What are we to make of the information society? Many prominent theorists have argued it to be the most profound and comprehensive transformation of economy, culture and politics since the rise of the industrial way of life in the 18th century. Some saw its arrival in a positive light, where the dreams of democracy, of ‘connectivity’ and ‘efficiency’ constituted a break with the old ways. But other thinkers viewed it more in terms of the recurrent nightmare of capitalism, where the processes of exploitation, commodification and alienation are given much freer rein than ever before. In this book Robert Hassan, a prominent theorist in new media and its effects, analyses and critically appraises these positions and forms them into a coherent narrative to illuminate the phenomenon.
Surveying the works of major information society theorists from Daniel Bell to Nicholas Negroponte, and from Vincent Mosco to Manuel Castells, The Information Society is an invaluable resource for understanding the nature of the information society—as well as the meta-processes of neoliberal globalisation and the revolution in information technologies that made it possible.
Keywords: society; information; theorists; prominent; economy; profound; many; politics; rise; life; century; way; industrial; arrival; positive light; democracy; dreams; ways; old; connectivity; recurrent nightmare; terms; thinkers; capitalism