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Abstract

This paper continues the exploration of network society ethics and value considerations that have moved more clearly toward considerations of interactional agency. Interactional agency produces relationships between agents and structure. The agents and structure each have their own powers and capabilities that social science has considered fundamental to sociality. In a network society, the interaction of the two produces new relational patterns. At a sociological level, the Internet is an exemplar of the generation of new relational patterns and can be thought of as a social structure that facilitates the enactment of relations through the free use of agency. Within such a view, relations are a structural phenomenon as important as agency. As the network society continues to expand, relations will more clearly be seen as both fundamental structures and generative mechanisms in their own right. When relations are considered to be generative mechanisms, the context in which relations differentiate new forms as well as the new social forms is critical to ethical analysis. This paper introduces a framework that joins information ethics in a practical, descriptive manner with ecological and capability assessment approaches. A case is argued here that considerations of contextualized relationships between and among human and non-human actors will be a major concern in the network society for the foreseeable future. This paper describes an initial approach to applying information ethics in work that involves human and non-human agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1061-1071
Number of pages11
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Volume16
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013

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Keywords

  • ecological
  • ethics
  • interactional agency
  • relational

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences

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