Thirty years ago, one writer complained that ‘to admire technology is all out of fashion’. Today excited claims are made for the impact that these technologies are having on social, political and economic life. But how are we to assess these claims? This book critically interrogates many of the prevailing ideas and offers a fresh perspective on this new ‘digital age’. Reshaping Communications: Provides an alternative and more grounded account of the complex interplay between new technology and information structures and changes in society; Illuminates the fundamental continuities as well as changes in socioeconomic and political processes; Draws on an interdisciplinary perspective

Third-Wave Visions: Technology as Social Transformer

Third-wave visions: Technology as social transformer

‘These changes are cumulative … they add up to a giant transformation in the way we live, work, play and think … what is happening now is nothing less than a global revolution, a quantum jump in history … It is the attempt to block such changes, not the changes themselves, that raises the level of risk. It is the blind attempt to defend obsolescence that creates the danger of bloodshed.’

(Toffler, 1980: 26, 452)

‘It is ironic that computing, which is often portrayed as an instrument of knowledge, is primarily the subject of popular and professional literatures that are heavily weighted towards the less reliable utopian genres.’

(Kling, 1994: 168–9)

New ICT and Social Transformation

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