The impact of the `information society' are multiform and transdisciplinary. There are few areas of social, political and economic life that have not been affected or challenged by the new technologies of information and communication. In this short introduction, Armand Mattelart unpacks the notion of the information society, and examines why it has become the dominant paradigm for social change in the 21st Century. Critically, he also asks why the notion has come to dominant in the absence of any critical examination of the conditions under which it has been produced. Combining a long-term historical and geopolitical perspective, Mattelart questions the axioms used to legitimate the Information Society and critically assesses the ways in which it has been conceptualised as a theoretical concept as well as policy making tool. This introduction will be of interest to all students of media and communication, as well as social scientists in general.