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Unit 1- Information Society

The concept of ‘Information Society’ emerged during the 1970s

and through out the 1980s and rapidly gained popularity and currency, its 0proponents ranging from scholars and academic authors to popular writers.

Prominent among the first group of writers were Masuda, who in the Japanese context, perceived an eventual transition of the society to the point at which the production of information values became the driving force for the development of the society.

The second writer belonging to this group was Tom Stonier, who perceived the dawning of a new age for Western Society. He draws explicit parallels and contrasts between industrial and information societies.

Although not very comfortable with the term ‘Information Society’, Daniel Bell did much to sustain it through his work on post-industrial society.

Daniel Bell, the classical exponent of post-industrialism, also theorised the ‘Information Society’ (Bell 1980).

Alvin Toffler and John Naisbitt have done much to popularise the concept of ‘Information Society’.

Naisbitt contended that the United States made the transition from an industrial to an information society as early as 1960s and 1970s, and that in this process the computer played a significant role.

On the other  hand, Toffler talked of an information bomb exploding in our midst and a power shift in society, which will make it depend on knowledge.

According to Branscomb Information Society is “a society where the majority of people are engaged in creating, gathering, storage, processing or distribution of  information

Attributes of an Information Society are:

 i] shift from an industrial economy to an information economy.
 That is to say that in industrial economy capital is the strategic
resource, while in Information Economy information becomes the
strategic resource;

 ii] a telecommunication based information service infrastructure;

 iii] a high degree computerization, large volumes of electronic
data transmission and employment of IT;

 iv] characterised by the fact that the rapid and convenient

delivery of needed information is the ordinary state of affairs.

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