The Information Society


Required reading

It is recommended that students purchase and read the following text:

Rowe, Christopher (1990) “People and Chips” Blackwell, Oxford. 301.243 ROW (4 copies on overnight loan)

An alternative text, now out of print, is:

Forester, Tom (1989) "Computers in the Human Context: information technology, productivity and people" Basil Blackwell. 301.245 COM (3 copies on overnight loan.)


Students will find useful material in:

General reading

Berleur, Jacques et al. (1990) "The Information Society; evolving landscapes" Springer-Verlag, New York. 301.243 INF

The proceedings of a conference on the social accountability of computing and telecommunications. A wide range of papers, if rather sociological in outlook.

Boyd-Barnett, Oliver and Scanlon, Eileen (editors) (1990) "Computers and Learning" Addison-Wesley, Wokingham. 371.39445 BOY

An Open University reader with chapters by different contributors giving an overview of the subject.

Brödner, Peter (1990) "The Shape of Future Technology: the anthropocentric alternative" Springer-Verlag, London. 301.243 BRO

A relatively short and interesting book; a different perspective on the information society.

Castells, Manuel (1989) "The Informational City: information technology, economic restructuring and urban-regional process" Basil Blackwell, Oxford. 301.243 CAS

This book is written by a Marxist geographer of Spanish nationality who previously worked in Paris now living in California. A must for geographers and others with an interest in the spatial.

Chandler, Alfred J (1990) "Scale and Scope: the dynamics of industrial capitalism" Harvard University Press and Belknap Press, Cambridge, MA. 338.644 CHA

By the leading historian of business, this is a vital book to understand the historical development of modern business. A comparative study of the USA, the UK and Germany.

Dordick, Herbert S and Georgette Wang (1993) "The Information Society: a retrospective view" Sage, London. 301.243 DOR

A slightly disappointing volume which rehashes the recent past and uses some rather dubious numbers to do so.

Lyon, David (1990) "The Information Society: issues and illusions" Oxford Polity in association with Basil Blackwell, Second edition. 301.243 LYO

A readable account by a sociologist of the effects of IT on economics, democracy and culture.

Martyn, John, Peter Vickers and Mary Feeny (1990) "Information UK 2000" Bowker-Saur, 1990. 025.520942 INF

A useful if rather dry book, with systematic coverage of the applications of information and the effects of technology. The result of a British Library research project.

Masuda, Yoneji (1990) "Managing in the Information Society: releasing synergy Japanese Style" Basil Blackwell, Oxford. 301.243 MAS

A useful reference book, mainly as an historical marker.

Postman, Neil (1993) "Technopoly: the surrender of culture to technology" Vintage Books, New York. [On order for library]

A readable account of how technology has become the dominant 'theology' in Western society, especially the USA. Its one failing is to consider the role of the individual. Reich, Robert B (1991) "The Work of Nations: preparing ourselves for 21st century capitalism" Alfred Knopf, New York. 330.905 REI

The author is now US Secretary of Labor where is trying to put his ideas into practice. Readable, if not very optimistic.

Roszak, Theodore (1986) "The Cult of Information: the folklore of computers and the true art of thinking" Lutterworth Press, Cambridge. 001.64 ROS

A fairly readable account of the case against the information society.

Salvaggio, Jerry L (editor) (1989) "The Information Society: economic, social and structural issues" Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ. 301.243 INF

A very useful edited volume with distinguished contributors, but going out of date.

Wurman, Richard Saul (1991) "Information Anxiety: what to do when information doesn't tell you what you need to know" Pan, London. 301.243 WUR

A strange book in a postmodern style, i.e. it does not have to be read sequentially.

Copyright © Ewan Sutherland, 1995.

Centre for Informatics, University of Wales, Lampeter.