Bell and Castells Present a Different Perspective on the Information Society. Discuss Their Arguments, Citing Research That Supports and Research That Refutes Their Positions

Topics: Information society, Network society, Post-industrial society Pages: 4 (1391 words) Published: February 21, 2008
Bell And Castells Present A Different Perspective On The Information Society. Discuss Their Arguments, Citing Research That Supports And Research That Refutes Their Positions

Information society is a difficult term to give just one definition to as it encompasses many different themes, and has been interpreted differently by various authors. A simplistic description would be the way in which our society is changing and what is influencing these changes. There are three themes associated with the information society debate, which will be echoed throughout this essay. Firstly ‘the rise to the fore of culture, reflected in the growth of ownership and use of a range of cultural technologies. Secondly the changing economy, the changing nature of work and changing patterns of inequality, and finally, spatial and temporal dimensions' (Mackay et al., 2001, pp.1-2). I intend to explore the perspectives of two of the leading theorists on the information society debate; namely, Daniel Bell an American sociologist and Manuel Castells, a professor of sociology. I will summarize their arguments, using documented evidence to analyse their theories of the information society.

Daniel Bell leads with the argument that as a society we are deskilling as a work force and that technology is driving society to a more service based sector. In his earlier work Bell refers to ‘post-industrial society' and later he uses the term ‘information society'; although he uses different terminology his meaning remains the same. Bell argues that America has experienced an employment shift from pre-industrial e.g. early farming - the raw muscle of a farmer and a horse, through industrial –the use of machinery e.g. work in textile mills, to post-industrial – services and information illustrated by the boom in internet providers.

Bell offers a table of statistics to illustrate this decline in the number of people working in the manufacturing sector and a rise in the number of people...
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