the intellectual ideal of the knowledge of the truth. (Morat and Riu 1996) Morat & Riu, 1996) 145 Humanism (From Latin, humanitas, humanity, human nature [in Cicerone, culture of the spirit, in a sense similar to that of Paideia in Greek], or of humanus, what concerns man) In general, all doctrine that is interested basically in the meaning of being man and value of the human thing, taking it as starting point of their positions. Morat & Riu, (1996) Cd- Rom.



According to Gadamer (1975), among the configuration of the basic concepts of the humanism 146 is the concept of Bildung 147. This integral notion of Bildung is the essential constituent element of the new concept of humanity, which arises in the nineteenth century and crystallizes in what is known in the 19th Century as human sciences 148 (Geisteswissenschaften). The modern concept of Bildung emerges with a turning away from unconditional acceptance of religious solutions to the question of the point and purpose of human life. Hence it is in turning towards the human toward humanism- that its notions of the aims of education are generated. (Lvlie and Standish 2002:328) The concept, from its origins, is based on an interpretive perspective that is anthropological, and in that sense it revolves around questions about how the human comes to being. So, according to Gadamer, Bildung describes more the result of the process of becoming than the process itselfIn Bildung that by which and through which one is formed becomes completely ones own (Gadamer 1975:11). While the concept of Bildung 149 is related to culture, it also expresses the idea of formation 150 -- that is, giving form to the human being. In this sense Bildung is intimately associated with the idea of culture and designates primarily the properly human way of developing ones natural talents and capacities (Ibid:10). This is why our becoming human depends upon our rising from a natural state and coming into contact with culture that is, with language and customs which we have to make our own. This coming in contact with culture in Bildung requires us to see education as disciplined character formation and self-reflection by way of literature, the arts and philosophy (Lvlie and Standish 2002:319) But now in late modernity we must consider the significance of new media and Internet technologies. This is why the education of self should be undertaken in tandem with the transformation of contemporary culture. It is important though to acknowledge that according to the standard German understanding of the concept as an educational idea, a person has acquired Bildung only if he or she has assisted actively in its formation or development (Nordenbo 2002:341). This is why Bildung manifests itself through an individual process as self-

The ideal of humanitas. The history of the term humanism is complex but enlightening. It was first employed (as humanismus) by 19th-century German scholars to designate the Renaissance emphasis on classical studies in education The studia humanitatis were held to be the equivalent of the Greek Paideia. Their name was itself based on the Latin humanitas, an educational and political ideal that was the intellectual basis of the entire movement. {Britanica, 2002 #228} Britannica (2002) Cd-Rom 147 To begin with the definition of the concept Bildung is diverse; its been translated as Culture but also as Education, and within pedagogical anthropology is known as General Education Theory. In E a more contemporary context it has also the meaning of Learning as to for instance e-bildung elearning and also Formation. 148 The German term Geistteswissenschaften has been translated in various forms as: Social Sciences, Cultural Sciences or Human Sciences, also as Sciences of the Sprit being a parallel S between spirit as man. 149 Gadamer (1975) tells us about an ideal of society based on Bildung that can be historically found in the pedagogic culture of the renaissance, reformation and counter-reformation. 150 The Latin equivalent for Bildung is formatio in English (in Shaftsbury) form and formation.



formation. And because of this, Bildung is about the individual in society. Thus, Bildung stands for the cultivation of man according to his own definition while society for its part wants to shape man in line with its needs (Ibid:346). In this respect Gadamer (1975) claims that there are ideas of transcendence in the concept of education. Bildung or self-formation (Sichbilden) is more than the mere cultivation of given talents. It involves transformation: man gains the sense of himself [H]e finds in himself his own frame of mind [Sinn], and it is quite right to say of work that it forms (Quoted by Gallagher (1992:50-51). Bildung has to do with the relation between self and world , or between the personal and the social 151. This is why, for Wilhelm Von Humboldt, Bildung is the interaction between the students inner powers and capabilities and the external world; it is important to understand that activity characterizes the individuals interaction to the world, and communication determines the process of education. There are two dimensions behind the idea of Bildung, which are related to the ideas of self and world. In the context of contemporary culture these can be seen as follows: 1. Self -inner-cultivation is the view that emphasises the self as a totality that can constitute and develop its own subjectivity without dependence on or redemption by anything external to itself. The subject finds autonomy as a result of free will and the expression of inwardness. 2. This creates the outer world and thus is bound to enforce itself on the otherness of the other and on the world or a historical actualization. It challenges the production of hegemonic facts, truths, and values as a critical form of counter-education in service of the fulfillment of humanity. .

The relevancy of bildung today The process of reification of everything within the framework of the imperative of controlling and enhancing productivity and efficiency, reifies human being as well; the instrumentalisation of relations between humans and nature Estrangement from the obvious becomes impossible and this is no space for the presence of the absence, for Bildung as elevation above given facts and actualities (Gur-ze'ev 2002:397). We need to find ways in which the idea of Bildung may still work as a critical concept in a postmodern world. We need to consider how far transcendence, as a form of transformation determined by its possibilities of overcoming normalisation and hegemonic ideology, can challenge the facts and the agreed aims of the present order so as to enable men and women to become different from what they had been manipulated to become, from how they had been constructed (Gur-ze'ev 2002:399).



This can be realized if we accept that the dominant perspective, which takes education as enterprise, can be countered by existing traditions such as critical pedagogy or counter-education. These requires us to think of education as self-education, reflection and emancipatory p ractice. These are potential prospects for todays resistance to the current processes of dehumanization in the learning society.

