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The Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting Reissue Edition
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Daniel Bell is a renowned sociologist and post-Marxist, his prophetic book was first published in 1976 and republished in 1999 accompanied with a new foreword by the author. Since 1976 many of the concepts, theories and phrases Bell pioneered have become naturalised, universal conventions, and thus Bell should, most definitely, be considered a futurist.
This definitive book explores the `coming age' and evaluates how this new Post Industrial Society will alter the structure of society. As Bell openly concedes `the sociologist is always tempted to play the prophet and if not the prophet the seer' (Chapter 1). He does, however, explain that the `forecasting' he attempts is different from predicting. For, forecasting is only possible where there are `regularities and recurrences of phenomenon (and these are rare). It is only possible where one can assume a high degree of rationality on the part of the man who influences events-agreement to follow the rules'. And it seems that Bell's sociological background has given him the required understanding.
The new foreword shows considerable contemplation of the books success. Bell explains how there has been an unprecedented increase in the use of the phrase `post industrial society' but he is not complacent, rather he underlines the lack of `specificity as to what is connotes'.Read more ›
Those years were on the cusp of the "post-industrial society" described in this book. The corporate "Organization Man" developed from the hard technologies of World War Two had met the "Personal Voices" expressed on campuses during the explosive Sixties. The result was chaos. But science and mathematics had not understood what that word meant, much less the meaning of networks, complexity, and emergence in social terms, as we know now. So Bell did the best he could for the moment.
The work concludes with "An Agenda for the Future" which describes a sort of New Utopia in which, while human life is not all harmonious, it is a place where the "polity" can work out its priorities, giving voice to all its constituents through national, state, and local forums. This all seems to be something of a progression of two hundred years of American history and of an evolution of purist theories (such as Marx) into pragmatic techniques.
Right at the times of publication in 1973 and again in 1976, though, Bell seems to have overlooked the underlying currents of reactionary efforts to revert the nation to earlier times. The capitalists saw the Gilded Age as their Utopia.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Small font, to much text... Tehnicaly speaking, this book is in general impractical for reading... U can't put it in front of you and read, it is imposible. Read morePublished on December 16, 2012 by Ratko Mitrovic
The book is what I expected and the author explains all about post industry time in a very intelligent way. I needed it for my college studies and I found a reliable information.Published on June 11, 2011 by isabel b. de izquierdo
This tome covers most socials and cultural aspects of a society in the throws of post industrialism. Read morePublished on September 12, 2010 by Winston Smith 6076