We are often told that we are 'living in an information society' or that we are 'information workers'. But what exactly do these claims mean, and how might they be verified? In this important methodological study, Alistair Duff cuts through the rhetoric to get to the bottom of the 'information society thesis'. Duff presents the argument that there are in reality several 'information society theses', each with its own disciplinary origin and tradition. One talks about an 'information economy'. Another, the Japanese theory of the 'informationised society', measures communication flows, while a third focuses on IT and the 'information revolution'. This book brings together the various schools and examines them systematically in a comparative setting. It represents one of the first in-depth treatments of the field as a whole. Wide-ranging in coverage, this work will be of interest to scholars in information science, communication and media studies and social theory. It is a key text for the newly-unified specialism of information society studies, and an indispensable guide to the future of this discipline.
Alistair S. Duff is a Senior Lecturer and Teaching Fellow in the School of Creative Industries at Napier University.