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Society on the Line presents a new way of thinking about the social and economic implications of the revolution in information and communication technologies (ICTs). It offers a clear overview of information in the digital age, and explains how social and technical choices about ICTs influence access to information, people, services, and technologies themselves. The author calls this process 'the shaping of tele-access' and shows how the concept challenges prevailing theoretical perspectives of the information and communication revolution. His clear, informed and challenging analysis ranges from the household; through the workplace and business organization; to the media as new information providers; and to government policies on information and economic strategy. In doing so he touches on important issues of information inequality, privacy, censorship, the Internet; information and organizational design; and information in the community and public policy. The main text is fully supported by case studies, boxed information, and essays written by leading ICT experts on both sides of the Atlantic. This accessible and useful book offers an invaluable guide to the information politics of the digital age. Pre-publication Endorsement 'Society on the Line is a very useful book that organizes and analyses clearly and cogently a substantial body of relevant documentation. It will become required reading in universities around the world.' Manuel Castells, Professor of Sociology, University of California; author of the The Rise of the Network Society Pre-publication endorsement '...a fascinating perspective...which provokes fresh consideration of the issues. By showing us how to identify the games being played in the on-line environment, Dutton helps us focus on the pressure points for achieving respect for our information. Privacy need not be at risk as ICTs are exploited.The more we understand the drivers for change, the more we can influence the information handling culture which is emerging.' Elizabeth France, UK Data Protection Registrar pre-publication endorsement 'In a time of information overload, Society on the Line cuts through hype and jargon to spell out clearly how information and communications technologies affect our lives. It presents a sound, thoughful, and well-balanced account of the contending factors and forces shaping hte new digital media and influencing individuals, organizations, and cultures. This is an essential book for communications professionals and students, as well as for all those who want a better understanding of the technical, political, and social dimensions of the information revolution.' Walter S. Baer, The RAND Corporation pre-publication endorsement 'This book's key theme of tele-access opens the door to a profound and fascinating exploration of the dominant question of our time: does information technology determine history, or does society or at least political economy hold the reins of time? All who have a humanistic interest in technology, the future, or both should read this book'. Reed Hundt, former Chair of the US Federal Communications Commission, and Chair of the Forum on Communication and Soceity of the Aspen Institute pre-publication endorsement 'As we enter the 'information age', we urgently need to be armed with considered values for assessing its impact and to frame people-serving policies, In this remarkably integrative book, William Dutton advances the notion of 'access'to fill this bill. In his hands, 'access' becomes both a multi-dimensional and a highly versatile idea...Dutton's analysis deserves to be widely read and debated.' Jay G Blumler, Professor Emeritus of Leeds University, and former President of the International Communication Association

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780198774617
ISBN-10: 0198774613
Format: Hardback
(241mm x 163mm x 28mm)
Pages: 416
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 25-Feb-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - William H. Dutton

William H. Dutton, Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, was National Director of the UK's Programme on Information and Communication Technologies while a Visiting Professor at Brunel University. He is the author of Wired Cities and Computers and Politics.

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