Title page for ETD etd-07032008-130105

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Nel, David Ferguson
Email davefnel@yahoo.com
URN etd-07032008-130105
Document Title Information technology as an agent of post-modernism
Degree MCom (Informatics)
Department Informatics
Advisor Name Title
Dr J H Kroeze Supervisor
  • nihilism
  • society
  • Internet
  • post-modernism
  • information technology
  • technology
  • identity
Date 2007-04-23
Availability unrestricted
Society is in a tumultuous state. Today’s Western society is characterized by disillusionment, doubt, irony, fragmentation and plurality. With the failure of Modernism and the rise to prominence of Nihilism, Post-Humanism, Post-Structuralism and Individualism, society has entered a thoroughly Post-Modern era.

Over the past couple of decades humanity has increasingly turned to Information Technology as the great enabler. Through the capabilities that Information Technology offers, undreamed heights of scientific and technological progress have been reached in an amazingly short span of time. However, rather than uplifting and emancipating society, the wholesale implementation of Information Technology has brought with it a host of unintended and unforeseen consequences. As with the promises of Modernism, Information Technology has not brought society the Utopia that it imagined. Information Technology rather has acted to create a universe characterized by virtuality, constant change, indeterminacy, and an information orientated perspective on the world. Technological progress has not been accompanied by social progress.

Through a comprehensive literature review and an examination of both Post-Modernism and Information Technology, it is proposed that the influences of Information Technology have acted and continued to act to promote Post-Modernism. These influences amongst others include its displacement of space and time, its promotion of the Information Society, its ability to create digital hyperrealities, its destructive influence on tradition and culture, and most of all its catastrophic/revolutionary impact on the identity. Through these influences this paper seeks to prove that Information Technology acts an agent of Post-Modernism.

© University of Pretoria 2006

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