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

Changes, Continuities and Cycles: Towards a More Realist(IC) Theory

Changes, continuities and cycles: Towards a more realist(IC) theory

‘The essential point to grasp is that in dealing with capitalism we are dealing with an evolutionary process … a fact which was long ago emphasised by Karl Marx … Capitalism then, is by nature a form or method of economic change and not only never is, but never can be, stationary … This process of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism.’

(Schumpeter, 1943: 82–3)

‘… the full economic and social benefits (including employment generation) of information technology depend on a … process of social experimentation and learning which is still at an early stage.’

(Freeman and Soete, 1994: 41–2)

Crisis and Restructuring: Changes Versus Continuities?

In the preceding five chapters I ...

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