The Web has been with us for less than a decade. The popular and commercial diffusion of the Internet has been extraordinary - instigating and enabling changes in virtually every area of human activity and society. We have new systems of communication, new businesses, new media and sources of information, new forms of political and cultural expression, new forms of teaching and learning, and new communities. But how much do we know about the Internet - its history, its technology, its culture, and its uses? What are its implications for the business world and society at large? The diffusion has been so rapid that it has outpaced the capacity for well-grounded analysis. Soem say everything will change, others that little will change. Manuel Castells is widely regarded as the leading analyst of the Information Age and the Network Society. In addition to his academic work, he acts as adviser at the highest international levels. In this short, accessible, and informative book, he brings his experience and knowledge to bear on the Internet Galaxy. How did it all begin? What are the cultures that make up and contest the Internet?
How is it shaping the new business organization and re-shaping older business organizations? What are the realities of the digital divide? How has the Internet affected social and cultural organization, political participation and communication, and urban living? These are just some of the questions addressed in this much needed book. Castells avoids any predictions or prescriptions - there have been enough of those - but instead draws on an extraordinary range of detailed evidence and research to describe what is happening, and to help us understand how the Internet has become the medium of the new network society.
Manuel Castells, born in Spain in 1942, is Professor of Sociology, and Professor of City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was appointed in 1979 after teaching for twelve years at the University of Paris. He has also been a visiting professor in fifteen universities around the world, and an invited lecturer in hundreds of academic and professional institutions in thirty-five countries. He has published twenty books including the trilogy The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture, published by Blackwell in 1996-2000, and translated into twelve languages. Among other appointments, he has been a member of the European Commission's High Level Expert Group on the Information Society (1995/97), and a member of the United Nations Secretary General's Advisory Board on Information and Communication Technologies (2000/2001).
Opening: The Network is the Message ; 1. Lessons from the History of the Internet ; 2. The Culture of the Internet ; 3. e-Business and the New Economy ; 4. Virtual Communities or Network Society? ; 5. The Politics of the Internet I: Computer Networks, Civil Society, and the State ; 6. The Politics of the Internet II: Privacy and Liberty in Cyberspace ; 7. Multimedia and the Internet: The Hypertext beyond Convergence ; 8. The Geography of the Internet: Networked Places ; 9. The Digital Divide in a Global Perspective ; Conclusion: The Challenges of the Network Society