Where Volumes I and II were examinations into macro economic, social, and political changes in the Information Age, Volume III is an analysis of the world’s macrotransformations, wherein Castells interprets the sociohistorical reordering enumerated in the previous books. Going from region to region, Castells traces the processes and the infrastructural changes wrought by the network society.
Tag Archives: informationalism
Castells, M. (1996). _The Rise of the Network Society: The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture, Volume I_. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
Written with the aim of understanding better the economic, political, and social implications of globalization, the first (and necessarily most abstract) volume of Castells’ trilogy proposes we are in a network society. Here capital and information have collapsed into one another and become the same thing, spurring a transformation from modern capitalism into informational capitalism. In contradistinction to modern capitalism, informational capitalism’s production is knowledge-based productivity, wherein the mounting interdependence of economies and companies reflects the need for international and inter-corporate collaboration in order to stay competitive in the same global market.
The rise of the informational economy “is characterized by the development of a new organizational logic which is related to the current progress of technological change, but not dependent on it” (152). Indeed, corporations did not embrace information technology to advance their standing in the market but to copewith the meteoric changes and increase overall productivity. Labor’s role in this transition to the informational society underscores the shift from the industrial economy, as well as the fact that there is no one model of the informational society. Castells hypothesizes: “as the process of globalization progresses, organizational forms evolve from multi-national entities to [increasingly decentralized] international networks” (192).
Castells, M. (1989). _The Informational City: Information Technology, Economic Restructuring and the Urban-Regional Process_. Oxford and Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers.
Like all Castells’ pieces, this book covers a large scope and does so with a lot of detail. In broadest strokes, this book is an analysis of (the then) new information technologies and urban-regional processes as they occur in a larger historical context. He identifies this new mode of development as the informational mode of development. His hypothesis: we are experiencing a historic set of transformations that relate to: capitalism as a social complex and capitalism’s restructuring (global capital flows), the informational mode of development, and IT as a potent operating instrument.