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Information and Communication Space as Human Society Development Factor

Nevostrueva AF*

Associate professor of the Department of Foreign Languages and Public Relations, Perm National Research Polytechnic University, Russia

Corresponding Author:
Nevostrueva AF
Associate professor of the Department of Foreign Languages and Public Relations
Perm National Research Polytechnic University
614990, Perm, Komsomolsky Ave., 29 Russia.
Tel: +7 (342) 2-198-119
Email: [email protected]

Received date: March 01, 2016; Accepted date: March 20, 2016; Published date: April 04, 2016

Copyright: © 2016 Nevostrueva AF. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Dimensions of social meaning of the problem of the origin and development of information and communication space from the point of view of historical development of human civilization have been classified in the article. Changes that effect creation of channels of spatial communication as well as forming of new configuration of information and communication space have been analyzed. Special role of these changes in the life of human society such as the origin of speech, first forms of communal life, elementary forms of world view and later religious thought and other have been highlighted. Forming of state entities, written language, laws have been analyzed not only from the point of view of spatial changes but are filled with social meaning that defines new content of communication processes. The author uses existing experience of social restoration of global history gained by the sociology to reveal contradictory features of the first period of maturing of information and communication processes that unite human society. The author proposes own idea of specifics of mainstream of changes related to civilization-scope shifts of social meaning of conditions of human community living


Human community; Information society; Information and communication space; Primitive society; Ancient World; Antiquity; The Middle Ages; Religious thought; Typography


Recent years such definitions as information society, information space, globalization and their synonyms have been widely used in scientific discourse, social and official speeches, mass-media, Internet. It is a logical situation. It reflects the greatest civilization-scope shifts not only in Russian reality but in global community. Researches of new characteristics of space of contemporary civilization and its content are the trend of many branches of social and liberal arts, that were called spatial turn [1-4]. From the turn of the XXI century this topic is an object of scientific analysis of Russian scientists [5-7]. These changes are caused by growing trend towards globalization of the contemporary world. At the same time, it is the result of attention to contradictory character of changes that cover all dimensions of people's life and change the way of interactions in global community of states [8-10].

Most scientists, professional politicians, representatives of authorities, and majority of young scientists and researchers growing in new social and political situation logically link these changes with global trend on globalization of all spheres of social and economic, political and cultural life of states on the base of a certain unification and changing of ideas of life standards and the meaning of life in today's society.

Objective factors of human life include numerous features that have been cementing the base of being in all times. They give the possibility not only to survive but actually use the advantages of contemporary civilization for personal development. In is no accident that one of fundamental human rights – the right to live that had matured in the course of bourgeois revolutions of the XVΙΙΙ-XΙX centuries in the XX century had transformed into today meaning of this constitutional right – the right of a person to worthy life. This definition is fixed today in fundamental documents of state structures that contain elements of the concept of forming of the new type of society that is social state. All actual authority institutions and institutions of civil society are being tuned on the new goal-setting for their activity – development of the necessary conditions for development of a person. A person has a choice now. A person is really free in his choice that is defined by his values (moral) and world view concepts. One of the key components of today social state is information and communication space.


Our hypothesis presupposes analysis of information and communication space as an attribute, integral feature of social space, i.e. the type of space related to the origin and development of mankind that includes all the variety of forms of human being. Unlike the physical space of the world that is sometimes called native environment and the space that has been changed as a result of the impact of human activity – anthropogenic the concept of social meaning of information and communication space for our research denotes not only changes that undergo in geographical landscape, its dramatic changes, but first of all from the point of view of fundamental novelty under the conditions of development of human consciousness itself, creation of qualitatively new premises of self-development of a personality, material base that promote renewal of society as a whole as well as social consequences of this development and influence.

Social essence of communication space is inseparably linked with the mankind since the days it started to distinguish itself from wild nature. Since it started to create new living environment filled with other content that is principally different form wild world. Space with gradual historical changes remained the main factor of provisioning necessary conditions of living of primitive people and was a general background. According to one of the founders of famous French historical school École des AnnalesFernand Braudel “space being the source of explanation that covers all the realities of history” [11]. Even antique philosophic schools consider space in the sense of dichotomy (dual unity); they thought of space as “space as the characteristic of material objects allowing them to have a certain position; and space that is the thing all materials objects are contained in” [12].


This research allows broadening the limits of the idea of genesis and future way of development of information and communication space as important factor of living of human society, forming internal sources of progress as well as creating objective premises for the increase of complexity of this space. The author tried to give scientific definition for the essence of definition of information and communication space covering not only its attributive dimensions, but getting closer to social content of this concept.


