Information society: wireless ICTs' transformative potential

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper sets mobile technology and services against the backdrop of existing debates on ‘information’ and ‘post-industrial’ societies. This paper posits the suggestion that mobile technology has the potential to realise the information society aspirations of states in a way that information and communication technologies more generally have failed to do in recent years. Essentially, mobile services and the devices that enable access to them are becoming constitutive of the lives of users both in a work and a social dimension. This essential nature of the technology renders it different from on-line networking that has become a part of normal working environments in the developed world. The paper starts with a discussion on the meaning of the information society and post-industrialism (The coming of post-industrial society: A venture in social forecasting. London:Heinemann, 1974; The rise of the network society. Blackwells, Oxford, 2002; The wealth of information. London: Methuen, 1983) and considers criticisms [4, 5] that they are unrealised constructs (in part because economies remain defined by manufacturing) and that the advocates’ primary definitions are meaningless. Moreover, in order to address the dangers of exclusion from the benefits of the technology utilisation, the paper considers the concept of ‘social exclusion’ in a bid to challenge policy-makers’ assertions that the information society – wireless or otherwise – can and will bridge the social divide. The paper concludes with a discussion on policy implications for the achievement of inclusivity and openness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-377
Number of pages19
JournalFutures
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2004

Bibliographical note

© 2004 Elsevier

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