- Reblogged from npr
#Sociology of #Work: #Research by Australian Sociologist Barbara Pocock shows how #management can improve work/life balance. This includes being flexible with hours and the structure of #work, the type of work different employees do, and the ways that employees can deliver work outputs. With new #technology, there are a range of cloud based solutions for collaboration and submission of work. Another important way of managing work/life balance is to foster an environment of #trust where employees can let you know about their out-of-hours responsibilities and preferences should they wish to have you better accommodate their needs. Managers should also seek to support working #parents and #workers who provide care for dependants who are sick, elderly or disabled. This includes access to affordable childcare, good parental and care leave arrangements that won’t impact on career progression, and giving employees the capacity to take holidays and other time off to manage family and health appointments. Society talks about work/ life balance as an issue that individuals and families should negotiate on their own. Pocock puts emphasis on “Supportive workplace cultures, practices and #leadership” as the means to improve work. Making work/ life balance a responsibility of workplaces as well as employees is a pivotal way that managers & CEOs can ensure that work is fulfilling, meaningful and energising, rather than a drain on the #creativity and #productivity of their #company. Pocock’s latest research is found in “Time Bomb: Work, Rest and Play in Australia Today.” #socialscience #worklifebalance #business #management #humanresources #corporate #training #life #career #visualsociology
“The mobile phone is like a teacher to me, and now I can write names and sentences on the board. This programme isn’t just helping me it’s also helping make my country safer.”
Read a story from United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) News Centre and see how mobile phones in Afghanistan are not only teaching the women police officers to read but turning them into more effective law enforcement officers.
This comic by xkcd is a great conversation starter for the sociology of moral panics. In 1871, Sunday Magazine lamented the lost art of letter writing. They bemoan the fact that as it becomes cheaper to write and send letters, people value “quality” letter writing less. This is seen to be to the detriment of society. The proliferation of letter writing evolves as new technologies make paper, ink and postal services more available to the masses.
The rest of the comic charts excellent examples from prestigious books, journals and professionals fretting about how technology changes the quality of human communication. We see these arguments continue today as some traditional media owners and some intellectuals decry the advent of social media and blogging, as well as how the internet in general supposedly ruins our collective intelligence. A couple of years a go, I wrote about how philosopher Edward De Bono said social media causes laziness.
What is at play behind these arguments is actually a moral panic about the control of cultural capital: technologies shift power over who controls information (in Marxist terms, the owners of the means of production). Technology doesn’t drive social change as it’s not some overpowering social force that we accept mindlessly. Instead, social relations change in response to people finding new uses for technology, and this is a feed back loop that pushes innovation in communications.
Take a look at the expanded comic and see what you think.
Credit: Link via Brian Glick on Google+.
This recent work is a reflection on the problem of our new digital world.Currently, at any stage of its creation, any idea or concept is digitally adapted.What will be retained in the future? What will happen to all of these billions of megabytes we stock on computers? In 10 years? In 500 years? Colliding the esthetic of modern minimalist Apple products with the classical architecture of the Louvre Museum, the viewer is forced to assess the question of new creation in our modern society.
David Karp, Sequoia partner Roelof Botha talk with TechCrunch founder (and Tumblr investor) Michael Arrington.
Good article on the historical and social influences on technology adoption. Science Professor Bernard Carlson, (University of Virginia, USA) tells engineering students: “they are going to produce sociotechnical systems,” meaning they need to understand how people “interact with technology.” MAGGIE KOERTH-BAKER writes:
Society shapes the development and use of technology (this is a function of social determinism; for example, cars didn’t really become ubiquitous until they became easy to operate and cheap to buy), but technology also shapes society (technological determinism; think of the way cars then essentially created the suburbs). Over time, the two interact with and change each other, an idea known as technological momentum, which was introduced in 1969 by Thomas P. Hughes, a historian of technology. According to Hughes’s theory, the technologies we end up using aren’t determined by any objective measure of quality. In fact, the tools we choose are often deeply flawed. They just happened to meet our particular social needs at a particular time and then became embedded in our culture.
"Why Your Car Isn’t Electric." Source: The New York Times.
Link via +Gaythia Weis
In Humanity 2.0, Professor Steve Fuller outlines how he would have once been referred to as a ‘humanist’, but now he sees himself as a transhumanist. The Humanity+ Organisation describes transhumanism (or ‘H+’) as ‘the ethical use of technology to transcend limits of the human body’.
In this video, Fuller talks about how humans have experienced a dichotomised view of our humanity: on the one hand we feel embedded to our animal nature (the legacy of Darwanism on how we think of ourselves), and on the other hand, we use concepts like consciousness, rationality, the mind and the soul to signify those qualities which we feel transcend other animal species. These are the elements of human imagination and human experience which societies feel deserve to be explored and preserved.
From Marx, Durkehim and Weber’s analyses of how industrialisation changed social structures; to the rise of sociobiology in the 1960s and 1970s (such as The Naked Ape); and to the sociology of post-Fordist technologies (Guns Germs and Steel and I Cyborg), sociology has wrestled with the idea that technology somehow fundamentally transforms our humanity.
Here’s more about Fulller’s Book:
Social thinkers in all fields are faced with one unavoidable question: what does it mean to be ‘human’ in the 21st century? As definitions between what is ‘animal’ and what is ‘human’ break down, and as emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and nano- and bio- technologies develop, accepted notions of humanity are rapidly evolving. Humanity 2.0 is an ambitious and ground-breaking book, offering a sweeping overview of key historical, philosophical and theological moments that have shaped our understandings of humanity. Tackling head on the twin taboos that have always hovered over the scientific study of humanity - race and religion - Steve Fuller argues thar far from disappearing, they are being reinvented.
Fuller argues that these new developments will force us to decide which features of our current way of life - not least our bodies - are truly needed to remain human, and concludes with a consideration of these changes for ethical and social values more broadly.
The Huffington Post reports that Interpol has arrested 25 people alleged to be members of the Anonymous hacker group. The arrests took place around Europe and South America.
The international police agency said in a statement that the arrests in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain were carried out by national law enforcement officers working under the support of Interpol’s Latin American Working Group of Experts on Information Technology Crime. The suspects, aged between 17 and 40, are suspected of planning coordinated cyberattacks against institutions including Colombia’s defense ministry and presidential websites, Chile’s Endesa electricity company and national library, as well as other targets.
Source: Huffington Post.
The Smithsonian Museum in the USA has used a 3D Printer to clone an exhibit statue. The technology will allow the famous museum to make perfect “museum quality” replicas to enable exhibitions to travel, meaning more people will be able to experience their joys and wonders. So great!
Social Figures According to Facebook, these are their current use statistics: We had 845 million MAUs as of December 31, 2011, an increase of 39% as compared to 608 million MAUs as of December 31, 2010. We had 483 million daily active users (DAUs) on average in December 2011, an increase of 48% as compared to 327 million DAUs in December 2010. We had more than 425 million MAUs who used Facebook mobile products in December 2011. There were more than 100 billion friend connections on Facebook as of December 31, 2011. Our users generated an average of 2.7 billion Likes and Comments per day during the three months ended December 31, 2011. (via Facebook has 845 million monthly users, and other interesting S-1 facts - The Next Web)