We live in the midst of a revolution in communication technologies that affects the way in which people feel, think, and behave. The media have become the space where power strategies are played out. In the current technological context mass communication goes beyond traditional media and includes the Internet and mobile communication.
In this wide-ranging and powerful book, Manuel Castells analyses the transformation of the global media industry by this revolution in communication technologies. He argues that a new communication system, mass self-communication, has emerged, and power relationships have been profoundly modified by the emergence of this new communication environment. Created in the commons of the Internet this communication can be locally based, but globally connected. It is built through messaging, social networks sites, and blogging, and is now being used by the millions around the world who have access to the Internet.
Drawing on a wide range of social and psychological theories, Castells presents original research on political processes and social movements, including the misinformation of the American public on the Iraq War, the global environmental movement to prevent climate change, the control of information in China and Russia, and Internet-based political campaigns, such as the Obama campaign in the United States. On the basis of these case studies he proposes a new theory of power in the information age based on the management of communication networks
Justly celebrated for his analysis of the network society, Castells here builds on that work, offering a well grounded and immensely challenging picture of communication and power in the 21st century. This is a book for anyone who wants to understand the dynamics and character of the modern world.
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Castells has done it again, a masterpiece of global perspective and enviable erudition. Moving beyond his trilogy on the information age, Castells focuses on how cultural, economic and particularly political power relationships are constituted and sustained through systematic communication flows. A new line of analysis draws on neuroscience and cognitive psychology to track the role of emotion in political communication. Case studies include global media deregulation, the politics of scandal, framing the war in Iraq, ecological social movements, the Obama presidential candidacy and a fascinating comparison of media control dynamics in Russia and China. ( Advance praise from W. Russell Neuman, Evans Professor of Media Technology, University of Michigan)
How could Manuel Castells have predicted that now is the time of the perfect storm? I do not know. But I do know that his new book coincides with the largest downturn in global economies since the 1930s, with the most important American election since the 1960s, with a most radical transformation of world politics in many generations, and with the most profound reevaluation of the lives of modern citizens, from what they value to how they communicate. We have become used to Castells' careful scholarship and penetrating analyses but in this new book he cuts deeper into the heart of the matter. Sometimes he provides illuminating answers and where he cannot, he frames the questions that must be answered. This is a powerful and much needed book for a world in crisis. ( Advance praise from Antonio Damasio, David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, Director, Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California)
Manuel Castells unites the mind of a social scientist with the soul of an artist. His trilogy took us to the edge of the millennium. This book takes us beyond to the critical crossroads of the 21st century, where technology, communication, and power converge. ( Advance praise from Rosalind Williams, Dibner Professor and Director, Program on Science, Technology and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
In this timely book, Professor Castells turns his attention from the impact of the internet on the economy to its impact on communications and politics. I can warmly recommend it to all communications practitioners. But his clear analysis and vivid case studies make this book of interest to anyone who wants to understand the nature of power in today's democracy and the meaning of the campaign that swept Barack Obama into the White House. ( Advance praise from Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Communication Policy)
Manuel Castells was Professor of City Planning and of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1979 to 2003. He has published 23 books, including the trilogy The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture (Blackwell, 1996-2000), translated into 22 languages, and The Internet Galaxy (OUP, 2001) translated into 15 languages. He is a Fellow of the European Academy, of the British Academy, and of the Spanish Royal Academy of Economics. He has received 14 honorary doctorates and has been knighted by France, Catalonia, Finland, Chile, and Portugal.
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