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ICT and the tension between old and new: the human factor

Krystyna Górniak‐Kocikowska (Philosophy Department, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA)

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

ISSN: 1477-996X

Article publication date: 4 April 2008




The purpose of this paper is to deepen the understanding of tensions between old and new in the emerging global society driven by information and communication technology (ICT); and to argue that creation of a theory of this society would contribute in the easing of these tensions.


The methods used in this paper are mostly analytical, descriptive, and qualitative. An analysis of the creation and development of ICT from a mathematical discipline of computer science to a universal tool and a driving force of the emerging global society, a development which is paralleled by the commercialization of ICT, is followed by two case studies illustrating the tensions between old and new and the role ICT plays in them. One case is centered on the challenges of traditional models of education by new, ICT‐friendly approaches, like the Multiple Intelligences Theory; the other addresses tensions between old and new that in many societies presently take the form of tensions between local/national and global.


A claim is formed that the existing tensions between old and new are closely linked to the tensions between the two most common forms of society, inclusive (egalitarian) and exclusive (elitist).


The paper will help understand some of the reactions to the process of globalization. It can serve as a tool for assessment and prediction regarding this process. Lastly, the paper contains a justification of merit in the creation of a “grass root” theory of an ICT‐driven global society built on a universally accepted ethical foundation.



Górniak‐Kocikowska, K. (2008), "ICT and the tension between old and new: the human factor", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 4-27.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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