"Social Informatics" within the System of Economic Education
Because transition from industrial to information society is a dominant tendency of the contemporary civilization, the great many explicitly practical questions arise: What are the new opportunities for humans in the information society? What change should one expect in the conditions of work, everyday life and recreation? What new problems will be faced by a human in the highly computerized information environment? What competencies and skills should he/she have, to cope effectively with the new problems or to mitigate their negative effects for his/her life? Their answers cannot be easily found in spite of the increasing scopes of publications in scientific literature or mass media. This emphasizes the social need in systematized studies of problems specific to information society, with disseminating their results via the education system.
The article aims at highlighting the social informatics as an interdisciplinary field of studies, with the specific object, subject and methodology
The problem of cohered development (co-evolution) of the society and the process of its global informatization is the fundamental one for social informatics. Social informatics is a vivid example of a new interdisciplinary field rising at the border of many natural and humanitarian fields under the impact of integrative factors; its rise is caused by the social need for creating the scientific framework for studying the newly-born postindustrial civilization, the information society Because many problems of social informatics as a science about social information communications pertain to humanitarian fields, it gives grounds for referring this scientific field as an interdisciplinary one. An important methodological issue is argumentation in favor of classifying social informatics as a separate scientific discipline rather than considering it as a mere set of methods or tools for social studies. The key argument is that social informatics does have the object, the subject and the methodological tools of studies, although the latter is yet to be elaborated. An important feature the social informatics methodology is use of various types of analytical approaches (information-based, system-based, co-evolutionary and social approaches) to its problems. The subject area of social informatics covers the four main fields: information resources of the society, information capacities of the society, information society, a human in information society. The authors’ discourse aims to prove the critical importance of the discipline “social informatics” in the education system.
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