Information and communication technologies are said to be transforming urban life dramatically and bringing about rapid economic and cultural globalization. This book explores the many fascinating and urgent issues involved by relating advanced theoretical debates to practical matters of communication with cultural policy. It maps out a range of ‘optimistic’ and ‘pessimistic’ scenarios with special regard to various forms of inequality, particularly class, gender and geo-political inequalities. The sheer pace of change is difficult to track yet the expert contributors to this volume all offer insights and essential guidance to what is going on. There are chapters on urban planning, virtual cities and actual cities, economic and political policy, and critical social analysis of current trends that are of momentous consequence.
The book concludes that neither technological determinism nor economic determinism satisfactorily account for information and communication technologies and urban development. Instead, it is necessary to bring together a number of differently informing approaches, cultural, economic, political and technological, to make sense of a field of dynamic and contradictory forces.
Chapter 10: New Technologies: Technocities and the Prospects for Democratization
New Technologies: Technocities and the Prospects for Democratization
men [and women] make their own history, but not under circumstances of their own choosing – Karl Marx
They who control the Microscopick, control the World – Thomas Pynchon
The current explosion of new technologies and furious debates over their substance, trajectory and effects poses two major challenges to critical social theory and a radical democratic politics: first, how to theorize the dramatic changes in every aspect of life that the new technologies are producing; and, secondly, how to utilize the new technologies to promote progressive social change to create a more egalitarian and democratic society than has been the case for the past two centuries marked by rampant industrial/technological development and ...