The Project of Critical Theory and Bildung The project of critical theory, as a neo-Marxist realisation and a further development of the concept of Bildung, is based on the principle that the individual is basically dependent on social conditions. But even though the individual is dependent on such conditions, the impetus of Bildung as a project is not determined by the cultural politics of the historical moment or the impetus of economic and technological structures. What the project of Bildung aims is not historically determinedIn critical theory this would be framed as utopia [it refers to] the openness that is immanent to life, to existence, or to Being, in its historical actualization (Gur-Zeev (2002:392). One way to think of a critical approach to Bildung is in terms of a critical activity of demystification. In this manner The aim of critical education is precisely specified as the acquisition of the capacity to decipher the operations of power behind the status quo, behind what presents itself as necessary, natural, general and universal. (Biesta 2002:383). We have previously, with reference to Heidegger and Haraway, emphasised an active dimension of the social subject which through interaction and participation transforms him or herself, or transcends normalisation. In this context the neo-humanist idea of Bildung can be transferred critically into a postmodern setting by giving a specific meaning to the concept of interplay: It is the ultimate task of our existence to achieve as much substance as possible for the concept of humanity in our person, both during the span of our life and beyond it, through the traces we leave by means of our vital activity. This can be fulfilled only by the linking of the self to the world to achieve the most general, most animated, and most unrestrained interplay, Von Humboldt (2000) quoted by Lvlie (2002:468). For Von Humboldt the meaning of interplay converges in the telos of perfection. This is why it can be related to other key concepts in the theory of Bildung, such as selfformation, and why it implies free cultural interplay in the complex context of postmodern society. In such a society new media and computer-mediated technologies are arenas for social expression that can manifest an aesthetic interplay that is potentially transformative of cultural encounters. That is why it is relevant to draw attention to the issue of cultural participation as an educative experience in the context of postmodern society. In the context of communicational environments new media can potentially augment the field of cultural interplay and individual self-formation. With these questions in mind Lvlie


writes: Freedomis not a thing to be obtained [I]t is rather the ongoing self-less interaction between person and thing in an aesthetic, creative relationship (Lvlie 2002:474) This points to alternative ways in which the aesthetics of postmodern pedagogic encounters can become transformative.

Some Conclusions: The Aporias of Critical Educational Theory and Critical Pedagogy in the Age of the Learning Society Power, the trivialization of critique and instrumentality I have emphasized the reach of the relationship between the self and power in connection with the idea of governance, where power is but the name for the diverse, moving, changing assemblages of different techniques, discourses, and forms of knowledge, all having the common effect of government through individualisation. Such assemblages are defined in terms of the techne of political power and a biopolitics of power relations as productive processes of formation of behaviour. They are thus involved in the constitution of the individual into a subject. In a wider context they constitute part of a trend towards the development of global governance as an aspect of the evolution of human efforts to organize life on the planet. Power In such a context it is necessary to understand the notion of power (and its links to other notions such as freedom, autonomy or critique) and its historical transformations, Masschelein ponders on two notions, one more traditional and the other a Foucauldian notion of power: The question of how to analyse power in its historical transformation and its logic without implying a single causality (e.g. just economics) or a centralistic reduction (e.g. only to respect to the state) is a controversial and still unresolved question. Normally power is interpreted as the ability to carry through and to enforce ones own will in a social relation i.e. to determine the will of the other(s). In this traditional perspective, power is linked with, but distinguished from, dominance (as a concrete and legalized ability to bind obedient people) and discipline (as an automatic and trained obedience) and it is based on and in an individual as his/her ability. In this perspective, freedom is conceptualized as the opposite of power: firstly, as the absence of power, force and violence, and secondly, as the ability to act on my own. Kants practical conception of freedom as is formulated in his Kritic der prektischen Vernunft -the capacity to initiate something new by my selfimplies this traditional opposition: not to be determined by the outside. This is the condition of autonomy-formulated as the capacity to under a self-given law of reason and rationalityincluding heteronomy as its contrasts. In this traditional perspective Bildung has indeed been conceptualized as a specific practical programme of reflexive autonomyAccording to Foucault , power cannot be studied solely on a basis of a juridical model of


sovereignty and law, a model which allows us to conceptualise power only as a repressive force of regulation and determination. On the contrary, it is necessary to think about power in terms of relations as a productive technique and mechanism (Masschelein and Ricken 2003:143-144). This analysis of the notion of power may help us to remember that critical pedagogy has traditionally understood social and educational reality as a site of coercion, alienation, oppression, negation, or distortion, and in contrast to such a situation has understood its task in terms of a conjunction of ideals, such as autonomy, rational self-determination, and freedom of choice of ones own form of life. Self-reflective life constitutes the ultimate principle or the ultimate human possibility or potential. Now a new challenge must be undertaken by considering how Foucaults understanding of power relations as productive process and how his consideration of the different modes of objectification by which human beings are made subjects can lay the way for a renewed critical educational theory. This must involve a genealogical problematization of this self-reflective, self-realising and selfdetermining critical subject. The trivialization of critique Another consideration I wish to comment on is the relationship between critique and autonomy. In order to do so, we must in retrospect recall that we have seen what characterizes the individual in the learning society. We know that she/he is required to respond to new challenges and problems by implementing a self-capacity for renewal, which must include increasing flexibility, and that this is what it means to learn `(to learn). In such circumstances learning processes must not be directed but be autonomous. Thus the individual must have control of her own concentration, motivation, working methods and results; she must have calculative self-interest, responsive rational choice, and a management of life through saving, securing and ordering it. She must be a problem-solver and a rational choice actor. Such processes have meant that educational and pedagogical reality has been transformed and objectified around specific learning forms and that these require from the subject self-government, so that she can participate in reflexive problem-oriented processes as a way of learning. Such reflexive processes consist in a kind of questioning associated with assessing whether the chosen ends and means meet individual and social needs. Critique and autonomy have become commonplaces that are called upon and claimed by all and everyone in the learning society. This has been referred to as the trivialisation of critique. Because the power of the system is all-encompassing, and does not exclude critique but includes it, critical competence is therefore constituted as necessary and functional. This situation calls for the consideration of how critical educational theory can be reconceived today. In inquiring into such a problematic Masschelein comments: The autonomous, critical, self-reflective person appears as an historical model of self-conduct whereby power operates precisely through the intensification of reflectiveness and critique rather than through their


