Informationaalinen vallankumous, verkko ja kulttuurinen identiteetti. Manuel Castellsin Informaation ajan käsitteistön kritiikki

Informational Revolution, the Net, and Cultural Identity. A Conceptual Critique of Manuel Castells' The Information Age

The paper gives a brief summary of the argument of Castells' trilogy and then claims that The Information Age is not an empirical study or a theoretical account. It is rather a diagnosis of the era comparable to the work of e.g. Bell, Beck and Giddens in the 1990's. This is followed by a critical evaluation of Castells' three central concepts, the informational revolution, the net and cultural identity. In all three cases there are conceptual problems involved, and in all three cases these theoretical problems exhibit shortcomings on the level of empirical analysis of business networks, political networks and culture in general. With his informational and network oriented approach Castells opens a fruitful perspective for the study of the economy, social institutions and culture in the globalizing world but his trilogy is not a place to stop thinking and studying. It is, rather, a perspective which is in need of theoretical reformulation and further empirical study. In the process of such work, The Information Age gains its end as a diagnosis of the era because it provides a loose framework which redirects the aims and perspective of the community of social scientists.

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