Model of the network society (Manuel Castells 2000)

Some elements of my article “Die Grundlagen der Theorie der Netzwerkgesellschaft von Manuel Castells. Eine Erläuterung auf Basis der griechischen Finazkrise.” The article is ready and I´m searching for a scientific magazine which wants to publish it. Anybody who is interessted in the whole articel can send me an e-mail.

 I have posted here a summarising diagram of the theoretical basics of the network society by Manuel Castells. The article will feature although two diagrams which visualise Castells concept of a network and the change of a network by discharging a node. These two diagrams can help us to understand why it is important that we think proably about the current situation in greek. Unfourtunatly the article will be written in german, but all digrams are posted and shortly commented here in english.

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network castells

This chart shows the social structure of the network society. Analytically, but not in fact, the actor and the society can be seen as the two opponents in a chess game. Genrally: The task of the society is to build institutions with offers and constrains acting possibilities to the actor. These offers and constrains must be organised.

As the title of Castells theory suggests, the main concept of the network society, the logic, which organises the interactions of the individuals and the collective actors like groups and institution, is the network. To be more precise, the information network, which is driven by the technologies of the informational revolution like the internet and currently the mobile-net. Castells defines a network as: “[…] a set of interconnected nodes. A node is the point where the curve intersects itself” (Castells 2000, p. 15). Actually nobody seems to know what he means by this, but his concept becomes clearer, when it is visualized.

network t1

 This chart shows the first phase of a transformation process of a network. In a network the nodes don´t follow the command and control logic of a centralised hierarchie, the follow the logic of a switcher, which decides to which node the information will be send. The importance of nodes comes from their ability to be trusted by the network with an extrashare
of information If a node declines his usefull function for the network it will be phased out. Which is visualised in the following chart.

network t2

Appling this model to the so called internet or hashtag revolution of the arbic spring, which mainly takes place on  Tahrir-Square in Cairo, the unsuccessful attemps to find a leader of the revolution, like Michael Hardt argues*, are explainable. In a network-organized revolution is no explicit leader, only several more important persons.

* Thanks to Nils Markwardt for this notion.

Litrature: Castells, Manuel 2000: Materials for an exploratory theory of the network society. London.


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