repression, alienation or negation. This brings us back then to the question of how to conceive of the task of a critical educational theory at a time in which critique, autonomy and self-determination have become an essential modus operandi of the existing order (Masschelein 2004:352). One must take into consideration the fact that the entrepreneurial self, with its semblance of autonomy and criticism, is not the result of judging reality on the basis of ideals and principles. On the contrary, as Foucault has help us understand, the conformation of the entrepreneurial self constitutes an expression of particular historical processes through which disciplining and controlling practices take place. This means that before individuals can act and think autonomously and before they can act critically on the basis of their own preferences and thoughts, they must first become the kind of person interested in and capable of relating to themselves as the responsible agents of their own conduct (Masschelein 2004:361). Instrumentality We have seen how such a system is characterized by the totalization of instrumentality and functionality. In a previous chapter we looked into the debate concerning critical pedagogy, and one of the foremost issues that emerged was that the idea of education in such a tradition is permeated by an instrumental logic. In consequence we considered that critical pedagogy has to reconsider seriously and theoretically its own concepts and to dismantle the technical instrumental construct of its own concept of education in particular. Nigel Blake et al. have a word in this respect: However, like its European counterparts, American critical pedagogy remains attached to a strongly instrumental and functional concept of educational practice, because it has not questioned the very concept of educational praxis still receives its meaning from the goal or end at which it should aim, here conceived as utopia. Education then becomes the realization or execution of this ideal or program. Critical pedagogy thus formulates essentially and fundamentally a technological project. Its first step is the formulation of an ideal or utopia, which it uncritically supposes both possible and necessary. It thus remains itself subject to the same instrumental logic that it deplores at the heart of the capitalist system. (50) They use Critical Theory to "found" or "ground" the ideals that are stated as educational goals or end-states to be achieved, marginalizing the negativism of Critical Theory and reproducing an instrumentalist notion of education (Blake and Masschelein 2003:53). Instrumentality can be perceived as an issue that connects with a social ideal of usefulness embedded in an imperative of something needed in order to have something else. Such reasoning relies on the logic that everything must have some use and that, therefore, everything must lend itself as an instrument. Such a conception is inextricably bound up with utilitarianism.


But, as Arendt points out, such a logic gets caught in an unending chain of means and ends: for an end, once it is attained, ceases to be an end and loses its capacity to guide and justify the choice of means. Consequently, Arendt continues, the in order to has become the content of the for the sake of; in other words, utility established as meaning generates meaningless (Arendt 1958:154). Contrary to utility, meaning must be permanent and lose nothing of its character, whether it is achieved or, rather, found by man (Ibid: 155). Here we have an aporia for critical pedagogy as it is understood today, if its goals are permeated by instrumentality and because of this forgo under the drive guided by means to and end. How to avoid the meaninglessness of an unending chain of means and ends? Again we turn to Hanna Arendt for an answer: The only way out of the dilemma of meaninglessness in all strictly utilitarian philosophy is to turn away from the objective world of use things and fall back upon the subjectivity of use itself. Only in a strictly anthropocentric world, were the user, that is, man himself, becomes the ultimate end which puts a stop to the unending chain of ends and means, can utility as such acquire the dignity of meaningfulness. Yet the tragedy is that in the moment homo faber seems to have found fulfilment in terms of his own activity, he begins to degrade the world of things, the end and end product of his own mind and hands; if man the user is the highest end, the measure of all things, then not only nature, treated by homo faber as the almost worthless material upon which to work, but the valuable things themselves have become mere means, losing thereby their own intrinsic value (Arendt 1958:155).


General Conclusions

I don't know what, but not this And thus to repudiate the fatalism of seemingly compulsory acceptance of the present. (Blake et al. 2003:55)

This thesis began by considering a historical context of radical emergent socioeconomical transformation linked to a crisis: the Fordist regime of accumulation, which had held sway from 1945 until the mid 1970s, had become unsustainable. To comprehend these phenomena, and to understand the alternatives that presented themselves, we turned to a consideration of the restructuring of capitalism, and on the strength of this we explored different theoretical interpretations of the significance and outcomes of these changes. An outstanding characteristic of these theoretical interpretations was that they were, and continue to be, guided predominantly by the imperative of economic growth. It was in this respect that these theoretical positions gave direction to the question of technology innovation; they helped to show how its outcomes brought about the information revolution. This meant that the introduction of new informational and communicational technologies not only brought new flexible forms of economic enterprise but, more importantly, also led to the conformation of a new social structure - that of the network society. The technological determinism of these theories was considered as a means to move beyond them towards a more complex notion of technology, one that would allow a more thorough critique of its role of technology in society. It is now time to arrive at some general conclusions. My central aim has been to seek understanding of the technocultural change that is taking place in society, a change that involves a new response from education and, at the same time, presents a challenge to its prospective theoretical development regarding the aims and meaning of practice. I must then turn back to my research questions and summarize the answers that this thesis has provided. Before this, however, I should mention that I can identify two general forces within socio-cultural developments. First, there is one that is associated with the hegemonic development of the information society, the interest and goals of which are characterized by market forces. Accordingly, when I talk about education and its responses, I wish to consider this hegemonic course within the context of globalization, manifested in the virtualization of universities and the development of academic capitalism, linked to the culture of enterprise. Second, there is the countervailing force constituted by the critique of the market-driven position. The ddevelopment of academic capitalism and the virtualization of education is contested in the name of the public interest and in the light of a more traditional understanding of the aims of the university. On another but related front there is resistance to the


development of the entrepreneurial self, itself an expression of particular historical processes through which disciplining and controlling practices take place. Pedagogy seeks to meet this challenge by inventing other and new forms of subjectivity and of being-together appropriate to the new communicational environments. In more general terms, something along these lines is expressed by Blake et al.: The challenge posed by critical theory is to keep alive this critical utopian motive and critical questioning in the absence of any telos or meaning for human history that we could know or represent. (Blake et al. 2003:53) Along with this we can say that recent trends in philosophy of education have made important contributions to the problematics here expounded, and thus deserve further consideration. Let me then offer the following conclusions, each set out in relation to a specific question. 1. How is education responding to socio-cultural change shaped by new social structures, such as the network/learning society and the introduction of new informational and communicational technologies?

As a result of restructuring of capitalism, education has proceeded to reorganize itself through the new modes of information and communication technology. Such modes are characterised by the strategic networking of educational institutions, a process that subordinates higher education under the imperatives of the job-market and so commodifies knowledge. In close relationship to this, and to distributional changes affecting education such as the Internet, is the process of globalization. This encompasses a response to the transformation of the world order transformation into a different structure of political authority, a system of rule which brings new rules to the game. This is a game in which universities and faculty enter a process now called academic capitalism - also known as the unfolding of the entrepreneurial university - as a result of media convergence and as an outcome of such new processes emerging from the new digital environment. Considering the above, other issues can be considered, such as the shaping processes of technology in higher education. These are processes that provide access to information in new ways, processes central to education in which people, services and technology itself are affected. I emphasise also that these matters should lead to an understanding of the ways in which information technology needs to be seen as creating an environment that shapes and controls human association. It impacts in new forms of identity and Web-based pedagogical practices. 2. How are educational theory and practice responding with regard to new subjectivities that have developed as a consequence of techno-cultural change change with effects on the acquisition of knowledge and the appraisal of reality? The new networked social structure has impact on the experience of individuals to such an extent that, as a consequence of the multiplicity of cultural choices, identity becomes fragmented. The recurring effects of fragmentation, dispersed identity, multiple subjectivities, or subject decenteredness are characteristic of postmodernity


