Advanced Introduction to Digital Society

Hardback

Advanced Introduction to Digital Society

9781803921112 Edward Elgar Publishing
Manuel Castells, Wallis Annenberg Chair Professor of Communication Technology and Society, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, US
Publication Date: June 2024 ISBN: 978 1 80392 111 2 Extent: c 164 pp
This essential book documents the current configuration of digital society worldwide and examines its social, economic, political and cultural consequences. Presenting state-of-the-art empirical analysis and academic research, preeminent author Manuel Castells explores the profound impact that technology and digital transformation continues to have on the world as we know it.

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Critical Acclaim
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Elgar Advanced Introductions are stimulating and thoughtful introductions to major fields in the social sciences, business and law, expertly written by the world’s leading scholars. Designed to be accessible yet rigorous, they offer concise and lucid surveys of the substantive policy issues associated with discrete subject areas.

This essential book documents the current configuration of digital society worldwide and examines its social, economic, political and cultural consequences. Presenting state-of-the-art empirical analysis and academic research, preeminent author Manuel Castells explores the profound impact that technology and digital transformation continues to have on the world as we know it.

Chapters present an in-depth examination of how digitalization affects communication, state surveillance and privacy, financial markets, spatial structure, and education. This Advanced Introduction also deftly outlines digital influence on social movements, exploring social media disinformation, digital inequality, geopolitics and war-making technologies. Ultimately, Castells demonstrates how today’s digital society is the socio-technological foundation of the ‘network society’, the social structure of our time.

Key Features:
● Situates digital transformation within Castells’ theory of the ‘network society’.
● Presents complete empirical evidence of the configuration of digital society.
● Explores the relationship between digital society, data capitalism, state surveillance and privacy.
● Highlights the implications of artificial intelligence, social media, teleworking and cryptocurrencies

This authoritative Advanced Introduction will be a crucial read for students, academics and researchers specializing in sociology, sociological theory, communication, public policy, politics, regulation, education, science and technology studies and business studies. Offering vital analysis of our continually developing digital society, it will also be of interest to global policymakers regulating digital technologies.
Critical Acclaim
‘In this precisely argued, expansive book, Castells demonstrates once again his deep understanding of the complex relationships between technology, power, and inequality. This is essential reading not only for those who study the digital world, but for all who rely on it, either knowingly or not. A must-read!’
– Sarah Banet-Weiser, Walter H. Annenberg Dean, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

‘Over four decades, Manuel Castells has analyzed the evolving technical, economic, social, power, and moral aspects of the information society. His new book Advanced Introduction to Digital Society is the most important of these efforts because of the manifest challenges currently facing society. As always, Castells includes extensive data and results of professional quality, but avoids jargon. Rather than focusing on the fake issue of super-human intelligence, the book is concerned with the real prospect of diminishing personal freedom and quality of life. In addition to the general discussion, there are chapters that analyze specific domains including education, digital divides, social movements, political polarization, and war. The book is required reading for anyone who aspires to understand, and hopefully influence, the alignment of computational systems and power structures with human values.’
– Jerome Feldman, Emeritus Professor of Computer Science and Cognitive Science, and Founding Director of the International Computer Science Institute, University of California, Berkeley

‘As usual, Manuel Castells has given us a comprehensive analytical framework to understand where we are in the digitalization of our societies. The beauty of this book is that it both raises so many interesting questions and provides a launching pad for us to begin to answer them.’
– Martin Carnoy, Lemann Foundation Professor of Education and Economics, Stanford University
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