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In order to understand what early modern society might have been like within the context of... mehr
Kommunikation und Vergesellschaftung unter Anwesenden
In order to understand what early modern society might have been like within the context of modernity, this article proposes a paradigmatic shift from a theory of action to a theory of communication. Communication in this paradigm is not understood as a mere way of transporting information, but rather a manner of producing socially relevant meaning and establishing such meaning selections in social structures and social institutions.Within a society of face-to-face-interaction, human bodies and their sensual capacity generate institutional forms. This kind of culture of presence is characterized by performative action, by icons instead of arbitrary signs, and by events that present social evidence. Since the end of the 15th century, European society of presence has been transformed slowly but fundamentally by successive media revolutions. Writing and printing were no longer used only as media to surmount distances and to store information, but also to shape communication in new forms.This proved crucial for the emergence of symbolized media such as money, law, and power from their material body bound to abstract and symbolized forms. Society itself was now observed and described as an abstract setting of scientifically created structures that individuals could decide to manipulate.