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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2009

Rick Wicks

This paper revisits old questions of the proper subject and bounds of economics: does economics study “provisioning”? or markets? or a method of reasoning, self‐interested…

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1057

Abstract

Purpose

This paper revisits old questions of the proper subject and bounds of economics: does economics study “provisioning”? or markets? or a method of reasoning, self‐interested rational optimization?

Design/methodology/approach

A variety of scholars and others in many fields make use of a taxonomy of society consisting of three “spheres”: markets, governments, and communities. It is argued here that this tripartite taxonomy of society is fundamental and exhaustive. A variety of ways of understanding this taxonomy are explored, especially Fiske's (1991, 2004) “Relational models theory.” Then – after communities and their products, social goods, are defined more thoroughly – a visual model of interactions among the three spheres is presented.

Findings

The model is first used briefly to understand the historical development of markets. The model is then applied to understanding how economic thinking and market ideology, including the notion of social capital, can be destructive of communities and their production of social goods (and their production of social capital as well).

Research limitations/implications

It is not possible to measure these effects monetarily, so calculating precisely “how this affects results” in a standard economic model is impossible.

Practical implications

Nevertheless we could better prepare students for real‐world analysis, and better serve our clients, including the public, if – whenever relevant, such as in textbook introductions and in benefit/cost analyses – we made them aware of the limitations of economic analysis with respect to communities and social goods.

Originality/value

The three‐spheres model offered here, based on Fiske's “Relational models theory,” facilitates this awareness.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 20 May 2011

Harry F. Dahms

For Weberian Marxists, the social theories of Max Weber and Karl Marx are complementary contributions to the analysis of modern capitalist society. Combining Weber's…

Abstract

For Weberian Marxists, the social theories of Max Weber and Karl Marx are complementary contributions to the analysis of modern capitalist society. Combining Weber's theory of rationalization with Marx's critique of commodity fetishism to develop his own critique of reification, Georg Lukács contended that the combination of Marx's and Weber's social theories is essential to envisioning socially transformative modes of praxis in advanced capitalist society. By comparing Lukács's theory of reification with Habermas's theory of communicative action as two theories in the tradition of Weberian Marxism, I show how the prevailing mode of “doing theory” has shifted from Marx's critique of economic determinism to Weber's idea of the inner logic of social value spheres. Today, Weberian Marxism can make an important contribution to theoretical sociology by reconstituting itself as a framework for critically examining prevailing societal definitions of the rationalization imperatives specific to purposive-rational social value spheres (the economy, the administrative state, etc.). In a second step, Weberian Marxists would explore how these value spheres relate to each other and to value spheres that are open to the type of communicative rationalization characteristic of the lifeworld level of social organization.

Details

The Vitality Of Critical Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-798-8

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Jack Andersen

To provide some theoretical considerations concerning information literacy so as to contribute to a theoretically informed point of departure for understanding information…

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3123

Abstract

Purpose

To provide some theoretical considerations concerning information literacy so as to contribute to a theoretically informed point of departure for understanding information literacy and to argue that to be an information literate person is to have knowledge about information sources and that searching and using them is determined by an insight into how knowledge is socially organized in society.

Design/methodology/approach

Using concepts from composition studies that deal with the question of what a writer needs to know in order to produce a text, the paper outlines some ideas and key concepts in order to show how these ideas and concepts are useful to our understanding of information literacy. To demonstrate how information‐literacy is to have knowledge about information sources and that searching and using them is determined by an insight into how knowledge is socially organized in society, the paper takes a point of departure in Habermas' theory of the public sphere.

Findings

Concludes that information seeking competence is a sociopolitical skill, like reading and writing skills, connected to human activity. Searching for documents in information systems is a complex and sociopolitical activity. As an expression of human activity we might say that searching for documents and reading and writing constitutes each other. The genre knowledge necessary in reading and writing does also apply when seeking information in systems of organized knowledge as the forms of information determine what can be expected and found in these systems. Information literacy covers, then, the ability to read society and its textually and genre‐mediated structures. Information literacy represents an understanding of society and its textual mediation.

