Business, Information Technology and Society

By Stephen D. Tansey | Go to book overview

7

IT and society

The need for choice

Topics
• The social implications of an information society
• Leisure and the home
• Education and information technology
• Culture and cyberspace
• IT and divisions in society
• Communities and IT
• The physical environment and IT
• Democracy, government and IT
• Information technology in a democratic society

The social implications of an information society

The development of technology is difficult to predict - but how it will be used and what the impact of it will be on society are almost impossible to forecast. As we have seen, it is easy to assume over-optimistically that the most desirable possible scenario will inevitably come about. In the absence of government intervention, the most likely outcome is that market forces will largely determine the use society makes of IT and the impact IT has on society. Inevitably, on this basis, there will be a tendency for the most affluent societies (such as the United States), and the most affluent members of societies (the prosperous and the powerful), to make most use of the technology for their own benefit. Under the impact of market forces such changes - responding to individual consumer demand fostered by profit-maximizing multinational corporations - may have unan-ticipated effects which affect society as a whole and may cost it dear in terms of environmental effects or the impact on social stability. This chapter attempts to consider some possible effects of this sort and the extent to which they can and should be controlled by government on behalf of the community as a whole in a democratic society.

In this new century it is clear that these problems will not be contain-able within national boundaries - given the impact of a global economy

-205-

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Business, Information Technology and Society
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures viii
  • Tables ix
  • Case Studies x
  • Boxes xi
  • Exercises xiii
  • Introduction xv
  • Acknowledgements xviii
  • Part I - The Environment of Computing 1
  • 1 - The Environment of Computing 3
  • Recommended Reading 36
  • 2 - The It Industry and the Information Economy 37
  • Recommended Reading 77
  • 3 - Government, Globalization and Information Technology 78
  • 4 - Regulating Computing 105
  • Part II - The Workplace and It 135
  • 5 - It and Organizations 137
  • 6 - It and Jobs 174
  • Part III - It and the Environment 203
  • 7 - It and Society 205
  • Glossary 230
  • On-Line Resources 239
  • Bibliography 241
  • Index 249
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