and causally related to new communicational environments. These changes are to be framed as pre-eminent features of the new challenges that educational theory and practice are to confront in the circumstances of these new socio-cultural forms. Central to this new horizon is the consideration of the rise of hybridized communication environments, which offer educational and pedagogical potential for the fulfillment of different educational goals. As to present conditions, educational theory and policy rarely keeps in mind the emergence of the new life pathways that are changing and convoluting, twisting and mutating in complex ways beyond the grid maps and investigative skills of governments and researchers (Luke et al. 2001:94). It loses sight of the fact that these new pathways have destabilized much of the received wisdom of educationists and policy-makers. Other scholars have drawn attention to the misfit between the life experience of young people and that of the school. Thus, there is the continuing rupture of the traditional function of schooling in conforming subjectivity. We noted that this is becoming increasingly marginal to the actual formation of subjectivity, identity, and culture through the wider socio-cultural context. In consequence we noted that postmodern life is producing novel experiences and subjectivities that come into conflict with schooling: Current educational systems, curricular systems and pedagogical models were designed for the production of a post-war human labouring subject who has become an endangered species in this economic and community landscape. (Luke et al. 2001:106). Within postmodern culture young people do not rely simply on the technology and culture of the book to construct and affirm their identities. They rely rather on encounters in cyberspace and on the ways in which new mediated communication shapes the experience of the self. There is, moreover, the need to acknowledge new forms of postmodern politics. These include the struggle of contrasting identities. We should emphasize the role that pedagogy can have not only as a form of cultural production and but as a struggle. This is a means of sensitization to the ways that power and meaning are employed in the construction and organization of knowledge, desires, values and identities. 3. How do emergent subjectivity structures relate and perform in the context of new informational and communicational environments such as the Internet? And to what extent can education benefit from such knowledge? This question has been broached by problematising technological hypermedia environments as new modes of communication and by exploring how these can favour certain social forces and ideas by means of a functional bias toward some and not others, just as natural environments determine which species prosper by selecting for certain physical characteristics (Deibert 1997:30). Such an approach puts the emphasis on the fact that social forces or individuals subjectivity may or may not fit or match the new hypermedia environment. Hence, the argument has been advanced that different media environments encourage certain types of subject. Accordingly we tried to show that the problematic should be seen in the context of two things: a) the emergence of new media and b) the development of multiple subjectivities. It was from such a point of departure that we perceived the new hybridised horizon of the communicational environment and acknowledged the


complexity of such social and communicational settings, where education is being called into question and challenged. When mentioning the need to identify both those social forces whose interest, goals and logics of organization are likely to fit the new communicational environments, and those that do not, we recalled the interests and goals of the dominant forces in the network society that are related to an endeavor to rebuild and strengthen capitalism rather than to suggest its supersession (Webster 2002:85). It was also underlined in Chapter Five how enterprise culture and the discourse of the learning society center on a dominant interest that seeks to pair the goals of the entrepreneurial self with those of new technological environments, and that requires a form of survival that the individual "fit" in to such a technocultural scheme. This leads to the postulation of an interwoven set of historically contingent intersubjective characteristics - ranging from spatial or temporal cognitive assumptions to shared symbolic forms, to various group identities, or to imagined communities that are unique to a specific historical context and that differentiate one epoch from another. How far education can benefit from such knowledge will require a further inquiry into postmodern social epistemology. This will involve the consideration of different subject positions implying varied perceptions not only of the world itself but of its specific shared symbolic forms and cognitive dispositions. It is this that would lead us further in the understanding of the emergent new mode of information. The outcomes of such knowledge will depend on specific formulations of educational goals, which are at the same time a manifestation of social interests and groups. 4. In this context, what possibility is there of progress in education? Addressing this question requires making reference to the matter of the aims of education, thus the need to set out a tripartite distinction of aims of education, as (1) social reproduction, primarily focusing on the economy and the maintenance of the status quo, (2) progressivism/learner centredness, and (3) initiation into forms of knowledge/traditions of enquiry/critical discourses. When in this thesis we have considered attempts to problematize education in a specific way, we have come up against processes of enterprise culture and the dissemination of the discourse of the learning society. We can now say that this process can be understood as a fusion and distortion of the aims of progressism/learner centredness and aim social reproduction. These have become muddled with managerialism, consumerism and the commodification of knowledge. It has taken a particular from in the conformation of a specific subjectivity conformation, the entrepreneurial self. In this thesis I set out in the belief that any truly progressivist conception of education must move away from and contest the above mentioned of fusion and distortion of aims. In the exploration, in Chapter Five, of counter-education and critical pedagogy as responses to the normalizing tendencies of educational practice, and to the information and communicational technologies, the sustained line of argument in this thesis was underlined and made more clear.


REFERENCE Aarseth, E.J. (1997). Cybertext. Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press. Adorno, T. and M. Horkheimer (1972). Dialectic of Enlightenment. New York, Herder. Aglietta, M. (1979). A Theory of Capitalist Regulation: The US Experience. London, New Left Books. Aloni, N. (1999). Humanistic Education. Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Education. M.A. Peters, P.G. Jr., P. Standish and B. Zarnic, Amin, A. (1995). Post-Fordism: Models, Fantasies Phantoms of Transition. PostFordism A Reader. A. Amin. Oxford, Blackwell Publishers Ltd: 1-39. Apple, M.W. (2000). Between Neoliberalism and neoconservatism: Education and Conservatism in a Global Context. Globalization and Education. Critical Perspectives. N.C. Burbules and C.A. Torres. London, Routledge: 57-77. Araya, A.A. (1997). Experiencing the World through Interactive Learning Environment. Philosophy & Technology 3(2): 1-23. Arciga-Zavala, B.E. (2005). University Teaching in a Globalized World a Mexican Case Study. School of Education. Sheffield, The University of Sheffield. Doctor of Philosophy: 243. Arendt, H. (1958). The Human Condition. Chicago, The University of Chicago Press. Armitage, J. (1999). Resisting the Neoliberal Discourse of Technology. The Politics of Cyberculture in the Age of the Virtual Class. Retrieved 19 February, 2004. Armstrong, L. (2002). A New Game in Town: Competitive Higher Education in American Research Universities. Digital Academe: New Media & Institutions in Higher Education and Learning. W. Dutton and B.D. Loader. London, Routledge: 87-115. Arnold, M. (1996). The High-Tech, Post-Fordist School. Interchange October(3-4): 225-50. Barlow, J.P. (1996). A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. Retrieved 08, 2005, from Baudrillard, J. (1994). Simulacra and Simulation. Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Press. Bell, D. (1973). The Coming of Post-Industrial Society. New York, Basic.


