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

Polarities: New Modes of Work, Consumption and State Regimes

Polarities: New modes of work, consumption and state regimes

‘As in a flood, medieval constitutions and limitations upon industry disappeared, and statesmen marvelled at the grandiose phenomenon which they could neither grasp nor follow … Yet as machinery dwarfed human strength, capital triumphed over labour and created a new form of serfdom. Mechanization and the incredibly elaborate division of labour diminish the strength and intelligence which is required amongst the masses, and competition depresses their wages to the minimum of a bare existence.’

(Harkort, 1844, cited in Hobsbawm, 1969: 65–6)

‘The net worth of the world's 200 richest people increased from $400 billion to more than $1 trillion in just over four years from 1994 to 1998. The assets ...

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