Research limitations/implications

Locating an understanding of information literacy in a broader discursive framework requires us to rethink our hitherto concepts and understandings of information literacy as socio‐political skills and not mere technical search skills

Originality/value

Rarely is information literacy discussed and understood from social‐theoretical perspectives. This article illuminates how an analysis of information literacy from the perspective of the theory of the public sphere can open up for an understanding of information literacy socio‐political skills. Thus, the article has contributed with a new interpretation of information literacy.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 62 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2020

Johan Bolmsten and Momoko Kitada

The purpose of this paper is to understand the usefulness of an agile social learning method in higher education to build capacity for sustainable development at the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the usefulness of an agile social learning method in higher education to build capacity for sustainable development at the community level. Social learning methods intend to empower students (and instructors) to work together in connection with real-life issues – combined with acquiring a conceptual understanding – to analyze issues at hand and work out solutions. The agile format of the method was aimed at a subject that is adaptive and responsive to change to empower the students to take action toward sustainable development.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was based on a case study methodology where the running of the subject was documented and analyzed for two years. The target student group was maritime professionals who had an interest or were in a position to work with developing sustainable solutions in their home organizations (mostly in developing countries).

Findings

The results of the analysis indicate how the students learned about environmental, social and economic spheres of sustainable development and their linkages; how the subject format stimulated the students to develop different “learning paths” between the three spheres of sustainable development, which enabled a multi-faceted understanding of sustainable development issues; and, finally, how the students were able to design evolvable sustainable development solutions.

Originality/value

The results indicate both the novelty and usefulness of the agile social learning method to build capacity for sustainable development through the subject designed for higher education.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 21 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Marius Rohde Johannessen, Øystein Sæbø and Leif Skiftenes Flak

This paper aims to examine major stakeholders’ communication preferences in eParticipation initiatives and discuss how this affects the public sphere. Despite the…

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3352

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine major stakeholders’ communication preferences in eParticipation initiatives and discuss how this affects the public sphere. Despite the potential of social media, it has proven difficult to get people actively involved in the decision-making processes. There is a need for more research on how stakeholders manage and use social media to communicate.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted as a qualitative case study. Data sources include interviews, social media content, document analysis and field notes.

Findings

Communication preferences of stakeholders vary according to their salience level. Stakeholders with higher salience are less likely to participate in social media, whereas those who are less salient will use every available medium to gain influence. This challenges the opportunity to create a traditional public sphere in social media.

Research limitations/implications

The authors contribute to a better understanding of who participates in social media and why. Stakeholder salience analysis shows that in the case of citizen-initiated eParticipation, social media cannot be seen as a Habermasian public sphere.

Practical implications

The authors suggest two approaches for government officials’ handling of social media: to treat social media as a channel for input and knowledge about the concerns of citizen groups and to integrate social media in the formal processes of decision making to develop consultative statements on specific policy issues.

Social implications

The study shows that power and urgency are the most important salience attributes. These findings indicate that social media may not be as inclusive as early research indicates, and less active social media users may have power and influence through other channels.

Originality/value

The findings extend current knowledge of the public sphere by adding the stakeholder perspective in addition to existing evaluative models of the public sphere.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 50 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 20 August 2018

Kyle John Lorenzano, Miles Sari, Colin Harrell Storm, Samuel Rhodes and Porismita Borah

Political polarization and incivility manifested itself online throughout the 2016 US presidential election. The purpose of this paper is to understand how features of…

Abstract

Purpose

Political polarization and incivility manifested itself online throughout the 2016 US presidential election. The purpose of this paper is to understand how features of social media platforms (e.g. reacting, sharing) impacted the online public sphere during the 2016 election.

Design/methodology/approach

After conducting in-depth interviews with politically interested young people and applying deductive coding procedures to transcripts of the interviews, Dahlberg’s (2004) six normative conditions for the public sphere were used to empirically examine this interview data.

Findings

While some participants described strategies for productive political discussion on Social Networking Sites (SNS) and a willingness to use them to discuss politics, many users’ experiences largely fall short of Dahlberg’s (2004) normative criteria for the public sphere.

Research limitations/implications

The period in which these interviews were conducted in could have contributed to a more pessimistic view of political discussion in general.

