• 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.

Tradition and the Limits of Difference
Tradition and the limits of difference

A number of different thinkers across a spectrum of disciplines have maintained either implicitly or explicitly that we live in a more or less fully post-traditional order. Thus sociologists such as Ulrich Beck and Anthony Giddens suggest that we live in an age of ‘reflexive modernity’ in which the last traditional vestiges of an earlier simple modernity have reflectively been eliminated (Beck et al., 1994). Philosophers such as John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas have proposed a rational ethical order in which all talk of values, all talk of traditions is either systematically set aside for a focus on procedures and constitutionalism. Thus neo-classical, social-democratic and Marxist economics have conceived the individual as a rational-choosing, ...

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