International Terrorism in the Contemporary World

By Marius H. Livingston; Lee Bruce Kress et al. | Go to book overview

ROBERT W TAYLOR BYONG-SUH KIM

Violence and Change in Postindusirial Societies: Student Protest in America and Japan in the 1960s

The impact of technology on society has produced a new stage of socioeconomic development. In advanced technological societies, the industrial revolution is being replaced by what a group of scholars call “postindustrial society.” 1 As preindustrial society was based on the extraction of primary resources from nature, and industrial society was organized around nature fabricated for the efficient production of goods, postindustrial society depends upon the large-scale transmission of knowledge between individuals through cybernetic processes, new telecommunications, and jet transport. The postindustrial society is an analytical construct, not a picture of any specific or concrete society. It is an ideal-type to denote a social framework that identifies a new form of social structure which has a particular set of tendencies: codification of theoretical knowledge as sources of innovation, creation, and productive force; a new character of work which is focused on services among individual persons rather than production of goods and the change of scale in institutions created by the role of technology.

Thus, in the postindustrial society, a new stratification is structured by a service economy, a technologically based industry, and the rise of new technical elites based on codified knowledge. According to sociologist Daniel Bell, the United States, Japan, western Europe, and the Soviet Union will take on such aspects of postindustrial society by the end of the century, and they have to confront the management of these new dimensions. 2 Some scholars stress the advent of the “technetronic age” where society is shaped culturally, socially, and economically by the impact of technology and electronics, and by the bureaucratically structured process of cybernetic gadgetry. 3 As technological change profoundly alters the nature and centrality of industrial activity as a major social institution, capital and heavy industry will no longer generate wealth and productive force. Instead, in the future society, the codification of theoretical knowledge obtained through technetronic, cybernetic processes which are transformed into many sys-

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