© 2017

Global Knowledge Dynamics and Social Technology


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Thomas Petzold
    Pages 1-8
  3. Ties That Bind

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Thomas Petzold
      Pages 11-21
    3. Thomas Petzold
      Pages 23-52
  4. Nodes in Motion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 53-53
    2. Thomas Petzold
      Pages 55-77
    3. Thomas Petzold
      Pages 79-95
  5. Orders of Magnitude

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 97-97
    2. Thomas Petzold
      Pages 99-115
    3. Thomas Petzold
      Pages 117-131
  6. Epilogue

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 133-133
    2. Thomas Petzold
      Pages 135-139
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 141-152

About this book


This volume unpacks an intriguing challenge for the field of media research: combining media research with the study of complex networks. Bringing together research on the small-world idea and digital culture it questions the assumption that we are separated from any other person on the planet by just a few steps, and that this distance decreases within digital social networks. The book argues that the role of languages is decisive to understand how people connect, and it looks at the consequences this has on the ways knowledge spreads digitally. This volume offers a first conceptual venue to analyse emerging phenomena at the innovative intersection of media and complex network research. 


Networks languages six degrees of separation small-world idea Gutenberg Karinthy knowledge knowledge spread knowledge dynamics media complexity cultural complexity economic complexity knowledge growth informational growth economic growth digital networks social networks digital social networks

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of Applied Sciences for MediaCommunication and Business Administration (HMKW)BerlinGermany

About the authors

Thomas Petzold is a media complexity scientist, and currently Professor of Media Management at the University of Applied Sciences for Media, Communication and Economics, Berlin, Germany (HMKW Berlin). 

Bibliographic information


“The book presents a fresh sociotechnical perspective on knowledge generation, evolution, and dissemination. In the book, ‘social technology’ is clearly differentiated from technology in general and an expanded perspective is given. … I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in global knowledge dynamics and the role social technology plays in them.” (M. M. Tanik, Computing Reviews, February, 2018)​