`It is a clich [ac]e but this book is timely, welcome and indeed a breath of fresh air....It is of particular value for people concerned with public communications, political economy, economics and the relationship between society and technology. Moreover, this book powerfully dispels the tacit assumption, prevalent in business, politics, media and academia that a combination of technical fixes and the free market can right all social problems' - Irish Journal of Sociology
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 offers a fresh perspective on this new`digital age'.
* 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 and original empirical research.
The book will be essential reading for all those concerned with the new communication technologies, including students of media and communications as well as policy-makers.
Paschal Preston holds a research professorship in the School of Communications in Dublin City University. Paschal Preston is the founding director of the COMTEC research unit. Founded in 1991, COMTEC was one of the first social science research centres in the Irish university sector. COMTEC now has a distinguished 20-year record of successful collaborative and multi-country research projects. For more on COMTEC, click here. Paschal Preston is also a member of the Society, Information and Media (SIM) research centre. SIM was established in 2005 to embrace the broad research interests of staff in the School of Communication, including those engaged in media practice as well as academic research on media production, policy and consumption issues.
PART ONE: INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW Information Superhighways or Super-Hypeways PART TWO: COMPETING THEORIES OF THE CONTEMPORARY Third Wave Visions Technology as Social Transformer An Archeology of Imformation (Sector) Matters 'Information Society' Theories Culture and Information Postmodernisms and the Public Sphere PART THREE: MAPPING A NEW MILLENNIUM AND MULTIMEDIA ORDER Changes, Continuities and Cycles Towards a More Realist(ic) Theory The 'Atoms and Bits' of Informational Capitalism Polarities New Modes of Work, Consumption and State Regimes 'Content Is King'? New Media and 'Mature' Media Innovations Information as New Frontier Commofication and Consumption Stakes PART FOUR: ALTERNATIVE PROSPECTS AND POSSIBILITIES Beyond Technological Fetishism Towards a New Social and Media Order @Y2K+