[ISEA2011] Paper: Mikhail Pushkin – Beyond Paradigmatic Shift: Mapping Culture and Society of Digital Age


The concept of digimodernism as the latest paradigmatic shift fundamentally altering our societies and cultures has emerged only very recently and there is but a handful of publications on its lasting effect on the new “everyman” formation. Alvin Toffler’s “The Third Wave” and Alan Kirby’s “Digimodernism” are used for initial definition of digimodernism and probing into its various effects and aspects.

Once a certain outline of digimodernism is established, further analysis is carried out within different academic traditions. Firstly, by applying McLuhan’s concept of tetrad of media effects to blogging, forums and user comments, as innate textual formative properties of this paradigm, the attempt is made at describing the possibilities and limitations of the new information exchange structure. Secondly, comparative analysis of this transition from neomarxist perspective(s), selected for their most uncompromising and in that straightforward angle, is carried out. Works by Chomsky, Schiller, Bourdieu and Gramsci are applied to this task. Thirdly, inferences are made regarding the social formative function of this new paradigm, once again returning us to Kirby and Toffler, yet reshaping, debating and extending their hypotheses.

In sequitur the structure and some traits of culture of digital society is deduced from the above factors of this new environment and contrasted with that of late modern/postmodern type. The logical limitation of current paper is that its scope of analysis excludes developing countries with severely limited or even absent access to online digital networks, so much of it should be understood as forecasting.

Current paper aims to contribute to both new media analysis and a more general trend of fusing and implementing theoretical frameworks of different time periods to contemporary digital art, media and literature.

  • Mikhail Pushkin, born in Saint Petersburg, Russia in 1982, is a scholar with international transdisciplinary academic background. He holds an International Baccalaureate Diploma (United World College of the Atlantic, Great Britain), as well as degrees in History and Theory of Art and Literature (International University Bremen, Germany, BA) Intercultural Humanities (Jacobs University Bremen, Germany, MA) and Media Studies (Yeditepe University, Turkey, PhD Candidate). His areas of academic interest include virtual reality, digital media, Internet and society, contemporary subcultures, diegesis, mimesis and philosophy of video games. Presently holding a lecturer position at Namik Kemal University, Turkey at the Department of Foreign Languages. His publications include Review of “Virtuelle Helden in interaktiven Welten”, Zeitschrift für Medienpsychologie. 2007, Vol. 19. Issue 2 and the upcoming conference proceedings paper “How do online communication technologies shape contemporary generation of Digital Age?”, 13th International Cultural Studies Symposium, Ege University, Turkey, 2011.

Full text (PDF)  p. 1972-1977