Biesta, G. (2002). How General Can Bildung Be? Reflections on the Future of a Modern Educational Ideal. Journal of Philosophy of Education 36(3): 377-90. Bigum, C. and C. Lankshear (1998). Literacies and Technologies in School Settings: Findings from the Field. Keynote Address to 1998 ALEA/ATEA National Conference, Canberra, July 7th. Blake, N. and J. Masschelein (2003). Critical Theory and Critical Pedagogy. The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Education. N. Smeyers, P. Standish. Blake. N. Oxford, Blackwell Publishing: 38-56. Blake, N. and P. Standish (2000). Enquiries at the Interface: Philosophical Problems of Online Education. Oxford, Blackwell. Blake, N., Smeyers, P. Smith, R., Standish, .P., Ed. (2003). The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Education. Oxford, Blackwell Publishing. Blumer, H. (1969). Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method. Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall. Booth, D. (2004). Ask Amazon. Webuser: 30-32. Bowser, D. (2004). Being-in-the-Web: A Philosophical Investigation of Digital Existence in the Virtual Age. Retrieved 02/02, 2005. Brabazon, T. (2001) Internet Teaching and the Administration of Knowledge. First Monday 6, DOI: Bramall, S. (2000). The Educational Significance of the Interface. Journal of Philosophy of Education 34(1): 71-84. Bryant, R. (2001). What Kind of Space is Cyberspace ? Minerva - An Internet Journal of Philosophy(5): 138-55. Burbules, N.C. (2000). Does the Internet Constitute a Global Educational Community? Globalization and Education. Critical Perspectives. N.C. Burbules and C.A. Torres. London, Routledge: 323-55. Burbules, N.C. and J. Thomas A. Callister (2000). Watch IT. The Risk and Promises of Information Technologies for Education. Oxford, Westview Press. Castell, S.d. and M.B. Jenson (2002) Object Lessons: Towards an Educational Theory of Technology. First Monday 7, DOI: Castells, M. (2000). The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture. The Rise of the Network Society I. Oxford, Blackwell Publishers. Castells, M. (2001). The Internet Galaxy. Reflections on the Internet, Business, and Society. Oxford, Oxford University Press.


Cathcart, R. and G. Gumpert (1983). Mediated interpersonal communication: Toward a New Typology. Quarterly Journal of Speech 69(3): 267-77. Coyne, R. (1999). Technoromanticism: digital narrative, holism, and the romance of the real. Cambridge, MIT. Cozens, C. and O. Gibson. (2005, September 24). ABC reporter fights sacking. The Guardian, from <,14173,1577367,00.html. Chen, H., R.T. Wigand and M. Nilan (2000). Exploring Web users' optimal flow experiences. Information Technology & People, 13(4): 263-81. Deegan, M. and S. Tanner (2002). Digital Futures. Strategies for the Information Age. London, Library Association Publishing. Deibert, R.J. (1997). Parchment, Printing, and Hypermedia. Communication in World Order Transformation. New York, Columbia University Press. Delany, P. and G.P. Landow, Eds. (1991). Hypermedia and Literary Studies. London, MIT Press. Deleuze, G. and F. Guattari (1988). A Thousand Plateaus. London, Athlone. Douglas, M. (1992). The Person in the Enterprise Culture. Understanding the Enterprise Culture. Heap and Ross. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press. Dreyfus, H. (1992). What Computers Still Can't Do: A Critique of Artificial Reason. Cambridge, MIT Press. Dyer-Witheford, N. (2000). Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in HighTechnology Capitalism. Illinois, University of Illinois Press. Dyson, E., G. Gilder, G. Keyworth and A. Toffler. (1994). Cyberspace and the American Dream: A Magna Carta for the Knowledge Age. 2003. Ellsworth, E. (1989). Why Doesn't this Feel Empowering? Working Through the Repressive Myths of Critical Pedagogy. Harvard Educational Review 59(3). ESRC (2001). A New Research Programme on Information and Communication Technologies. The E-Society: Understanding the Restructuring of Practices and Institutions in the Digital Age. Prometheus, Carfax Publishing. 19: 25360. Feenberg, A. (1999). Questioning Technology. London, Routledge. Felluga, D. (2004). The Matrix: Paradigm of Postmodernism or Intellectual Poseur? Taking the Red Pill. Science, Philosophy and Religion in the Matrix. G. Yeffeth. West Sussex, Summersdale: 85-101. Fidler, R. (1997). Mediamorphosis Understanding New Media. Thousand Oaks, California, Pine Forge Press.


Ford, P. (2001). Internet Culture Review. Retrieved 01/02, 2005, from Freeman, C. (1988). Preface to part II. Technical Change and Economic Theory. G. Dosi, C. Freeman, R. Nelson, Gerald Silverbeg and L. Soete. London, Pinter. French, S. (1996). The Terminator. London, British Film Institute Publishing. Fukuyama, F. (1992). The End of History and the Last Man. New York, Macmillan. Gadamer, H.-G. (1975). Truth and Method. London, Sheed & Ward. Gallagher, S. (1992). Hermeneutics and Education. New York, State University of New York Press. Garfias, E.M. (2005). Entrevista Alain Touraine/ Mxico entre el fracaso poltico y una gran vitalidad. La Jornada. Mexico. Garnham, N. (2002). 'Information Society' as Theory or Ideology. A Critical Perspective on Technology, Education and Employment in the Information Age. Digital Academe: New Media & Institutions in Higher Education and Learning. W. Dutton and B.D. Loader. London, Routledge: 253-67. Garnham, N. (2004). Information Society Theory as Ideology. The Information Society Reader. F. Webster. London, Routledge: 165-83. Gee, J.P., G. Hull and C. Lankshear (1996). The New Work Order. Behind the Language of the New Capitalism. St. Leonard's, Allen & Unwin. Gell, M. and P. Cochrane (1996). Learning and Education in an Information Society. Information and Communication Technologies: Visions and Realities. W. Dutton. Oxford, Oxford University Press: 249-63. Ghani, J. and S. Deshpande (1994). Task Characteristics and the Experience of Optimal Flow in Human Computer Interaction. Journal of Psychology 128(4): 381-91. Giroux, H.A. (1996a). Is There a Place for Cultural Studies in Colleges of Education? Counternarratives: Cultural Studies and Critical Pedagogies in Postmodern Spaces. H. Giroux, C. Lankshear, P. McLaren and M. Peters. Ney York, Routledge: 41-58. Giroux, H.A. (1996b). Slacking Off: Border Youth and Postmodern Education. Counternarratives: Cultural Studies and Critical Pedagogies in Postmodern Spaces. H. Giroux, C. Lankshear, P. McLaren and M. Peters. New York, Routledge: 59-79. Giroux, H.A. (1999). Cultural Studies as Public Pedagogy. Making the Pedagogical more Political. Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Education. M.A. Peters, P.G. Jr., P. Standish and B. Zarnic,


