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The Power of Identity: The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture Volume II 2nd Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1405196871
ISBN-10: 1405196874
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In the second volume of his Information Age trilogy, Manuel Castells examines the threat posed to the nation-state by the rise of collective "resistance identities," which may over time develop into "project identities" with specific socially transformative goals in mind. His scope is broad, encompassing everything from Mexico's Zapatista movement to the rise of militias in the United States to broader antipatriarchal projects launched by feminists, gay communities, and environmental activists. Castell's dry academic style may be distancing to some readers; Benjamin R. Barber's Jihad vs. McWorld provides a similar argument (with equal intellectual rigor) in slightly more accessible prose. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Not since Weber has there been such a determined and largely successful effort to bring to bear the results and analytical perspectives of all the social sciences on the evolution of society." Chris Freeman, University of Sussex.

"These three volumes represent a staggering undertaking. Castells has attempted nothing less than to take stock of our entire contemporary world. He has succeeded beyond any reasonable expectation. Truly global in scope, yet sacrificing nothing of the concreteness and detail without which enterprises of this kind can be empty and unsatisfying, this trilogy must rank as one of the great works of 'grand theory' of our time." Krishan Kumar, University of Virginia.

"... the first great philosopher of cyberspace, a big thinker in the European tradition who can nonetheless tell the difference between a bit and a browser." G. Pascal Zachary, Wall Street Journal, Europe.

"This is a magesterial effort to paint a comprehensive view of the current-day world society in all its political, economic, social and cultural aspects, as well as its developmental tendencies.... the best candidate available for the role of main reference book for the next century." Zygmunt Bauman, Universities of Leeds and Warsaw.

"Manuel Castells, one of the age's most extraordinary thinkers, is the guru's guru." The Guardian.

"The Information Age may be the most important analysis of the interaction between technology, economics, politics and religion ever produced." Cliff Barney, Upside.

"The Information Age trilogy stands as a synthesis of Castell's work over the past two decades. As such, it is an excellent source for students and academics alike, offering a range of accessible and usable introductions to the work of one of the most influential theorists. It highlights the achievements of recent global scholarship, while pointing its readers - whether they be advanced level, undergraduate or graduate students, or more established researchers and teachers - towards exciting and challenging research terrains. It is a book which will accompany us into the new millennium and beyond, helping us to make sense of the puzzling mix of newness and the ever-the-same which is 21st century capitalism. A new world indeed." Alan Latham, University of Auckland.

"So full are the shelves now with shallow and indulgent works on the postmodern condition, essays trapped in their own technological determinism or narrow moralism or political wishful thinking, that it has seemed unlikely that a space would be found for an enduring work of sociology examining the new world as it is changing. But Manuel Castells has found and filled that space on the shelf - and for a long time to come." Anthony Smith, THES.

"A magnum opus if there ever was one, these three books together constitute, in my view, the finest piece of contemporary social analysis to come available for at least a generation. The Information Age, written by Castells at the height of his intellectual power, launches him into the pre-eminence of those whose work must be read by anyone seriously engaged with trying to make sense of the world today." Frank Webster, The British Journal of Sociology.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 584 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 2 edition (December 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405196874
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405196871
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #927,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on January 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
Castells trilogy, The Information Age, was written in the late 20th century but it is really the first sociology classic of the 21st and, as such, comparable to the masterworks of Durkheim and Weber. The first audacious volume chronicled the rise of a new global order based on a network of information flows. Since Castells views the human species as essentially predatory, some remedial measures are needed to resist the injustices that will arise. This second volume is therefore prescriptive. A masterly presentation of the world's current social movements follows. The author's discussion of the affect of the internet on political action and political campaigns is especially useful. Despite the volatile subject matter, I thought that Castells never quite sacrificed his objectivity although a delicate balancing act does take place throughout the volume. This book and the previous one sometimes read like some great epic of science fiction but it is our own very real world in the 21st century that the author is discussing. As an introduction to our brave new planet, this book could hardly be bettered.
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Format: Paperback
This is the second volume of 'Information Age'. This volume deals with how the social movement has changed through internet and globalization.
The public sphere is where social movement projects itself. The internet has had great impact on the public sphere with its global reach. We's witnessed that kind of potential on the some handful of anti-globalization protest in recent years.
But what has changed is not only the way of protest. According to Touraine's typology, a social movement is defined by three principles: the movement's identity; its adversary; its vision or social model. Globalization transformed the identity of social movement. Zapatistas and recent environmental movements are the graphic examples. Now adversary is not confined to local government, but the government representing the interests of global agencies like TNCs. They oppose their specific identity and the well-being of society against the global adversary. The impact of these movements comes from their media presence and from their effective use of IT. Castells argues that the ability or inability of the state to cope with these challenges will largely condition the future of society in the 21st century.
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The second book of already classic Castells' trilogy The Information Age, in which the author attempts to reveal structural similarities between various contemporary social movements opposing dominant socioeconomic order. Obviously inspired by Marxist's search for the subject of historical change, Castells tries to infer from these similarities what are necessary prerequisites for the rise of a successful global movement with a positive (constructive) program of social change - change that would remove at least the most serious inequalities and injustice that stem from capitalist logic of today's globalized world. Even if partly unsuccessful in its goal, this book represents very valuable source of sociologically, economically and historically relevant up-to-date (2004) information about contemporary resisting collective identities and their strategies - varying from feminists, Zapata and green movement to Al-Qaeda and Aum Shinrikyo. Castells is successful - although mostly in simplified form - in connecting development of selected collective identities with crisis of modern state, rise of network logic of social organization, development in the mass-media system, and globalization of national economies. This book represents essential reading for all social scientists who are interested in related problems. Because it is very readable and far from being assailed for academic babbling, I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to understand better the changes of the world we live in.
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I would suggest this trilogy to anyone wondering what is going on in this world.Things are changing around us and this book trys to examine how people fit into the picture. Hi-tech is what we constantly here about but what about the social aspects ? People matter. This work points out that many will be excluded out of the global economy.These people who find they are being left behind or do not have any say will find ways to express themselves such as terrorist groups, cults, and other NGO's.Mr.Castelle points out important human nature elements in this new world order.
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