diffusion, use and manipulation of information is a significant economic, political and cultural activity
Societies that have become dependent upon complex electronic information networks and which allocate a major portion of their resources to information and communication activities” (Melody, 1990: 26-7)
Information Society means social and economic structure, where productive usage of a resource such as information, as well as knowledge-intensive production performs a prominent role…and where individuals, such as consumers, workers, use information extensively (OECD, 1994)
Genealogy of the information society concept is usually traced to a term “post-industrial society - a term first used by sociologist Daniel Bell (1973). Refer to Frank Webster, Chapter 3 on elaboration of the post-industrial society.
Another source of the information society concept is attributed to debates on the “information economy” developed by American economists Fritz Machlup (1962) and Marc Porat (1977).
In the pre-industrial society life is a game against nature where one works with raw muscle power (Bell 1973 126);
In the industrial era where machines predominates in a technical and rationalized existance, life is a game against fabricated nature (126). In contrast to both, life in the post-industrial society based on services, is a game between persons (127) what counts is not raw muscle power or energy but information (127)
Puts emphasis on ICTs and their transformative powers.
Technological innovation: new possibilities in transmission and storage of information.
Society has moved from the “Industrial Revolution” and now entered an “Information Age”. “Computer technology is to the information age what mechanisation was to the industrial revolution” (John Naisbitt quoted in Frank Webster).
Puts emphasis on the information networks which connect locations and have great impact on the organisation of time and space.
Information Networks are linking together locations within and between offices, towns, regions, nations, continents and the entire world, seen in increase in transborder data, telecom facilities, ISDN, movements of money across nations, internet (Castells, 1996)
Concepts of “information superhighway” and “wired society” are found in these arguments.
A crop of critical writers (mainly leftist) criticise the dominant view of the information society (e.g. Webster, Robins, Garnham, Preston, Melody, Mansell, Freeman). Some of the views are:
Theories too technologically deterministic- assumptions that technologies shape society more than society shapes technology (for instance see role of politics and military in determining technology).
All too often theories of the IS are seen as universally valid. However, assumptions about the information society in the West are not necessary relevant for the developing countries. Global Divide (the three strands)
So its not just about networks nor social networks because networks have been very old forms of social organization. It is rather about social networks which process and manage information and are using micro-electronic based technologies
A network is a set of interconnected nodes, a node is a point at which a curve intersects itself. For example:
They are stock exchange markets and their ancillary advanced service centers, in the network of global financial flows;
They are national councils of ministers and European commissioners in the political network that governs the EU
They are coco fields, clandestine labaratories, secret landing strips, street gangs and money laundering financial institutions in the network of drug trafficking that penetrates economies, societies and states through out the world...
They are television systems, entertainment studios, computer graphics, news teams and mobile device generating, transmitting and receiving signals in the global network of the new media at the roots of cultural expression and public opinion in the Information age
The typology defined by networks determines that distance (intensity of interaction) between two points is shorter if both points are nodes in the same network that if they were not.
The distance (physical, social, economic, political, cultural) for a given point varies from zero( and infinite (
The new economy is organized around global networks of capital, management and information whose access to technological know-how is at the roots of productivity and competitiveness
The work process is individualized, labour is disaggregated in its performance and reintegrated in its outcome through the multiplicity of interconnected tasks in different sites, ushering in a new division of labour based on the attributes/capacities of each worker rather than on the organization of the task
For the first time, capitalist modes of production shapes social relations over the entire planet...(networks and financial flows)
Networks work in binary logic of inclusion and exclusion (with processes of domination and counter domination)
Digital networks are global (emergence of globally interdependent social structures)
Adopt to operating environment and expansive
Emphasis shifted to organizational transformation
Self-reconfigarable (unity of purpose and flexibility in execution) (Appropriate for a capitalist economy based on innovation, globalization and decentralized concentration; for work, workers and firms based on flexibility and adaptability
Seminar this week (Friday 12 October): Anders Moe is discussing the spread and popularity of Japanese comics and anime in Room 207. The seminar will combine all the groups and will take place at 12H00
MA students: Deadline for sending Sarah Chiumbu outline of term papers ideas is tomorrow, Friday, 12 October. Her email is: [email_address]
Conference on Africa: on Monday 15 October, the Freedom of Expression Foundation is Hosting a seminar on `New news out of Africa`? The seminar will be discussing media images of Africa and how Norwegian journalists and Norwegian media presents the various aspects of change in African countries. Place: Radisson SAS Scandinavia Hotel Time:11.15-15.00