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Information society refers to a society driven economically and politically by nonmaterial products like information and knowledge. To be considered an information society, a society must evolve beyond the trade of material goods and generate at least half of its GNP (gross national product) through information and knowledge. Information society is also referred to as knowledge society, network society, postmodern society, postindustrial society, and so on. All these terms describe a socioeconomic reality in which information is a commodity, an essential resource used to create new products and services and to generate wealth to those who have it.

Economist Fritz Machlup (1962) is credited for first developing the concepts of information society and knowledge economy. Machlup immigrated from Austria to the United States in 1933; his ...

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