Practical implications

Scholars and the public should recognize that the affordances of SNS for political discussion are not distributed evenly between different platforms, both for the sake of empirical studies of SNS moving forward and the state of democratic deliberation.

Originality/value

Although previous research has examined online and SNS-based political discussion as it relates to the public sphere, few attempts have been made understand how specific communicative practices or platform-specific features of SNS have contributed to or detracted from a healthy public sphere.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 42 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Christofer Laurell

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the fragmentation of the fashion system can be conceptually explained by drawing on Peter Sloterdijk’s theory of spheres.

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2836

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the fragmentation of the fashion system can be conceptually explained by drawing on Peter Sloterdijk’s theory of spheres.

Design/methodology/approach

By conceptually discussing the changing nature of the fashion system and the institutional pressures exerted on fashion systems as a result of digital technology, the fundamental conceptual underpinnings of the theory of spheres are applied to these developments in order to explain the character of the contemporary organization of fashion.

Findings

Based on the conceptual analysis, this paper illustrates how a sphereological perspective to fashion provides a conceptual approach to explain the transformation and fragmentation of fashion systems.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the field of fashion marketing and management by demonstrating how the concept of fashion spheres can explain social arrangements going beyond the boundaries of fashion systems and the associated implications that this brings to bear on the role of fashion.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2019

Konstantin V. Vodenko

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the current problems and the main perspectives of the development of state regulation of the Russian system of higher education in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the current problems and the main perspectives of the development of state regulation of the Russian system of higher education in the context of the provision of Russia’s national security.

Design/methodology/approach

The research of formation of the system of national security in Russia and the problems of the development of education is based on the methods of Russian and foreign Institutionalists (D. North, S.G. Kirdina, R.M. Nureev, Y.V. Latov, etc.). The research is also based on the theory of inequality in the system of education (D.L. Konstantinovsky), the idea of cultural aspects of social inequality (Pierre Bourdieu) and the theory that connects the problem of the development of the educational system with the system of national security and social inequalities (A.V. Vereshchagina, S.I. Samygina, etc.).

Findings

The modern state and perspectives of state regulation of higher education in the modern Russian conditions are analyzed in this paper. A complex analysis of risks of the modern state of Russia’s educational system is performed, and educational inequality as a risk to national security is studied in this paper. Perspectives of state regulation of higher education in view of the national model of socio-economic activities and principles of national security are viewed in this paper. The main directions of improving the educational system in the context of the provision of national security of the state are given in this paper.

Research limitations/implications

The results of the research could be used for correcting the main directions of Russia’s socio-economic policy in the long term. The central trend of this policy is the reformation of the development of the sphere of education as a factor of the formation of the system of Russia’s national security.

Practical implications

The results of the research could be used for correcting the main directions of Russia’s socio-economic policy in the long term. The central trend of this policy is the reformation of the development of the sphere of education as a factor of formation of the system of Russia’s national security.

Social implications

The ideas of the research could stimulate the reconsideration and harmonization of perspectives of the development of social policy of the state, which includes the interaction of the development of higher education and system of national security.

Originality/value

Originality of this paper consists in setting the problem of the implementation of social senses of the development of state policy in the sphere of higher education into the discourse of theoretical and practical consideration of the problems of national security.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Huseyn Aliyev

The purpose of this paper is to suggest that informal practices and institutions of post-Soviet countries differ from informality in other post-socialist regions and…

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2072

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to suggest that informal practices and institutions of post-Soviet countries differ from informality in other post-socialist regions and, therefore, proposes categorizing it as “post-Soviet informality” – a composite definition that extends beyond the concept of “informal economy” and encompasses, along with economic activities, social and political spheres.

Design/methodology/approach

The arguments of the paper are based on a comprehensive analysis of secondary sources.

Findings

This paper shows that, owing to the effects of antecedent regime’s legacies and the problems of post-communist transition, for the proper analysis of informality in post-Soviet countries it needs to be based on an own concept.

Originality/value

This study, in contrast to the existing literature on informality in post-communist spaces, specifically focuses on the informal sphere of post-Soviet countries, suggesting that the informal institutions and practices thriving across the vast post-Soviet space not only differ from the informal spheres elsewhere in the world, but also from informality in other post-communist regions.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 35 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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