Is Mexico an Information Society?

Topics: Information society, Mexico, Manuel Castells Pages: 6 (2733 words) Published: May 7, 2013
It is important to have a first approach of what is understood by information society since this term can change amongst authors. Some media experts claim there is no information society but a network society or that we are experiencing is informatisation of already established relationships. However the diversification of the term, the Mexican case will be addressed according to some common concepts of industrial society, technology, etc. To begin with, Webster acknowledges that an information society can be understood with different definitions: Technological, economic, occupational, spatial and cultural. Every one of this proves how Mexico is not fit to be called an information society. In the case of the technological approach, Mexico falls short to provide most of its citizens has access to the latest information technologies or that Mexican society has experienced a structural impact due to technologic innovations. Poverty, exclusion and lack of access to a digital education to the majority of citizens are still an alarming reality. From the economic approach, agriculture and Industry remain the back bone of Mexico’s national product, where information business are nothing yet but an incipient model and at no point can be called an information economy. Related to this point it is also impossible to see Mexico as an information society under the occupational approach given that most of the jobs are currently found on the industrial and service sector. For the case of spatial and cultural aspects, although Internet has brought the most important events of the country available to many, there are still a large amount of communities unreached by new media, or even electricity, and where the traditional media is highly manipulated as will be later discussed. It is also difficult to find, outside the big three cities (Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey), that highly educated youth which has ready access to knowledge and to diverse sort of media technology. Mexico’s challenges to become an Information Society

Experts on the topic and official government websites seem to be very optimistic on where Mexico is standing as an “information society”. They give in numbers and rankings comparing Mexico to other countries in Latin America, where it appears to be in the top 5 of countries with access to Internet and social network users. However it is prudent to consider if a country should be classified as an information society merely because a comparison with nations much more marginalized. The Indicator of Information Society states that Mexico, has 4.58 points, one of the highest grades of Latin America. More examples come from government initiatives, such as the e-México program started in the year 2000 which aimed to establish digital platforms between local governments and its citizens: Another example would be the “Digital Agenda” implemented with the goal to provide access to broadband Internet to every Mexican. The “Digital Agenda” in theory promotes the use of new ICTs for social development as well as an improvement in education, and health services. These initiatives however, never make any reference on how to achieve it, nor where the additional resources would be taken from, especially in the broadband access case. Even more, there is a significant effort needed to provide digital education to the people and nowhere in these initiatives or the current programs by the National Educative System there is a plan for additional programs. In reality, Mexico is situated below the Latin American average of Internet adoption of 42.6% with a 40.5% of internet user penetration by 2011 according to the Indicator of Information Society and eMarketer.. This is not a surprise sine over half of the Mexicans live below the poverty line. Naturally these numbers change according to the region, in rural areas only 6% of the population own a computer from which only a 3% are connected to Internet. And its even...
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