Information Age books
July 18, 2004 3:28 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for any books (or studies), recommendations that might tackle the dynamics and relationships of repression/suppression psychological mechanisms and profit-driven media in the so-called "Information Age," and its possible effect in societies.

I'd love to see serious research into the current notion that humans are indeed straying from preexisting social formations thanks to electrical and electronic communication systems (i.e. "growing desensitized"). Thanks in advance. Any related info is welcome, and truly appreciated. Psych majors/graduates? Social theory majors/graduates?

P.S. Would we be able to truly grasp historical change in torture/victim psychology thanks to such new technologies from our current standpoint?

posted by oog to Society & Culture (2 answers total)
Obligatory Foucault link.

A good place to start might be The History of Sexuality, in which he discusses the nature of the mechanisms of repression in seuxal discourse:

Foucault argues that we generally read the history of sexuality since the 18th century in terms of what Foucault calls the "repressive hypothesis." The repressive hypothesis supposes that since the rise of the bourgeoisie, any expenditure of energy on purely pleasurable activities has been frowned upon. As a result, sex has been treated as a private, practical affair that only properly takes place between a husband and a wife. Sex outside these confines is not simply prohibited, but repressed. That is, there is not simply an effort to prevent extra-marital sex, but also an effort to make it unspeakable and unthinkable. Discourse on sexuality is confined to marriage.

I will get a better bibliography together on CMC, psychology, sexuality, and the media for you in the next day or so, but that was the most obvious place to begin a literature review. Foucault is the go-to CW on sexual communication and discourse, so its a good place to start. His hypothesis that all communication, especially sexual communication, involves a power relationthip (your terminology "torturer/victim" is apt though perhaps a bit severe) seems especially relevant. From there you can do the "and here's why he's wrong when CMC enters the picture," move pretty easily.
posted by ChasFile at 5:56 PM on July 18, 2004


[Disclaimer: I TA an intro to social theory class. If I had a nickel for every time I've read this paper...]
posted by ChasFile at 6:01 PM on July 18, 2004

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