Skip to Content

The Information Society

Edited by Robin Mansell

Routledge – 2009 – 1,926 pages

Series: Critical Concepts in Sociology

Purchasing Options:

  • Add to CartHardback: $1,610.00
    April 3rd 2009


‘The information society’ refers to a constellation of developments arising from the growing use of communication technologies in the acquisition, storage, and processing of information, and the role of information in supporting the creation and exchange of knowledge. Research on information societies really began to take off in the 1970s when Daniel Bell wrote about ‘the information age’. While there were earlier works that focused on the growing importance of information in the economy, it was not until the mid-1990s and the spread of the Internet that this field of study experienced a huge expansion across a broad range of disciplines in the social sciences and beyond. A critical mass of scholarship has now accumulated, establishing ‘the information society’ and ‘information societies’ as a terrain of substance and complexity, the exploration and understanding of which requires increasingly sophisticated navigation skills. As research in and around the area continues to flourish as never before, this new title in Routledge’s Major Works series, Critical Concepts in Sociology, meets the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of a rapidly growing and ever more complex corpus of literature, and to provide a map of the area as it has emerged and developed over the last thirty years or so.

The Information Society is fully indexed and has a comprehensive introduction, newly written by the editor, which places the material in its historical and intellectual context. It is an essential work of reference and is destined to be valued by scholars and students—as well as policy-makers and practitioners in the field—as a vital one-stop research resource.


Volume I: History and Perspectives

Part 1: History and Early Debates

1. Harold D. Lasswell, ‘The Structure and Function of Communications in Society’, in Lyman Bryson (ed.), The Communication of Ideas (Harper, 1948), pp. 37–51.

2. Marshall McLuhan, ‘Effects of the Improvements of Communication Media’, Journal of Economic History, 1960, 20, 4, 566–75.

3. Peter F. Drucker, ‘Knowledge Society’, New Society, 1969, 13, 343, 629–31.

4. Ithiel de Sola Pool, ‘The Rise of Communications Policy Research’, Journal of Communication, 1974, 24, 2, 31–42.

5. Marc Uri Porat, ‘Global Implications of Information Society’, Journal of Communication, 1978, 28, 1, 70–80.

6. Fritz Machlup, ‘Stocks and Flows of Knowledge’, Kyklos, 1979, 32, 1–2, 400–11.

7. Daniel Bell, ‘The Social Framework of the Information Society’, in T. Forrester (ed.), The Microelectronics Revolution (Blackwell, 1980), pp. 500–49.

8. Yoneji Masuda, ‘Computopia: Rebirth of Theological Synergism’, in Y. Masuda (ed.), The Information Society as Post-Industrial Society (Institute for the Information Society, 1980), pp. 146–54.

Part 2: Further Reflections and Critical Perspectives

9. Herbert I. Schiller, ‘Whose New International Economic and Information Order?’, Communication, 1980, 5, 4, 299–314.

10. James R. Beniger, The Control Revolution: Technological And Economic Origins of the Information Society (Harvard University Press, 1986), pp. 1–28.

11. David Lyon, ‘From Post-Industrialism to Information-Society: A New Social Transformation’, Sociology, 1986, 20, 4, 577–88.

12. Ian Miles and Jonathan Gershuny, ‘The Social Economics of Information Technology’, in Marjorie Ferguson (ed.), New Communication Technologies and the Public Interest (Sage, 1986), pp. 18–36.

13. Sohail Inayatullah, ‘Deconstructing the Information Era’, Futures, 1998, 30, 2–3, 235–47.

14. Gaëtan Tremblay, ‘The Information Society: From Fordism to Gatesism’, 1995, Canadian Journal of Communication, 1995, 20, 4, 461–82.

15. Frank Webster and Kevin Robins, ‘Plan and Control: Towards a Cultural History of the Information Society’, Theory and Society, 1989, 18, 3, 323–51.

16. Jorge Reina Schement, ‘Porat, Bell, and the Information-Society Reconsidered: The Growth of Information Work in the Early 20th Century’, Information Processing & Management, 1990, 26, 4, 449–65.

