Society on the Line presents a new way of thinking about the social and economic implications of the revolution in information and communication technologies (ICTs). It offers a clear overview of information in the digital age, and explains how social and technical choices about ICTs influence access to information, people, services, and technologies themselves. The author calls this process `the shaping of tele-access' and shows how
the concept challenges prevailing theoretical perspectives of the information and communication revolution. His clear, informed and challenging analysis ranges from the household; through the workplace and business organization; to the media as new information providers; and to government policies on
information and economic strategy. In doing so he touches on important issues of information inequality, privacy, censorship, the Internet; information and organizational design; and information in the community and public policy. The main text is fully supported by case studies, boxed information, and essays written by leading ICT experts on both sides of the Atlantic. This accessible and useful book offers an invaluable guide to the information politics of the digital
age. Pre-publication Endorsements `Society on the Line is a very useful book that organizes and analyses clearly and cogently a substantial body of relevant documentation. It will become required reading in universities around the world.'
Manuel Castells, Professor of Sociology, University of California; author of the The Rise of the Network Society `...a fascinating perspective...which provokes fresh consideration of the issues. By showing us how to identify the games being played in the on-line environment, Dutton helps us focus on the pressure points for achieving respect for our information. Privacy need not be at risk as ICTs are exploited.The more we understand the drivers for
change, the more we can influence the information handling culture which is emerging.' Elizabeth France, UK Data Protection Registrar
`An important contribution to the literature on the relationships between media and society. ... Teachers will find that the book provides important source material and literature reviews for their students. This book is a fitting epitaph for the PICT program and it shows what can be done by well managed and large scale social science research projects.'
Peter B. White, LaTrobe University
`This is a very useful book for several reasons. it provides a useful window onto research in both Britian and eleswhere on the developing and growing role of ICTs in society. The organisation of its chapters and boxed features make for easy skimming - or in-depth reading of certain sections. While the context of much of the research is British, the lessons it provides and the findings it offers are international in scope.'
Christopher H. Sterling. (Publication?).
`This book was quite obviously designed as a practical tool and is structured to allow its readers to easily find their way around a complex subject matter... extremely rich bibliography... very practical index... useful glossary and a multitude of box-type summaries and synthetical tables to give a quick picture of a given phenomenon, contrast various approaches or illustrate a concrete example. Dutton's work will undeniably prove useful to all those
seeking a general framework of analysis to apprehend and understand the social upheavals ICTs may bring about. Thanks to its synthetical nature and the diversity and quality of the contributions it unites, Society on the Line should become a refernce work for a great many students as well as specialists in
the field who will be able to consult it with interest to help clarify their thoughts on specific points.'
Communications and Strategies Issue 37.
Part I. A New Perspective of the Information Revolution
1: Introduction: Tele-Access - The Outcome of an Ecology of Games
2: Information Politics, Technology and Society
Part II. Social Dimensions of the Technical: Social, Cultural, and Political Processes Shaping Tele-Access
3: Technologies Shaping Tele-Access: A Force for Social Change
4: The Social Shaping of Tele-Access: Inventing our Futures
Part III. Tele-Access in Business, Management and Work
5: The Reach and Boundaries of Business and Management: Virtual Organizations
6: Redesigning the Workplace: Challenging Geographical and Cultural Constraints on Access
Part IV. Public Access in Politics, Governance, and Education
7: Digital Democracy: Electronic Access to Politics and Services
8: Knowledge Access: Reconfiguring Users and Producers in Teaching and Research
Part V. The Virtual City: Shaping Access in Everyday Life
9: The Intelligent Household: For Richer or Poorer
10: Wiring the Global Village
Part VI. Industrial Strategies and Public Policies
11: Regulating Access: Broadening the Policy Debate
12: The Politics of Tele-Access: Social Relations in a Network Society