Acting Bodies and Social Networks analyzes the complex interactions of body, mind and microelectronic technologies. Internationally renowned scholars look into the nature of the mind - a combination of thought, perception, emotion, will and imagination - as well as the ever-increasing impact and complexity of microelectronic technologies. The proliferation of these technologies facilitates a profound change in the boundaries between bodies and technologies. These technologies expand the temporal and spatial existence of humans; today, people can instantly communicate all over the world and overcome time and space restraints by using the latest available microelectronic technologies. The first volume, The Body as Social Icon, examines how memory is affected by the new technology and the related theoretical issues while the second, Mapping Bodies in a Networked Space, deals with the influence of the new technologies on everyday life practices. At the "information portal," the brain's capacity is loosing its ability to retain information. In 2004, a number of well known neuroscientists, including Nobel laureate Eric Kandel, wrote a review about the ethical dilemma computer technologies raise, stating that "humanity's ability to alter its own brain function might well shape history as powerfully as the development of metallurgy in the Iron Age." By introducing the concept of acting body, this book contributes to discussion concerning the future development of Homo sapiens. We consider the acting body as a bridge between technology and working memory, which entails a radical change in our approach to the social sciences.
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About the Author
Bianca Maria Pirani professor of sociology of cultural and communicative processes at Sapienza, University of Rome, is president of Research Committee 54, "The Body in the Social Sciences," of the International Sociological Association. She is an editorial board member of Sage Studies in International Sociology. Pirani has published widely on the relations between human bodies and social knowledge as editor of the monograph Bodily Order. Mind, Emotion and Social Memory, "Current Sociology" (March 2005, Sage publication), and co-editor with Ivan Varga of the book The New Boundaries between Bodies and Technologies. Ivan Varga is professor emeritus of sociology, Queen's University, Canada and honorary president of Research Committee 22 "Sociology of Religion" of the International Sociological Association. Varga is a member of the editorial board of International Sociology.