Post Industrial Society

The idea of 'post-industrial society' and a constellation of related terms, such as 'service society', 'knowledge society' and 'information society', achieved a prominent place in debates in sociology from the 1970s as analysts sought to make sense of the ways in which modern forms of life were being transformed. The central thesis, outlined in the influential works of American sociologist Daniel Bell, is that economic life, production and the world of work have been transformed by the introduction of innovations in information technology. In particular, in the second half of the 20th century in the more highly developed societies, employment in manufacturing declined and professional, technical and other service occupations increased in number as developments in theoretical knowledge, information technology and communications became the initiators of change. This major new collection brings together contributions on post-industrial society and the 'techno-economic' realm from an impressive range of key thinkers including Marx, Penty, Riesman, Bell, Castells, Touraine, Dahrendorf, Giddens, Gorz and Lyotard. The 80 papers collected in the volumes: outline the emergence, development and historical roots of post-industrialism; critically engage with the thesis and related themes; explore economic and political dimensions, as well as the related notions of information and knowledge society; draw attention to the military-industrial roots of information technology; and in addition, give consideration to other 'post-industrial' matters involving architecture and design, urban spaces and increasingly important issues associated with surveillance and the environment.