Goffman, E. (1967). Interaction Ritual: Essays on Face-to-Face Behaviour. Chicago, Aldine. Goodson, I., J.M. Mangan, C. Lankshear and M. Knobel (2001). Computer Wars. Struggling with Technology in the Global Classroom. New York, St Martin's Press. Graham, G. (1999). The Internet. A Philosophical Inquiry. London, Routledge. Graham, J. (1991). Fordism/Post-Fordist, Marxism/Post-Marxism. Rethinking Marxism 4(1): 39-58. Grodin, D. and T.R. Lindlof, Eds. (1996). Constructing the Self in a Mediated World. Inquiries in Social Construction. London, Sage. Gur-ze'ev, I. (1991). Beyond postmodern feminist critical pedagogy. Toward a diasporic philosophy of counter-education. 1993, from D:\Articulos Revistas\feministpeda91.pdf. Gur-ze'ev, I. (1998). Toward Nonrepressive Critical Pedagogy. Educational Theory 48(4): 463-86. Gur-ze'ev, I. (1999a). Cyberfeminism and Education in the Era of the Exile of the Spirit. Educational Theory 49(4): 437-55. Gur-ze'ev, I. (1999b). Transcendence in Critical Pedagogy and in Counter-Education. A response to my critics. Retrieved 06/ 10, 2004, from Gur-ze'ev, I. (2000). Critical Education in Cyberspace? Educational Philosophy and Theory 32(2). Gur-ze'ev, I. (2002a). Bildung and Critical Theory in the Face of Postmodern Education. Journal of Philosophy of Education 36(3): 391-408. Gur-ze'ev, I. (2002b). Martin Heidegger, Transcendence, and the Possibility of Counter-Education. from Gur-ze'ev, I. (2003a). Adorno, Horkheimer, Critical Theory, and the Possibility of a Non-Repressive Critical Pedagogy. 2003, from Gur-ze'ev, I. (2003b). Critical Theory, Critical Pedagogy and the Possibility of Counter-Education. Critical Theory and the Human Condition. Founders and Praxis. M. Peters, C. Lankshear and M. Olssen. New York, Peter Lang: 17-35. Gur-ze'ev, I. (2003c). Knowledge, Violence, and Education. Retrieved 06/05, 2005. Hall, S. and J. Martin (1989). New Times: The Changing Face of Politics in the 1990s. London, Lawrance & Wishardt.


Hansson, S.O. (2004) Philosophical Perspectives on Risk. Techn: Research in Philosophy and Technology 8, DOI: Haraway, D. (1991). Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. London, Free Association Books. Haraway, D. (2000). A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s. The Gendered Cyborg. A Reader. G. Kirkup, L. Janes, K. Woodward and F. Hovenden: 50-57. Harris, M. (2002). Virtual Learning and the Network Society. Digital Academe: New Media & Institutions in Higher Education and Learning. W. Dutton and B.D. Loader. London, Routledge: 215-31. Harvey, D. (1990). The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry Into the Origins of Cultural Change. Oxford, Blackwell. Heap and Ross, Eds. (1992). Understanding the Enterprise Culture. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press. Heidegger, M. (1967). Preface to Wegmarken. Frankfurt, Klostermann. Heidegger, M. (1977). The Question Concerning Technology. London, Harper & Row Publishers. Heim, M. (1993). The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality. New York, Oxford University Press. Hillis, K. (1996). A Geography of the Eye: The Technology of Virtual Reality. Cultures of the Internet. Virtual Spaces, Real Histories, Living Bodies. R. Shields. London, Sage Publications: 70-98. Himanen, P. (2001). The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age. New York, Random House. Hirst, P. and J. Zeitlin (1991). Flexible Specialisation versus post-Fordism: Theory, evidence and policy implications. Economy and Society 20(1): 1-156. Hoogvelt, A. (2001). Globalization and the Postcolonial World. Hampshire, Palgrave. Jameson, F. (1990). Clinging to the Wreckage: A Conversation. Marxism Today. Jameson, F. (1991). Postmodernism or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. London, Verso. Jessop, B. (1995). Post-Fordism and the State. Post-Fordism A Reader. A. Amin. Oxford, Blackwell Johnson, S. (1997). Interface Culture. How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create & Communicate. New York, Basic Books.


Karim, K.H. (2001). Cyber-Utopia and the Myth of the Paradise: Using Jacques Ellul's work on Propaganda to Analyse Information Society Rhetoric. Information, Communication & Society 4(1): 11334. Keat, R. and N. Abercrombie (1991). Enterprise Culture. London, Routledge. Kelemen, M. and W. Smith (2001). Community and its Virtual Promises. A Critique of Cyberlibertarian Rhetoric. Information, Communication & Society 4(3): 370-87. Kellner, D. (1997). Media Literacies and Critical Pedagogy in a Multicultural Society. from Kellner, D. (2001). New Technologies/New Literacies: Reconstructing Education for the New Millennium. International Journal of Technology and Design Education. 11(1): 67-81. Kellner, D. (2002). Toward a Critical Theory of Education. Retrieved 3 March, 2003, from Kim, J. (2001). Phenomenology of Digital-Being. Human Studies(24): 87-111. Kling, R. (2000). Learning About Information Technologies and Social Change: The Contribution of Social Informatics. The Information Society 16: 217-32. Knobel, M. (2005). Memes, literacy and affinity spaces: Implications for policy and digital divides in education. Policy Options and Models for Bridging Digital Divides, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland, Landow, G.P. (1992). Hypertext: The Convergence of Contemporary Critical Theory and Technology. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press. Landow, G.P., Ed. (1994a). Hyper/Text/Theory. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press. Landow, G.P. (1994b). What's a Critic to Do?: Critical Theory in the Age of Hypertext. Hyper/Text/Theory. G.P. Landow. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press: 1-50. Lankshear, C. (2003). The Challenge of Digital Epistemologies. Education, Communication & Information 3(2): 167-86. Lankshear, C. (2005). Freedom and Sharing in the Global Network Society Policy Options and Models for Bridging Digital Divides, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland, Lankshear, C. and C. Bigum (1999). Literacies and New Technologies in School Settings. Curriculum Studies 7(3): 445-65.


