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Patterns

A Theory of Digital Society

by Nassehi, Armin

We tend to assume that the triumph of digital technology has revolutionized the world within a few years. Our interpersonal relationships, our work and even the outcome of democratic elections: Everything follows completely different rules since the Internet, the social media and the various gadgets of the big tech companies exist. In his new social theory, sociologist Armin Nassehi turns the tables and shows, beyond panic and trivialization, that digitization is only a particularly sophisticated technical answer to a question that has always arisen in modern societies

Even in the nineteenth century statistical pattern detection technologies were used to recognize and control human behaviour. While we often experience digitalization as a disturbance and challenge to established routines, Nassehi sees the foundation of digital technology in modern society itself. He develops the thesis that societal regularities, structures and patterns make up the material potential for economic, political and scientific control that digitalization only refines. As a result of digitisation, society is being rediscovered today.

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