Genesis of information and communication space

Primitive people together with wild nature existed in real physical space. The origin of speech was revolutionary breakthrough that distinguished a man from nature in the course of productive activity. The new space having social (communal) content – information and communication space – has been forming in this way. As Peter Ludwig Berger and Thomas Luckmann noted, “the language constantly provided man with necessary objectifications and set the order these objectifications and everyday life got meaning and sense” [13]. Internal unity of language reflected a certain unity of communication, created objective conditions for the main form of human interactions – the dialogue. This fact in turn caused the other feature of communication – understanding of an Alien. “Sense and subjectivity are being formed in tense space of “double mirroring” as projection of my “self” on the other culture: I see myself, I recognize myself in Alien and Alien sees himself in me... in this tensed space of double mirroring the subjectivity is being formed. Assessments, senses, perception of Alien penetrate this sphere and every sense in it has hybrid character, it is oriented to both sides” [14]. Works of scientists of different branches of science: sociology, philosophy, philology, anthropology, culture study, history have been dedicated to the problem of the origin of human speech, covering the problem from positions of scientific schools and interests.

From the point of view of sociology the most important results of the key historical factor – “understanding of Alien” – was creation of the first specific human communication channel. It helped to form conditions for aggregating information about the outer world and sharing it with descendants. Oral form of information had been developing into the base of communication. Broadening of conscious reality – social space of the outer world was the strong factor of development of such feature of human conscious as intellect. The second signaling system that manifests itself in a certain action. As a founder of semantics, German psychologist and linguist Karl Ludwig Bühler said “Each phraseological and non-phraseological expression may be interpreted as human action because each statement is related to other conscious actions of a man. It has its place in the raw of actions and it is action itself” [15].

Scientific hypothesis of the secret of the origin of Homo sapiens, of the importance of historical moment, when primitive people started to use fire to cookis also important. According to scientists of Perm, this fact was the turning point from closed loop of existence of living as “hunting-eatingsleeping”. Primitive man got the source of development – free time, that “became the base for creativity aimed at creation of something new that had no analogues in wild nature” In some part this hypothesis may be proved by recent discovery in physiology of brain. Scientists discovered separate gen of human brain that control spatial orientation. Norwegian scientists, couple Edvard Ingjald Moser and May-Britt Moser and American scientist John O'Keefe were awarded Nobel Prize in 2014.

From the point of view of sociological science information and communication space in primitive society was prerequisite of development of tribal form of organization of social life based on blood relationship. The unity was also supported by the rules of community, first moral imperatives and adequate, more complicated forms of world view. Animism that is personification of wild nature, fetishism that is attributing supernatural features to things, totemism that linked a person to a certain animal and magic that was the capability of some people to affect wild nature and people with come rites and invocations. Spatial view of reality had determining influence also on organizational forms of tribal life. Based on the analysis of totem system of Australian aboriginals David Émile Durkheim noted: “social organization was an example of spatial organization that was a sort of tracing paper from the first one. These was no such differences up to differentiation between right and left sides that being not typical for human nature at all were not highly probable product of religious and thus collective ideas” [16].Closed character of economy of tribal organization of primitive society led not only to forming special lingual space but created spatial boundaries of their habitat being objective reality of isolation and self-sufficiency.

Specifics of development of information and communication space of the period of Ancient World

The period of Ancient World was the new civilization-scope stage of development of the mankind. The origin of new stated that had been developing as river civilizations required significant human resources for building colossal hydrotechnical constructions that objectively supported development of economy based on slaveholding. To understand social essence of information and communication space it is extremely important to study the origin of written language that broadened geographical (physical) frame of space and created the new quality of human interaction. That was “invention of alphabetic writing and its application for fixing oral creative work” that caused the shift from the highest stage of barbarism to civilization [17]. Written language gave the possibility of the new form of abstraction - representation with the help of symbols when “a certain idea is caught (perceived) by the course of communicative interaction between... interpreters” [18]. Written sources became independent of author and play a certain role in the process of “production of space that acts as the field of activity of productive forces of different societies that created their space” [2]. Abstract communication is being added to specific one, forming together with knowledge sphere of moral education of a man.