Lankshear, C. and P. McLaren, Eds. (1993). Critical Literacy. Politics, Praxis, and the Posmodern. New York, State University of New York. Lankshear, C., M. Peters and M. Knobel (1996). Critical Pedagogy and Cyberspace. Counternarratives: Cultural Studies and Critical Pedagogies in Postmodern Spaces. H. Giroux, C. Lankshear, P. McLaren and M. Peters. New York, Routledge: 149-88. Lankshear, C., M. Peters and M. Knobel (2000). Information Knowledge and Learning: Some Issues Facing Epistemology and Education in a Digital Age. Journal of Philosophy of Education 34(1): 17-39. Lelliot, A., S. Penlebyry and P. Enslin (2000). Promises of Access and Inclusion: Online Education in Africa. Enquiries at the Interface: Philosophical Problems of Online Education. N. Blake and P. Standish. Oxford, Blackwell. Lvy, P. (1998). La Cibercultura. El Segon Diluvi? Barcelona, Edicions de la Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Lipietz, A. (1987). Mirages and Miracles: The Crises of Global Fordism. London, Verso. Lister, M., J. Dovey, S. Giddings, I. Grant and K. Kelly (2003). New Media: A Critical Introduction. London, Routledge. Lovitt, W. (1977). Introduction. The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays. G. Gray and J. Stambaugh. London, Harper & Row Publishers. Lvlie, L. (1992). Postmodernism and Subjectivity. Psychology and Postmodernism. S. Kvale. London, Sage: 119-34. Lvlie, L. (2002). The Promise of Bildung. Journal of Philosophy of Education 36(3): 467-86. Lvlie, L. and P. Standish (2002). Introduction: Bildung and the idea of a Liberal Education. Journal of Philosophy of Education 36(3): 317-40. Luke, A. and C. Luke (2001). Adolescence lost/childhood regained: On early intervention and the emergence of the techno-subject. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy 1(1): 91-120. Lunenfeld, P. (1993). Digital Dialectics: A Hybrid Theory of Computer Media. Afterimage 21(4). Lyon, D. (2002). Cyberspace. Beyond the Information Society? Living with Cyberspace. Technology and Society in the 21st Century. J. Armitage and J. Roberts. London, Continuum. Lyotard, J.-F. (1979). The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Manchester, Manchester University Press.


Mackay, H., M. Young and J. Beynon, Eds. (1991). Understanding Technology in Education. London, The Falmer Press. MacKenzie, D. and J. Wajcman (2003). Introductory Essay: The Social Shaping of Technology. The Social Shaping of Technology. D. MacKenzie and J. Wajcman. London, Open University Press: 3-27. Masschelein, J. (1998). How to imagine something exterior to the system: Critical education as problematization. Educational Theory 48(4): 521-30. Masschelein, J. (2001). The Discourse of the Learning Society and the Loss of Childhood. Journal of Philosophy of Education 35(1): 1-20. Masschelein, J. (2004). How to Conceive of Critical Educational Theory Today? Journal of Philosophy of Education 38(3): 351-66. Masschelein, J. and N. Ricken (2003). Do We (Still) Need the Concept of Bildung? Educational Philosophy and Theory 35(2): 139-53. Masschelein, J. and M. Simons (2002). An Adequate Education in a Globalised World? A Note on Immunisation Against Being-Together. Journal of Philosophy of Education 36(4): 589-608. Masschelein, J. and M. Simons (2004). Who Could Be Opposed to a University of Excellence? On the Idea of a World University Concentrated Around Pools of Attention. 3rd Global Conference. The Idea of Education. Prague, Czech Republic, McLaren, P. (1989). Life in Schools. New York, Longman. McMillan, S. (2002). Exploring Models of Interactivity from Multiple Research Traditions: Users, Documents, and Systems. Handbook of New Media. Shaping and Consequences of ICT's. L.A. Lievrouw and S. Livingstone. London, Sage Publications: 163-82. McMillan, S. and E. Downes (2000). Defining Interactivity: a Qualitative Identification of Key Dimensions. New Media & Society 2(2): 157-79. Morat, J.C. and A.M. Riu (1996). Diccionario de Filosofa en CD-ROM. Barcelona, Editorial Herder. Murray, S.J. (2005). The Rhetoric's of Life and Multitude in Michel Foucault and Paolo Virno. CTHEORY Retrieved 9/13, 2005, from Noble, D. (1998). Digital Diploma Mills: The Automation of Higher Education. Retrieved 24 July, 2003, from


Noble, D. (2002). Rehearsal for the Revolution. The Virtual University? Knowledge, Markets, and Management. K. Robins and F. Webster. Oxford, Oxford University Press: 282-300. Nordenbo, S.E. (2002). Bildung and the Thinking of Bildung. Journal of Philosophy of Education 36(3): 341-52. Packer, M.J. and J. Goicoechea (2000). Sociocultural and Constructivist Theories of Learning: Ontology, not just Epistemology. Educational Psychologist 35(4): 227-41. Peters, M. (2001). Education, Enterprise Culture and the Entrepreneurial Self: A Foucauldian Perspective. Journal of Educational Enquiry 2(2). Peters, M. (2002a). Critical Pedagogy and the Futures of Critical Theory. Critical Pedagogy in a Postmodern Era: Toward a New Critical Language in Education, Special Pre-conference on Critical Pedagogy, University of Oslo Peters, M. (2002b). Education Policy Research and the Global Knowledge Economy. Educational Philosophy and Theory 34(1): 91-102. Peters, M. and C. Lankshear (1996). Postmodern Counternarratives. Counternarratives: Cultural Studies and Critical Pedagogies in Postmodern Spaces. H. Giroux, C. Lankshear, P. McLaren and M. Peters. New York, Routledge: 1-39.

