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 Endorsement `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 Pre-publication endorsement `...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 pre-publication endorsement `In a time of information overload, Society on the Line cuts
through hype and jargon to spell out clearly how information and communications technologies affect our lives. It presents a sound, thoughful, and well-balanced account of the contending factors and forces shaping hte new digital media and influencing individuals, organizations, and cultures. This is an essential book for communications professionals and students, as well as for all those who want a better understanding of the technical, political, and social dimensions of the information
revolution.' Walter S. Baer, The RAND Corporation pre-publication endorsement `This book's key theme of tele-access opens the door to a profound and fascinating exploration of the dominant question of our time: does information technology
determine history, or does society or at least political economy hold the reins of time? All who have a humanistic interest in technology, the future, or both should read this book'. Reed Hundt, former Chair of the US Federal Communications Commission, and Chair of the Forum on Communication and Soceity of the Aspen Institute pre-publication endorsement `As we enter the `information age', we urgently need to be armed with
considered values for assessing its impact and to frame people-serving policies, In this remarkably integrative book, William Dutton advances the notion of `access'to fill this bill. In his hands, `access' becomes both a multi-dimensional and a highly versatile idea. ...Dutton's analysis deserves to be widely read
and debated.' Jay G Blumler, Professor Emeritus of Leeds University, and former President of the International Communication Association
`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 tudents. This book is a fitting epitaph fo the PICT program and it shows what can be done by well managed and large scale social sciences 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?).
`Presents a new way of thinking about the social and economic implications of the revolution in information and communication technologies. For serious students of this increasingly important subject.'
Long Range Planning Vol.32
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