We do not idealize the role of written language and written sources. Because they are not numerous. Creation of information sources required significant expenditures. At the same time development of the new forms of information as a definite “mental images” that had mythological base created respective spatial social environment that had abstract, imaginary character. In this sense understanding of figurativeness of reality that Carl Gustav Jung called “archetypes” by a person of Ancient World had key importance. They represented “collective unconscious”. The part of unconscious that “ not the result of personal experience but was inherited from ancestors. Archetype is ‘psychical organ’ that grows in man's soul as a flower” [19].

Along with mythological forms of perception of living social space Ancient World gave the mankind scientific approach to understanding of outer world – philosophic. Antique world with its two main hypostasis: classic antiquity of the Ancient Greece and late antiquity of the Ancient Rome basing on the ideas of universal harmony (symmetry) created new space that had not only specific geographic coordinates but social parameters. They are related to forms of state organization, economic, every day, family and other relationships. They are in essence “the idea of being, universal, substantive, divine, by no means pantheistically shapeless but given and realized in plastic forms” [20]. Still space had yet abstract character. M.M. Bakhtin analyzed the content of antique literature and noted that the literature of that period “... needed vast spaces, land and sea, different countries. The world of these novels is great and diverse. But both the scope and diversity have absolutely abstract character” [21].

One should note that even in the scope of antique society the key parameters of existence of state and philosophy of actions of “necessity” - ethics had been developing and codifying. It formed moral behavior of a man in social space in a specific way and main ideas of morality, good and evil, freedom, responsibility and justice.

Content and essence of information and communication space of the period of The Middle Ages

The new stage of development of European civilization that French Encyclopaedist called The Middle Ages originated on the base of change of economic relations when the main value was not possessing slaves but land ownership and labor of partially free peasants bound to this land. But economic separation, isolated character and self-sufficiency of selfsustained households, competition between them led to breaking unite state organization and to the beginning of feudal disunity with dominating principle of “the way of everyone against everyone” [22].

In this uneasy situation the new global religion Christianity started to act as the unifying factor. Simmel proposed important idea about the role of religious thought in the life of the Middle Ages society: “The fact that from time to time the fight against this unity of society started, that the freedom of individual was avoiding it, that even in the most tight and naive relationships this unity was not realized in such a selfobvious way – that was the reason of raising it into human conscious as special form and special value of being. Unity of things and interests that had initially united us in social sphere finds its’ clear and independent of any substance expression in the idea of divine – in the most perfect way in monotheistic religions... deep essence of the idea of God is in that very fact that diversity and contradictory character of things find relation and unity in it...” [23].

These were monotheistic religions where the idea of primacy (domination) of spiritual improvement and development of moral behavior in society have been developing. Thereby the foundations of the new social essence of information and communication space of The Middle Ages person were laid. The idea of historical development via the new predestination of society was stated in works of the most prominent ideologist of Christianity Augustine of Hippo. The postulate of two spheres of being – The City of God and the City of Man and approaching the first via improvement of the second proposed by him in V century became the base of Christian rules of state and human living before development of philosophic concept of Thomas Aquinas in XIII [24]. The institution of church became the main instrument of preserving information and communication in Western Europe. The “ideal of global Divine right and truth as general norm of social relationships” had been implementing [25].

At the same time Catholic Church especially after official Great Eastern Schism in 1054 and entrenchment of power of the Pope set extremely tight rules of human life and social space aimed at achieving the primacy of spiritual over the body. Change of ideological reference points caused the process of simplification that covered all the spheres of human life. For example the new type of a town had developed that changed the antique city. Castle towns that were built not to live in but to defend, to survive. Citizens of Western Europe paid high price because the new type of diseases started to spread – socially provoked diseases. These were related to the way of life and standard of living and led to mass epidemic diseases that sometimes had the scope of pandemia covering territories of many countries and the whole continents (plague, cholera, smallpox).

Fundamentally different approaches had been forming in Eastern branch of Christianity in Byzantine Empire that gave the beginning to orthodoxy. Originated and maturing in the space of Hellenistic state orthodoxy inherited antique culture and was more tolerant to everyday life of a man.

The primacy of state over church, deification and unlimited support for state authority personalized in the monarch, availability of religious ceremonies and religious books in slavic was one of the reason of accepting Christianity by Kiev Russia in 988. Church valued its unity with state because “orthodox tsar who was regal head of all orthodox worlds was considered as significant attribute of Church. It was a symbol of conquering of the world by the Cross, builder of the kingdom of heaven on the earth” [26].

