Interaction, activity and knowledge: Drivers of unpredictability in post-industrial societies

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose – The article mainly concentrates on the role of information and knowledge in transformation processes. The article examines and compares the concepts of information and knowledge in Social Communication Theory and Cultural-historical Activity Theory. This will be done in order to analyze the knowledge-power-relation essential for transformational and governmental processes in knowledge-societies. The dialectics between the rationalization of power and the politicization of knowledge are visible in the techniques used in social engineering and political administration. Social Communication Theory and Cultural-historical Activity Theory are chosen because they try to overcome the dualism between methodological individualism and holistic approaches.
Methodology and approach – The article is based on an integrative methodology, which makes it possible to go beyond the specific methodologies related to particular scholarly disciplines. We deploy an ontological evolutionary design and a generalizing approach, which are considered as main keys when comparing Social Communication Theory with Cultural-historical Activity Theory.
Findings – Both theories are regarded anchored in social practice and individual activity and take up a distinct stance on historical change and societal transformation. In both cases, knowledge is conceived as individual knowing, as structuring process in social organizations and as a collective result of social activity.
Research implications – Knowledge and its derivatives are paradigm-forming constructs of qualitatively new ideas about the world, its interactional structure, political culture, flows of information, and social relationships. In order to gain a holistic understanding of the importance of knowledge in post-industrial society, further research on trans-disciplinary methodologies and designs should be emphasized.
Social implications – Identifying the common grounds of social transformation where socio-cultural activities are considered as co-cooperation, social relation and communication – as co-cognition. This implies that a) transformative processes have to be conceived as social knowledge and that b) knowledge must have a use-value in its historical, visionary
Originality/value – The originality of the article is to be found in the attempt to contribute to the development of trans-disciplinary research approaches when examining knowledge complexes in the global world.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocialiniai Tyrimai
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)31-41
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Social Communication Theory, Cultural-historical Activity Theory, Object/subject comparison, Knowledge society shortcomings, Individual knowledge, Collective consciousness, Methodology

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