17. Peter Golding, ‘Forthcoming Features: Information and Communications Technologies and the Sociology of the Future’, Sociology, 2000, 34, 1, 165–84.

18. Nico Stehr, ‘Deciphering Information Technologies: Modern Societies as Networks’, European Journal of Social Theory, 2000, 3, 1, 83–94.

19. Armand Mattelart, ‘An Archaeology of the Global Era: Constructing a Belief’, 2002, Media Culture & Society, 2002, 24, 5, 591–612.

20. Nicholas Garnham, ‘Class Analysis and the Information Society as Mode of Production’, Javnost-The Public, 2004, 11, 3, 93–103.

21. Frank Webster, ‘Making Sense of the Information Age: Sociology and Cultural Studies’, Information, Communication and Society, 2005, 8, 4, 439–58.

22. Paul A. Taylor, ‘Putting the Critique Back into a Critique of Information: Refusing to Follow the Order’, Information, Communication & Society, 2006, 9, 5, 553–71.

23. Manuel Castells, ‘Communication, Power and Counter-Power in the Network Society’, International Journal of Communication, 2007, 1, 1, 238–66.

Volume II: Knowledge, Economics, and Organization

Part 3: Knowledge and Economics

24. Carlota Perez, ‘Structural Change and Assimilation of New Technologies in the Economic and Social Systems’, Futures, 1983, 15, 5, 357–75.

25. Paul A. David, ‘The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox’, The American Economic Review, 1990, 80, 2, 355–61.

26. Christopher Freeman and Luc Soete, ‘Fast Structural Change and Slow Productivity Change: Some Paradoxes in the Economics of Information Technology’, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, 1990, 1, 2, 225–42.

27. William H. Melody, ‘Information: An Emerging Dimension of Institutional Analysis’, Journal of Economic Issues, 1987, XXI, 3, 1313–39.

28. Hernan Galperin, ‘Beyond Interests, Ideas, and Technology: An Institutional Approach to Communication and Information Policy’, The Information Society, 2004, 20, 3, 159–68.

29. Don Lamberton, ‘The Knowledge-Based Economy: A Sisyphus Model’, Prometheus, 1997, 15, 1, 73–81.

30. Dallas W. Smythe, ‘Communications: Blindspot in Economics’, in William H. Melody, Liora Salter, and Paul Heyer (eds.), Culture, Communication and Dependency: The Tradition of H. A. Innis (Ablex, 1981), pp. 111–25.

31. Robin Cowan, Paul A. David, and Dominique Foray, ‘The Explicit Economics of Knowledge Codification and Tacitness’, Industrial and Corporate Change, 2000, 9, 2, 211–54.

32. W. Edward Steinmueller, ‘Will New Information and Communication Technologies Improve the "Codification" of Knowledge?’, Industrial and Corporate Change, 2000, 9, 2, 361–76.

Part 4: Open Networks

33. Magnus Berguist and Jan Ljungberg, ‘The Power of Gifts: Organizing Social Relationships in Open Source Communities’, Information Systems Journal, 2001, 11, 3–4, 305–20.

34. Josh Lerner and Jean Tirole, ‘The Economics of Technology Sharing: Open Source and Beyond’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2005, 19, 2, 99–120.

35. Brian Fitzgerald, ‘The Transformation of Open Source Software’, MIS Quarterly, 2006, 30, 3, 587–98.

Part 5: Inequality and the Digital Divide

36. Patricia Arriaga, ‘Toward a Critique of the Information Society’, Media, Culture and Society, 1985, 7, 3, 271–96.

37. Ernest J. Wilson III, ‘Inventing the Global Information Future’, Futures, 1998, 30, 1, 23–42.

38. Lisham Adam and Frances Wood, ‘An Investigation of the Impact of Information and Communication Technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa’, Journal of Information Science, 1999, 25, 4, 307–18.

39. Eszter Hargittai, ‘Weaving the Western Web: Explaining Differences in Internet Connectivity among OECD Countries’, Telecommunications Policy, 1999, 23, 10/11, 701–18.

40. Robin Mansell, ‘From Digital Divides to Digital Entitlements in Knowledge Societies’, Current Sociology, 2002, 50, 3, 407–26.

