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.

Information and Communications Technologies: Luddism Revisited

Information and Communications Technologies: Luddism Revisited

Information and communications technologies: Luddism revisited

It is now over 10 years since my book, Information Technology: A Luddite Analysis (written with Kevin Robins), was first published, and about a decade and a half since it was being researched and written. We have witnessed a great deal of development since that time in the information technology (IT) realm: PCs have become commonplace, Windows 95 and 98 have arrived, CD-ROMs are widely available, BSkyB has made inroads into terrestrial television's territory. People have even stopped talking about IT, preferring the acronym ICT because it encompasses both information and communications technologies.

One cannot be surprised at this. From early days, it was appreciated that the IT ‘revolution’ was set to be pervasive, continuous, ...

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