Post-Industrial Society

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Edited by: Barry Smart

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    • Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd |
    • Publication Year: 2011 |
    • Online Publication Date: April 03, 2013 |
    • DOI: 10.4135/9781446262924 |
    • Print ISBN: 9781848601802 |
    • Online ISBN: 9781446262924 |
    • Series: SAGE Key Debates in Sociology |
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The idea of ‘post-industrial society’ and a constellation of related terms, such as ‘service society’, ‘knowledge society’, and ‘information society’, achieved a prominent place in debates in sociology from the 1970s as analysts sought to make sense of the ways in which modern forms of life were being transformed. The central thesis, outlined in the influential works of American sociologist Daniel Bell, is that economic life, production, and the world of work have been transformed by the introduction of innovations in information technology. In particular, that in the second half of the twentieth century in the more highly developed societies, employment in manufacturing declined and professional, technical and other service occupations has increased in number as developments in theoretical knowledge, information technology, and communications became ...

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  • Editor's Introduction: Post-Industrial Society and Information Technology


    Introduction: Industrial Revolutions and ‘Post-Industrial’ Technologies

    In the middle of the nineteenth century Karl Marx noted how the production of wealth was coming to depend more and more upon mechanisation and an industrial process, which itself ‘depends rather on the general state of science and on the progress of technology, or the application of this science to production’ (1973[1857–8]: 704–5). Marx was referring to the growing impact of large-scale industry on production and, in particular, the ways in which ‘the power of knowledge, objectified’ had transformed the world of work, the labour process, and had made ‘the creation of wealth independent (relatively) of the labour time employed on it’ (1973: 706). Anticipating later developments associated with numerical control technology ...

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