41. Mark Warschauer, ‘Reconceptualizing the Digital Divide’, First Monday, 2002, 7, 7.

42. Johannes J. Britz et al., ‘Africa as a Knowledge Society: A Reality Check’, International Information & Library Review, 2006, 38, 1, 25–40.

43. Jan A. G. M. van Dijk, ‘Digital Divide Research, Achievements and Shortcomings’, Poetics, 2006, 34, 4–5, 221–35.

Part 6: Widespread Organizational Change

44. Rob Kling, ‘Computerization and Social Transformations’, Science, Technology and Human Values, 1991, 16, 3, 342–67.

45. Shoshana Zuboff, ‘New Worlds of Computer-Mediated Work’, Harvard Business Review, 1982, 60, 5, 142–52.

46. Robert D. Galliers, ‘Strategic Information Systems Planning: Myths, Reality and Guidelines for Successful Implementation’, European Journal of Information Systems, 1991, 1, 1, 55–64.

47. Wanda J. Orlikowski, ‘Using Technology and Constituting Structures: A Practice Lens for Studying Technology in Organizations’, Organization Science, 2000, 11, 4, 404–28.

48. Michael Brocklehurst, ‘Power, Identity and New Technology Homework: Implications for "New Forms" of Organizing’, Organization Studies, 2001, 22, 3, 445–66.

Volume III: Democracy, Governance, and Regulation

Part 7: Democracy, Networks, and Power

49. Graham Murdock and Peter Golding, ‘Information Poverty and Political Inequality: Citizenship in the Age of Privatized Communications’, Journal of Communication, 1989, 39, 3, 180–95.

50. William H. Dutton, ‘Political Science Research on Teledemocracy’, Social Science Computer Review, 1992, 10, 4, 505–22.

51. Andrew Feenberg, ‘Democratic Rationalization Technology, Power and Freedom’, in D. M. Kaplan (ed.), Readings in the Philosophy of Technology (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004), pp. 209–30.

52. Nicholas Garnham, ‘The Media and the Public Sphere’, in Craig Calhoun (ed.), Habermas and the Public Sphere (MIT Press, 1993), pp. 359–76.

53. Stephen Coleman, ‘New Mediation and Direct Representation: Reconceptualizing Representation in the Digital Age’, New Media & Society, 2005, 7, 2, 177–98.

54. Phil E. Agre, ‘Real-time Politics: The Internet and the Political Process’, The Information Society, 2002, 18, 5, 311–31.

55. Susan Herbst, ‘Political Authority in a Mediated Age’, Theory and Society, 2003, 32, 4, 481–504.

56. Peter Dahlgren, ‘The Internet, Public Spheres, and Political Communication: Dispersion and Deliberation’, Political Communication, 2005, 22, 2, 147–62.

57. Cees J. Hamelink, ‘Rethinking ICTs: ICTs on a Human Scale’, European Journal of Communication, 2006, 21, 3, 389–96.

Part 8: Governing Networks

58. William H. Melody, ‘Communication Policy in the Global Information Economy: Whither the Public Interest?’, in Marjorie Ferguson (ed.), Public Communication The New Imperatives: Future Directions for Media Research (Sage, 1989), pp. 16–38.

59. David R. Johnson and David G. Post, ‘Law and Borders: The Rise of Law in Cyberspace’, Stanford Law Review, 1996, 48, 5, 1367–402.

60. Lawrence Lessig, ‘The Zones of Cyberspace’, Stanford Law Review, 1996, 48, 5, 1403–11.

61. Robert W. McChesney, ‘The Internet and US Communication Policy-Making in Historical and Critical Perspective’, Journal of Communication, 1996, 46, 1, 98–124.

62. James Boyle, ‘The Second Enclosure Movement and the Construction of the Public Domain’, Law and Contemporary Problems, 2003, 66, 1–2, 33–71.

63. Dal Y. Jin, ‘The Telecom Crisis and Beyond’, Gazette: The International Journal for Communication Studies, 2005, 67, 3, 289–304.

