Ethic and Value Considerations in the Design of Interactional Agency
La Mendola, Walter and Krysik, Judy (2011) Ethic and Value Considerations in the Design of Interactional Agency. pp. 1-30. In: Proceedings of the A DECADE IN INTERNET TIME: OII SYMPOSIUM ON THE DYNAMICS OF THE INTERNET AND SOCIETY, 21 - 24 September 2011, University of Oxford.
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This paper continues the exploration of network society ethics and value considerations that have moved more clearly toward interactional agency. Interactional agency produces relationships between agents and structure. 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, it is possible to posit an enactment approach that considers relations to be a phenomenon as important as structure and agency. As the network society continues to expand, relations will more clearly be seen as both fundamental indicators 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 are critical to ethical analysis. This paper introduces a contextual approach that may be useful in any future contextual analysis of this type. An initial meta-ethical framework for extending the disclosive capability assessment format to incorporate relational considerations is proposed. 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.
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