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Phatic systems in digital society / John, Tucker

Technology in Society, Volume: 46, Pages: 140 - 148

Swansea University Author: John, Tucker

Abstract

In our contemporary society, phatic technologies routinely establish, develop and maintain personal and emotional relationships across time and space. This phenomenon is reminiscent of Giddens’ 1990 concept of abstract systems e made of symbolic tokens and expert systems e that disembed and re-embed...

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Published in: Technology in Society
ISSN: 0160-791X
Published: Elsevier 2016
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa29529
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first_indexed 2016-08-10T18:50:19Z
last_indexed 2018-02-12T14:05:55Z
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spelling 2018-02-10T21:26:01.5326035 v2 29529 2016-08-10 Phatic systems in digital society 431b3060563ed44cc68c7056ece2f85e 0000-0003-4689-8760 John Tucker John Tucker true false 2016-08-10 SCS In our contemporary society, phatic technologies routinely establish, develop and maintain personal and emotional relationships across time and space. This phenomenon is reminiscent of Giddens’ 1990 concept of abstract systems e made of symbolic tokens and expert systems e that disembed and re-embed public and professional life. In this paper, we develop social theory that aims to provide a better understanding of the prominent role of phatic technologies in society. We proceed in three stages: first, we critique and revise Giddens’ vague concept of symbolic tokens and its implications for time space distanciation by introducing novel concepts from measurement science. This focuses on forms of information that are relatively precise and communal. Secondly, building on our new formulation of abstract systems, we propose new sociological concepts, phatic systems and symbolic indicators, to enable social theory to explore and analyse the rise of phatic technologies. The concepts focus on the personal and emotional. Thirdly, reflecting on the fact that our digital society is held together by software, we introduce concepts from theoretical computer science to relate the abstract sociological idea of phatic systems and symbolic indicators to the concrete nature of digital data. Journal Article Technology in Society 46 140 148 Elsevier 0160-791X Abstract systems Symbolic tokens Measurement science Phatic systems Symbolic indicators Abstract data types 1 8 2016 2016-08-01 10.1016/j.techsoc.2016.06.002 COLLEGE NANME Computer Science COLLEGE CODE SCS Swansea University 2018-02-10T21:26:01.5326035 2016-08-10T14:38:56.9605619 College of Science Computer Science Victoria Wang 1 John Tucker 0000-0003-4689-8760 2 0029529-10082016144219.pdf 1-s2.0-S0160791X15300282-main.pdf 2016-08-10T14:42:19.4970000 Output 704104 application/pdf Accepted Manuscript true 2018-01-11T00:00:00.0000000 true
title Phatic systems in digital society
spellingShingle Phatic systems in digital society
John, Tucker
title_short Phatic systems in digital society
title_full Phatic systems in digital society
title_fullStr Phatic systems in digital society
title_full_unstemmed Phatic systems in digital society
title_sort Phatic systems in digital society
author_id_str_mv 431b3060563ed44cc68c7056ece2f85e
author_id_fullname_str_mv 431b3060563ed44cc68c7056ece2f85e_***_John, Tucker
author John, Tucker
format Journal article
container_title Technology in Society
container_volume 46
container_start_page 140
publishDate 2016
institution Swansea University
issn 0160-791X
doi_str_mv 10.1016/j.techsoc.2016.06.002
publisher Elsevier
college_str College of Science
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hierarchy_top_title College of Science
hierarchy_parent_id collegeofscience
hierarchy_parent_title College of Science
department_str Computer Science{{{_:::_}}}College of Science{{{_:::_}}}Computer Science
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description In our contemporary society, phatic technologies routinely establish, develop and maintain personal and emotional relationships across time and space. This phenomenon is reminiscent of Giddens’ 1990 concept of abstract systems e made of symbolic tokens and expert systems e that disembed and re-embed public and professional life. In this paper, we develop social theory that aims to provide a better understanding of the prominent role of phatic technologies in society. We proceed in three stages: first, we critique and revise Giddens’ vague concept of symbolic tokens and its implications for time space distanciation by introducing novel concepts from measurement science. This focuses on forms of information that are relatively precise and communal. Secondly, building on our new formulation of abstract systems, we propose new sociological concepts, phatic systems and symbolic indicators, to enable social theory to explore and analyse the rise of phatic technologies. The concepts focus on the personal and emotional. Thirdly, reflecting on the fact that our digital society is held together by software, we introduce concepts from theoretical computer science to relate the abstract sociological idea of phatic systems and symbolic indicators to the concrete nature of digital data.
published_date 2016-08-01T12:46:01Z
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