Cultivating the main features of mentality of Ancient Russian people that had been matured during the previous period was extremely important for Orthodox Church of Kiev Russia. Communal economy in the territory of Eastern Europe promoted collectivism that meant capability and readiness to help others; high degree of patriotism and heroism – resoluteness and readiness to sacrifice personal prosperity and even life for keeping the community and later Motherland intact.

Social meaning of information and communication space of Renaissance

In the middle of the second millennium the religious world view became an obstacle for development of human conscious due to its dogmatic character and tight ideological and structural framework of church organization. Attempts to get beyond the limits of dogmatism created the new spiritual atmosphere in society that was called the Reformation. It caused origination of different branches of Protestantism that led the base for overcoming limitations of social space of a man and entering the period of Renaissance. Literature played a special role in that period because it filled information and communication space with new ideological content. That may be proved by great work of Dante Alighieri La Divina Commedia. Still based on traditional trinity: Faith, Hope and Love the author transforms its foundation. A Man enters the place of God. Thereby the most important idea of humanism made its way. The idea of necessity of personal freedom of a man from feudal dependency, revival of the principle of social justice for people irrespective of their position in social hierarchy. Feudal organization of economic and social life contradicted forming new relationships on the base of development of capitalist relations in a city and later in agriculture that required the market of free manpower.

Information and communication space by XV got a new impulse due to the effect of two key factors: social development of towns and invention of book printing. Towns in their fight for economic independence of seignior and state became the source of forming the foundations of civil society which the process of maturing of individual freedom was reflected in Development of conditions for individual development. Availability of the system of educational institutions created favorable prerequisites for spreading the ideas of Enlightenment. Raising the role of intellectual work, arts and culture.

At the same time the new features of future society were growing in controversial situation. Along with progressive features the space of towns led to separation of a person from society. Social differentiation led to pauperization (impoverishment) of a part of citizens of towns. Significant lowering of the standards of living, growing such features of city life as beggary, vagrancy, prostitution, alcoholism that was an object of criticism of intellectuals [27-30].

Extremely tensed social space was torn not only by difference in the level of social prosperity and spontaneous protests of plebs of towns but by attempts of growing bourgeoisie to use the situation for gaining more autonomy of aristocratic and monarch authority.

Printed book was the new channel of information that prompted changes of communication space in that social reality. Typography was invented in 1454 by Johannes Gensfleisch and this period was the beginning of its spreading over the Western Europe. It was the key point of the new attitude to reality. Stressing the value of invention of typography Anthony Giddens wrote: “Even in communities with low literacy printed materials as well as the capability of producing and interpretation of those are indispensable tool of administrative and social coordination” [31].

Printed word along with forming its own information and communication space “gave impulse to development of individualism and the will to self-expression in society. It promoted forming of habits to private property and other factors of individual closeness” [32]. Even today research of communicative features of printed media is one of the most demanded topics. Not only of sociology, but the other sciences [33-39].

Starting from XVI development of global civilization was determined by European hegemony. Broadening global trade and the progress of technology laid the foundation for the new era of global policy in which “occasional short and diverse contacts between civilizations were replaced by continuous overwhelming one-way effect of the West on all the other civilizations” [40]. Thereby the new configuration of global information and communication space started to develop.


We may draw some meaningful conclusions of analyzed material. Firstly, information and communication space is the result of evolution of living nature. It is integral attribute of social reality. Secondly, the logic of genesis and further forming of information and communication space is closely connected with complication of social life. From the tribe of human beings to state. Thirdly, even in antique society attempts of philosophic grounding of information and communication space were made. As social phenomenon that fills the space of human life with ethic meaning in its specific way. Fourthly, being the derivative of activity of human society information and communication space starts to effect the vector of its own development. Promoting meaningful prerequisites of evolutionary changes in human life that was manifested in main directions of European civilization.

Analyzed material allows revealing logic character of genesis of communication and information space of human civilization. It was not only important factor of maturing of human community, but also promoted it with the sense of social essence aimed on development of a person, moral relationships between people and gradual movement of the mankind to its unity.

At the same time we understand that our attempt to solve this problem does not cover it in all the depth and complexity of social processes of long-term historical development. It is necessary to continue research from the point of view of forming specifics of further national differences of global information and communication space influence of internal sources of its development. Theoretical development of such concepts as “space”, “information”, “communication” and others is necessary.


The author expresses his gratitude to Doctor of Philosophic Sciences P.K. Sterledev, Doctor of Philosophic Sciences V.Yu, Chernykh, Doctor of Historical Sceinces M.G. Suslov, and Doctor of Sociological Sciences V.N. Stegnia for assistance in research.


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