The Nexus of Digital Technology, Sociology and Economics

By Valerian DeSousa, Douglas McConatha and Michael J. Lynch.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper seeks to address interdisciplinary practices across the social sciences and between the social sciences and technology using examples drawn from three recent developments, viz., the globalization of economic activity, the new models of stock market trading, and the increasing viability of virtual worlds in cyberspace. These three developments challenge traditional analytical constructs of power and control, class, gender and sexuality, and indeed, raise the very important questions of the future of ‘man’ and of human agency. We argue that the role of digital technology and its concomitant ideologies offer a lens through which the narrative of global capitalism can be examined and better understood. Rather than see the rise of economic and social globalization as the natural progeny of a rampant and inevitable capitalism, we argue that the evolving norms, roles and statuses of the twenty-first century are creating a new elite we label the Digital Suzerains. These shadow elites, as they have been called, find ways to encourage the true innovators to relinquish their rights of ascendancy in the social hierarchy and are thus replaced or find their powers usurped by tradition and custom.

Keywords: Sociology, Economics, Technology

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 10, pp.211-220. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 612.879KB).

Dr. Valerian DeSousa

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anthropology and Sociology, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, West Chester, PA, USA

Research interests include the study of colonial labor law in India and the study of the labor process in call centers.

Douglas McConatha

Professor/Director, Department of Sociology, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, West Chester, PA, USA

Dr. McConatha has designed, launched, and managed, as chairman and/or CEO, three for-profit companies providing educational opportunities to targeted populations. These include two research and education organizations (GeroCorp LLC,1984-1996, a pre-retirement education company, and WebStudy Inc.1996-present, a distance learning software and service company) and one Internet-based enterprise (Circle Of, 1998-2001, which promoted teaching and learning with large national age 50+ membership organizations). He has also served as Dean of Health Sciences and Associate Dean/Director of Sponsored Research at West Chester State University. Additionally he designed and implemented the first national study to demonstrate the Internet’s effect on reducing depression among the elderly. Featured on NBC News, National Public Radio, The New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Forbes Magazine, Le Monde, and more than forty additional national and international publications. He has published more than thirty articles in scientific journals, presented fifty papers, and appeared as a featured panelist on aging issues at numerous seminars and conferences, including The Gerontological Society of America, AARP, International Gerontological Society, Gero-Technology, UNESCO, American Health Care Association (AHCA) and others.

Michael J. Lynch

Graduate Student, Department of Sociology, Temple University, West Chester, PA, USA


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