• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This penetrating book raises questions about how power and resistance operate in contemporary society. Scott Lash argues that critique must take place from within information flows, rather than from the safety of `academic detachment' and that information is power. The book identifies a central contradiction of the information society, that is, the more intelligent and rational that the information society becomes, the more irrational may be the consequences. Written by one of the most celebrated commentators on power and culture, the book is a major testament on the prospects of intellectual life in an age dominated by seemingly inexhaustible, global flows of information.


Sociology has a very acute and very alive tradition of addressing questions of organization and of power. A number of these theories foreground structure, and a number foreground agency or action. For structuralists, organizations are ‘hierarchical systems of normative rules’. For action-analysts, organizations are ‘playing fields of interacting, strategically acting and negotiating agents’. Very often structural analysts of power and organizations will find themselves locked in conflict with action theorists. Indeed, structuralists will argue that their perspective has more validity than the action perspective, while action theorists will argue that their perspective has the greater validity. I want to claim instead that the structure and systems theoretical and action-oriented theories of power and organizations are not just perspectives. I want to claim that they ...

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