Daniel Bell's theory of the information society.

Duff, Alistair (2010) Daniel Bell's theory of the information society. In: Post-Industrial Society. Sage, pp. 201-232. ISBN 978-1-84860-180-2

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Daniel Bell is recognised to be the foremost writer on the information society. The paper expounds his writings in detail, showing their development from the 1960s to the 1990s. It is argued that his position has always contained three distinguishable strands or elements: one relating to the post-industrial information workforce, a second dealing with information flows (particularly scientific knowledge), and a third concerning computers and the information revolution. Bell’s information society thesis is best understood as a synthesis of these elements. His arguments are also evaluated. It is suggested that the information economy element is not satisfactorily supported by the evidence cited and that his emphasis on theoretical knowledge may also be excessive. As regards Bell’s account of information technology, his position shifted from a technocratic preoccupation with mainframes to an uncritical enthusiasm for the micro-computer. In spite of such shortcomings, Bell’s synthetic information society thesis is the strongest available

Item Type: Book Section
ISBN: 978-1-84860-180-2
Uncontrolled Keywords: Daniel Bell; information society; post-industrial information workforce; information flows; computers;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Computing
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 303 Social processes
Library of Congress Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Item ID: 3906
Depositing User: Computing Research
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2011 16:00
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2013 11:57

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