The Information Society: Economic, Social, and Structural Issues

The Information Society: Economic, Social, and Structural Issues

The Information Society: Economic, Social, and Structural Issues

The Information Society: Economic, Social, and Structural Issues

Excerpt

This book's origin can be traced back to Telecommunications: Issues and Choices for Society, a book that I edited in 1983. At the time, the mass media was extolling the merits of information technology with the result that scholars turned to the consequences. My book was a reflection of that concern.

Scholars are still studying the social impact of technology. However, a new body of literature has evolved since 1983, which is sufficiently different from earlier scholarly concerns to warrant another book. The emphasis of the new approach is less on the consequences of information technology than on understanding the nature of information societies.

The inspiration for the new focus lies in the work of Daniel Bell, a Harvard sociologist who is perhaps more responsible than any other single scholar for the new perspective. Bell revealed the importance of information technology and its role in transforming industrial societies. His original essay, published in the aforementioned book, sought to understand what it is that makes an information society different. That essay is reprinted in this book.

There is still much concern over social problems. Invasion of privacy, computer crime, control of information, information inequity, and unemployment due to automation continue to be studied as their existence is no longer a matter of speculation. The study of information societies, however, has matured as is evidenced by essays in this book -- many of which are written by young scholars.

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