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.
The Strong Programme in the sociology of science holds that for a theory to be valid it must be reflexive (Barnes et al., 1996). That is, it must be applicable to itself. In Chapter 5 we just saw how reflexive and information-rich knowledge had as its unintended consequences an out-of-control object. This poses questions about theory itself. Does it not follow that theory itself would be an unruly object? Ideal-typical for such unruly objects in the contemporary era is not industrial goods, but information and communication products. In other words, ideal-typical for such contingent circulating objects are, in a very important sense, media. It follows thus that social and cultural theory would increasingly take on the form of media theory. If critique ...