64. Wolfgang Kleinwächter, ‘Internet Co-Governance: Towards a Multilayer Multiplayer Mechanism of Consultation, Coordination and Cooperation’, E-Learning, 2006, 3, 3, 473–87.

65. Yochai Benkler and Helen Nissenbaum, ‘Commons-Based Peer Production and Virtue’, Journal of Political Philosophy, 2006, 14, 4, 394–419.

Volume IV: Everyday Life

Part 9: Everyday Life Online and Offline

66. Gustavo L. Ribeiro, ‘Transnational Virtual Community? Exploring Implications for Culture, Power and Language’, Organization, 1997, 4, 4, 496–505.

67. Sherry Turkle, ‘Multiple Subjectivity and Virtual Community at the End of the Freudian Century’, Sociological Inquiry, 1997, 67, 1, 72–84.

68. Paul DiMaggio et al., ‘Social Implications of the Internet’, Annual Review of Sociology, 2001, 27, 307–36.

69. Douglas Kellner, ‘Theorizing Globalization’, Sociological Theory, 2002, 20, 3, 285–305.

70. Sonia Livingstone, ‘Media Literacy and the Challenge of New Information and Communication Technologies’, The Communication Review, 2004, 7, 1, 3–14.

71. Roger Silverstone, ‘Complicity and Collusion in the Mediation of Everyday Life’, New Literary History, 2002, 33, 4, 761–80.

72. Jesus Martin-Barbero, ‘Identities: Traditions and New Communities’, Media Culture & Society, 2002, 24, 5, 621–41.

73. Barry Wellman, ‘The Three Ages of Internet Studies: Ten, Five and Zero Years Ago’, New Media and Society, 2004, 6, 1, 123–30.

74. Ramesh Srinivasan, ‘Where Information Society and Community Voice Intersect’, The Information Society, 2006, 22, 5, 355–65.

75. Karim H. Karim, ‘Nation and Diaspora: Rethinking Multiculturalism in a Transnational Context’, International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, 2007, 2, 3, 267–82.

Part 10: Gender and the Cyborg

76. Sue C. Jansen, ‘Gender and the Information Society: A Socially Structured Silence’, Journal of Communication, 1989, 39, 3, 196–215.

77. Donna J. Haraway, ‘A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist- Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century’, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (Routledge, 1991), pp. 149–82.

78. Juliet Webster, ‘What Do We Know About Gender and Information Technology at Work: A Discussion of Selected Feminist Research’, European Journal of Women’s Studies, 1995, 2, 3, 315–34.

79. Judy Wajcman, ‘Reflections on Gender and Technology Studies: In What State is the Art?’, Social Studies of Science, 2000, 30, 3, 447–64.

80. Radhika Gajjala, ‘An Interrupted Postcolonial/Feminist Cyberethnography: Complicity and Resistance in the "Cyberfield"’, Feminist Media Studies, 2002, 2, 2, 177–93.

81. Liesbet van Zoonen, ‘Gendering the Internet: Claims, Controversies and Cultures’, European Journal of Communication, 2002, 17, 1, 5–23.

Part 11: Privacy and Surveillance

82. Oscar H. Gandy Jr, ‘The Surveillance Society: Information Technology and Bureaucratic Social Control’, Journal of Communication, 1989, 39, 3, 61–76.

83. David Lyon, ‘An Electronic Panopticon: A Sociological Critique of Surveillance Theory’, Sociological Review, 1993, 41, 4, 653–78.

84. Charles D. Raab and Colin J. Bennett, ‘The Distribution of Privacy Risks: Who Needs Protection?’, The Information Society, 1998, 14, 4, 263–74.

85. Sandra Braman, ‘Tactical Memory: The Politics of Openness in the Construction of Memory’, First Monday, 2006, 11, 7.

86. Mark Poster, ‘The Secret Self: The Case of Identity Theft’, Cultural Studies, 2007, 21, 1, 118–40.


Name: The Information Society (Hardback)Routledge 
Description: Edited by Robin Mansell. ‘The information society’ refers to a constellation of developments arising from the growing use of communication technologies in the acquisition, storage, and processing of information, and the role of information in supporting the...
Categories: Communication Studies, Encyclopedias, Sociology of Media