Erasmus Medal of the Academia Europaea#

Manuel Castells was awarded the Erasmus Medal of the Academia Europaea sponsored by the Heinz-Nixdorf Foundation (see http://www.heinz-nixdorf-stiftung.de) at the opening session of the 23rd Annual meeting of the Academia Euroapea in Paris, September 21, 2011.

Professor Castells' delivered the "2011 Heinz-Nixdorf Erasmus Lecture" with the title “Communication Networks and Social Change” (see abstract below).

Manuel Castells
Manuel Castells receives Erasmus Medal from Lars Walløe, president of the Academia Europaea

Manuel Castells
Manuel Castells

Communication Networks and Social Change
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Manuel Castells

Abstract:

Social change happens when people think differently, thus inducing social movements if the institutions of society resist to change. The way people think depends of the emotional and informational stimuli they receive via their communication environment. The communication environment is defined by a given set of communication technologies and organizational forms. For a long time mass communication organized in the mass media with little interactivity and one-way messages has been decisive in shaping representations, attitudes and behaviour for society at large. In the last decade, the diffusion of Internet, and of wireless communication, has ushered in a new form of communication: mass self-communication, based on horizontal communication networks that connect many to many, in chosen time, with potential interactivity in a multimodal process. This transformation of the communication realm has affected deeply processes of social movements, and socio-political change. The hows and whys of this transformation will be explored in this lecture on the basis of research conducted on the matter during the last decade, some of whose findings have been summarized and theorized in the book "Communication Power", (Oxford University Press, 2009). Additional research findings obtained in 2010-2011 will expand the scope of this lecture providing the empirical grounding for new theoretical understanding of power in the network society.

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