We are often told that we are "living in an information society" or that we are "information workers." But what exactly do these claims mean, and how might they be verified? In this important methodological study, Alistair S. Duff cuts through the rhetoric to get to the bottom of the "information society thesis." Wide-ranging in coverage, this study will be of interest to scholars in information science, communication and media studies and social theory. It is a key text for the newly-unified specialism of information society studies, and an indispensable guide to the future of this discipline.
'The book is well-structured, logically argued and stout in defence of its arguments. … deserves a wide prfoessional audience for its insights into what lies behind the transformations of libraries currently taking place' - Library Review
'Alistair Duff has produced a bench-mark book which charts for us the emergence of the concept of 'information society' .' - Margaret Grieco, Urban Studies
1. Introduction. 2. The information sector version of the information society thesis. 3. The information flows version of the information society thesis. 4. The information technology version of the information society thesis 5. Synthetic methodology of the information society thesis 6. Overall conclusions. Coda: An agenda for information Society Studies. Appendix 1: Database searches. Appendix 2: Telephone interview with Youichi Ito. Appendix 3: Periodicals carrying articles on the information society between 1984 and 1997.