Society on the Line: Information Politics in the Digital Age

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Oxford University Press, 1999 - Technology & Engineering - 390 pages
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Society on the Line presents a new way of thinking about the social and economic implications of the revolution in information and communication technologies (ICTs). It offers a clear overview of information in the digital age, and explains how social and technical choices about ICTs influence access to information, people, services, and technologies themselves. The author calls this process `the shaping of tele-access' and shows how the concept challenges prevailing theoretical perspectives of the information and communication revolution. His clear, informed and challenging analysis ranges from the household; through the workplace and business organization; to the media as new information providers; and to government policies on information and economic strategy. In doing so he touches on important issues of information inequality, privacy, censorship, the Internet; information and organizational design; and information in the community and public policy. The maintext is fully supported by case studies, boxed information, and essays written by leading ICT experts on both sides of the Atlantic. This accessible and useful book offers an invaluable guide to the information politics of the digital age. Pre-publication Endorsements `Society on the Line is a very useful book that organizes and analyses clearly and cogently a substantial body of relevant documentation. It will become required reading in universities around the world.' ManuelCastells, Professor of Sociology, University of California; author of the The Rise of the Network Society `...a fascinating perspective...which provokes fresh consideration of the issues. By showing us how to identify the games being played in the on-line environment, Dutton helps us focus on the pressure points for achieving respect for our information. Privacy need not be at risk as ICTs are exploited.The more we understand the drivers for change, the more we can influence the information handling culture which is emerging.' Elizabeth France, UK Data Protection Registrar

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About the author (1999)


William H. Dutton, Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, was National Director of the UK's Programme on Information and Communication Technologies while a Visiting Professor at Brunel University. He is the author of Wired Cities and Computers and Politics.

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