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Social impact of informatization

Informatization has many far-reaching consequences in society. Kim (2004) observes that these include repercussions in economics, politics and other aspects of modern living. In the economic sphere, for example, information is viewed as a focal resource for development, replacing the centrality of labor and capital during the industrial age. In the political arena, there are increased opportunities for participative democracy with the advent of information and communication technology (ICT) that provide easy access to information on varied social and political issues.

Informatization in economic systems

Industrialization propelled transformation of the economic system from agricultural age to modernized economies, and so informatization ushered the industrial age into an information-rich economy. Unlike the agricultural and industrial ages where economics refers to optimization of scarce resources, the information age deals with maximization of abundant resources. Alexander Flor (2008) wrote that informatization gives rise to information-based economies and societies wherein information naturally becomes a dominant commodity or resource. The accumulation and efficient use of knowledge has played a central role in the transformation of the economy.

Globalization and informatization

Over the years, globalization and informatization have "redefined industries, politics, cultures, and perhaps the underlying rules of social order". Although they explain different phenomena, their social, political, economic, and cultural functions remarkably overlaps. "Although globalization ultimately refers to the integration of economic institutions, much of this integration occurs through the channels of technology. Although international trade is not a new phenomenon, the advent of communications technologies has accelerated the pace and scope of trade".

a) Globalization and Informatization will have great impact on cultural and social consequences of society.

b) "Globalization and informatization are likely to diminish the concept of the national as a political institution". Friedman (1999) argues that as nation states decline in importance, multi-national corporationsnongovernmental organizations, and "superempowered individuals" such as George Soros gain influence and importance. As these non-political organizations and institutions gain importance, there are inevitable challenges to political, economic, and cultural processes.

c) On the other hand, globalization and informatization allow for efficient flow of information. Individuals and societies are, therefore, greatly empowered to engage in international arena for economic, political, and cultural resources.

d) "There is proliferation of information about lifestyles, religions, and cultural issues. The telecommunications and computer networks also allow for unprecedented global activism. This democratization of information increases the potential for international harmony, although it by no means guarantees it".

e) These twin forces greatly affects "centuries of tradition, local autonomy, and cultural integrity."

f) "Finally, one of the potentially most devastating impact of the forces of globalization and informatization is that there is created an insidious conflict between the new global economic order and the local, or even tribal, interests".

Exercise 10. Answer the questions:

1. On which spheres of life does informatization influence?

2. What place does information rank in the economic sphere? Why does it happen so, in your opinion?

3. What did Alexander Flor write about informatization?

4. What helps to provide easy access to information in the political sphere?

5. With what does the information age deal?

6. What is common between globalization and informatization?

7. With what does the information age deal?

8. What helps to force the pace and scope of trade?

Exercise 11. Find in the text synonyms to the following words:

Effect, supervise, efficiency, field, central, stage, possibility, change, upgraded, refining, rich, lift, main, principal, intersect, fusion, reduce, organization, call, participate, spread, world, accord, integrity, cunning.

Exercise 12. Match the beginning and the end of the sentences:

  1. In the economic sphere, for example,

  2. Industrialization propelled transformation of the economic system from agricultural age to modernized economies,

  3. Alexander Flor (2008) wrote that informatization

  4. Although they explain different phenomena,

  5. Globalization and Informatization

  6. The telecommunications and computer networks

  1. and so informatization ushered the industrial age into an information-rich economy.

  2. their social, political, economic, and cultural functions remarkably overlaps.

  3. information is viewed as a focal resource for development, replacing the centrality of labor and capital during the industrial age.

  4. will have great impact on cultural and social consequences of society.

  5. gives rise to information-based economies and societies wherein information naturally becomes a dominant commodity or resource.

  6. also allow for unprecedented global activism.

Exercise 13. Prepare the summary of the text and then retell it.

Exercise 14. Before reading the text, give Russian equivalent to the following words. Make up sentences with each word.

describe pen

regional entrepreneur

integrate achieve

refer widespread

investment mainstream

migration inception

spread reduction

circulation enormous

acculturation temporal