The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business and Society

The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business and Society

Paperback Clarendon Lectures in Management Studies

By (author) Manuel Castells

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 215mm x 16mm | 378g
  • Publication date: 3 April 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199255776
  • ISBN 13: 9780199255771
  • Illustrations note: 2 maps
  • Sales rank: 350,765

Product description

The Web has been with us for less than a decade. The popular and commercial diffusion of the Internet has been extraordinary - instigating and enabling changes in virtually every area of human activity and society. We have new systems of communication, new businesses, new media and sources of information, new forms of political and cultural expression, new forms of teaching and learning, and new communities. But how much do we know about the Internet - its history, its technology, its culture, and its uses? What are its implications for the business world and society at large? The diffusion has been so rapid that it has outpaced the capacity for well-grounded analysis. Soem say everything will change, others that little will change. Manuel Castells is widely regarded as the leading analyst of the Information Age and the Network Society. In addition to his academic work, he acts as adviser at the highest international levels. In this short, accessible, and informative book, he brings his experience and knowledge to bear on the Internet Galaxy. How did it all begin? What are the cultures that make up and contest the Internet? How is it shaping the new business organization and re-shaping older business organizations? What are the realities of the digital divide? How has the Internet affected social and cultural organization, political participation and communication, and urban living? These are just some of the questions addressed in this much needed book. Castells avoids any predictions or prescriptions - there have been enough of those - but instead draws on an extraordinary range of detailed evidence and research to describe what is happening, and to help us understand how the Internet has become the medium of the new network society.

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Author information

Manuel Castells, born in Spain in 1942, is Professor of Sociology, and Professor of City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was appointed in 1979 after teaching for twelve years at the University of Paris. He has also been a visiting professor in fifteen universities around the world, and an invited lecturer in hundreds of academic and professional institutions in thirty-five countries. He has published twenty books including the trilogy The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture, published by Blackwell in 1996-2000, and translated into twelve languages. Among other appointments, he has been a member of the European Commission's High Level Expert Group on the Information Society (1995/97), and a member of the United Nations Secretary General's Advisory Board on Information and Communication Technologies (2000/2001).

Review quote

A very readable and stimulating book. Professor Laurie Taylor, BBC Radio 4 'Thinking Allowed' [An] excellent, readable, nontechnical summary of the history, social implications and likely future of Internet business. Publishers Weekly, 12 Nov. 01 ... a superb guide to the workings of the internet and its wider implications... [Castells] brings a sociologist's understanding of the importance of culture in business to his analysis of the internet... stands supreme as a wise and insightful guide to the web. Management Today, November 01 (UK) The Internet is shaping society and in turn being shaped by society. It takes a scholar of Manuel Castells's range to do justice to this phenomenon. His book is learned without being pompous, and insightful without being impenetrable. If we ever get a discipline of Internet studies, this will be one of its founding texts. John Naughton, author of 'A Brief History of the Future: The Origins of the Internet' Manuel Castells has proved once again that he has an unmatched synoptic capacity to make sense of the complexities of a networked world, and here writes with clarity and insight about everything from the history of the technology to the subcultures that have done so much to shape it. Geoff Mulgan, author of 'Communication and Control' and 'Connexity'; Head of the Prime Minister's Forward Strategy Unit Castells is probably the world's most highly regarded commentator on the information age and new economic order. Management Today: Guru Guide, October 2001 ... a readable, articulate and persuasive account of why the internet's most powerful impacts on the shape of business, politics and society may be yet to come. Charles Leadbeater, Financial Times, 04/12/01 Thoroughly researched ... [and] truly global in scope. Castells provides balanced coverage of e-business and the new economy; the politics of the Internet, including privacy and freedom; and the geography of the Internet...Highly recommended for academic libraries. Library Journal, Nov 01 Absorbing history...Castells observes that while the Internet has the potential to strengthen democracy through broadening the sources of information and enabling greater citizenship participation, it has at the same time contributed greatly to the politics of scandal... In his sobering final chapter, the author studies the divide between peoples and regions that operate in the digital world and those that cannot. Kirkus Review The Internet Galaxy is the best attempt by a big thinker to grapple with the net's long-term implications for our society. New Statesman, 14/01/02 This small but complete volume is a critical introduction to internet-related theories, while doubling as a simplified reader on [Castells'] own ideas. The book should help to spread his influence beyond the faithful. Prospect, 02/2002

Table of contents

Opening: The Network is the Message ; 1. Lessons from the History of the Internet ; 2. The Culture of the Internet ; 3. e-Business and the New Economy ; 4. Virtual Communities or Network Society? ; 5. The Politics of the Internet I: Computer Networks, Civil Society, and the State ; 6. The Politics of the Internet II: Privacy and Liberty in Cyberspace ; 7. Multimedia and the Internet: The Hypertext beyond Convergence ; 8. The Geography of the Internet: Networked Places ; 9. The Digital Divide in a Global Perspective ; Conclusion: The Challenges of the Network Society