Peters, M., C. Lankshear and M. Olssen, Eds. (2003). Critical Theory and the Human Condition. Founders and Praxis. Counterpoints. New York, Peter Lang. Phelan, J.M. (2003). CyberWalden: The Online Psychology of Politics and Culture. Communication and Cyberspace. Social Interaction in an Electronic Environment. L. Strate, R.L. Jacobson and S.B. Gibson. Cresskill, Hampton Press: 47-58. Piore, M. and C. Sabel (1984). The Second Industrial Divide. New York, Basic Books. Poster, M. (1995a). Postmodern Virtualities in: The Second Media Age. Blackwell. 2003, from Poster, M. (1995b). The Second Media Age. London, Polity Press. Poster, M. (2001a). The Information Subject. Amsterdam, G+B Arts International. Poster, M. (2001b). What's the Matter with the Internet? Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press. Raigada, J.L.P. and J.A.G. Moya (1999). Metodologa General. Conocimiento Cientfico e Investigacin en la Comunicacin Social. Madrid, Editorial Sntesis. Ranson, S., Ed. (1998a). Inside the Learning Society. London, Cassell.


Ranson, S. (1998b). Towards the Learning Society. Inside the Learning Society. S. Ranson. London, Cassell. Richards, B. (1985). Schizoid States and the Market. Capitalism and Infancy. B. Richards. London, Free Association Press: 122-66. Robins, K. (1995). Cyberspace and the World We Live In. Cyberspace/Cyberbodies/Cyberpunk. Cultures of Technological Embodiment. M. Featherstone and R. Burrows. London, Sage Publications: 135-55. Robins, K. and F. Webster. (1988). Cybernetic Capitalism: Information, Technology, Everyday Life. The Political Economy of Information, from Robins, K. and F. Webster (1989). The Technical Fix. Education, Computers and Industry. London, MACMILLAN. Robins, K. and F. Webster (1991). The Selling of New Technology. Understanding Technology in Education. H. Mackay, M. Young and J. Beynon. London, The Falmer Press: 66-92. Robins, K. and F. Webster (1999). Times of the Technoculture. From the Information Society to the Virtual Life. London, Routledge. Robins, K. and F. Webster, Eds. (2002). The Virtual University? Knowledge, Markets, and Management. Oxford, Oxford University Press. Roszak, T. (1994). The Cult of Information. A Neo-Luddite Treatise on High-Tech, Artificial Intelligence, and the True Art of Thinking. Berkeley, University of California Press. Saber, S. and M. Dadashzadeh, Eds. (2002). Information Technology Education in the New Millennium. London, IRM Press Shannon, C. and W. Weaver (1981). Teora Matemtica de la Comunicacin. Madrid, Forja. Slater, D. (2002). Social Relationships and Identity Online and Offline. Handbook of New Media. Shaping and Consequences of ICT's. L.A. Lievrouw and S. Livinstone. London, Sage Publications: 533-46. Slaughter, S. and L.L. Leslie (1997). Academic Capitalism. Politics, Policies, and the Entrepreneurial University. Baltimore, John Hopkins University Press. Standish, P. (1997). Heidegger and the Technology of Further Education. Journal of Philosophy of Education 31(3): 439-59. Standish, P. (1999). Only Connect: Computer literacy from Heidegger to cyberfeminism. Educational Theory 49(4): 417-35.


Steuer, J. (1999). Defining Virtual Reality: Dimensions Determining Telepresence. Communication in the Age of Virtual Reality. F. Biocca and M.R. Levy, Lawrence Erbaum Associates. Tomlinson, J. (1997). Internationalism, Globalization and Cultural Imperialism. Media and Cultural Regulation. K. Thompson. London, Sage Publications/Open University: 117-53. Turkle, S. (1996). Life on the Screen. Identity in the Age of Internet. London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson. van Dijk, J. (1999a). The Network Society. Social Aspects of New Media. London, Sage. van Dijk, J. (1999b). The One-Dimensional Network Society of Manuel Castells. New Media & Society 1(1): 127-38. van Dijk, J. (2000). Models of Democracy and Concepts of Communication. Digital Democracy. Issues of Theory and Practice. K.L. Hacker and J.v. Dijk. London, Sage Publications. Vessey, D. (2002). Martin Heidegger: The Question Concerning Technology. Beloit College 2005, from Von-Humboldt, W. (2000). Theory of Bildung. Teaching As Reflective Practice: The German Didaktik Tradition. I. Westbury, S. Hopmann and K. Riquarts. New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum. Webster, F. (2001). The Postmodern University? The Loss of Purpose in British University. Access Denied in the Information Age. S. Lax. London, Palgrave. Webster, F. (2002). Theories of the Information Society. London, Routledge. Webster, F., Ed. (2004). The Information Society Reader. London, Routledge. Weight, J. (2003) Phenomenology and Digital Information. Journal of Digital Information, DOI: Wellman, B. and C. Haythornthwaite, Eds. (2002). The Internet in Everyday Life. The Information Age. Oxford, Blackwell. Wertheim, M., Ed. (1999). The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace: A History of Space from Dante to the Internet. New York, Norton. Whyte, J. (2005). The Human Is A Battleground. 2005. Williams, F., R. Rice and R. Everett (1988). Research Methods and the New Media. New York, Free Press.


Williams, R. and D. Edge (1996). The Social Shaping of Technology. Information and Communication Technologies: Visions and Realities. W. Dutton. Oxford, Oxford University Press: 53-67. Willis, P. (1999). Labor Power, Culture, and the Cultural Commodity. Critical Education in the New Information Age. M. Castells, R. Flecha, P. Freire, H.A. Giroux, D. Macedo and P. Willis. Oxford, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers: 139-69. Winner, L. (1997a). Cyberlibertarian Myths and the Prospects for Community. 2003, from Winner, L. (1997b). The Handwriting on the Wall: Resisting Technoglobalism's Assault on Education. Retrieved 02/25, 2004, from Zizek, S. (1993). Trying with the negative: Kant, Hegel, and the Critique of Ideology. Durham, Duke University Press.