This course asks:
What is information
technology, broadly conceived? How did it develop? Who did it? What has
been the process of diffusion into the economy and society? How and why
did the Network Society take shape? In this course, we’ll analyze the
interaction between society and contemporary information technologies,
in a multicultural and comparative perspective. In doing so, we’ll
examine what data and evidence are in the social sciences, how they are
used, and how they are interpreted. We'll also explore how this informs
the development of wiki MIT OCW-centric World University and School:
Welcome to the 'Information Technology, the Network Society and the
Global University' on Harvard's virtual island course web site, a
course about how the Network Society has developed, vis-à-vis long-time
Professor at UC Berkeley, UoSC, and University of Catalonia
(UOC), in Barcelona, Manuel Castells' research on the
Technology revolution. In this course, we'll examine how the
Information Technology revolution represents a paradigm shift, as
significant as previous industrial revolutions, from an empirically
grounded analysis of the present. The argument for this course is that
information generation / processing is the driver of change in society.
The information revolution in the Internet Age comes from people
producing their information and exchanging it over the net, from the
double logic of identities and networks. We'll also draw on - https://wiki.worlduniversityandschool.org/wiki/Network_Society - (accessible from
http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/Internet_Studies) as well as
World University and School wiki resources.
This virtual course is 'placeless.' Talks and discussions will take
place both in group video in the first hour and in-world in the Meeting
Harvard's island in the virtual world of Second Life in the second hour.
Description of the course
This class is aimed at undergraduate students of all backgrounds and
interests. It does not require specific disciplinary knowledge and is
designed to be understood by any student with a general level of
information about society, politics, the economy, and international
affairs, regardless of the student's major. Interested graduate
students are welcome. A series of talks will analyze the interaction
society and contemporary information technologies, in a multicultural
and comparative perspective. Talks will cover 11 topics, which will be
in specific themes. Specific required online media resources will be
For non-sociology students; consent of the instructor.
Regular Participation. Engaging Required Media Resources.
SCHEDULE OF TALKS
(number between brackets indicate number of talks)
0. Introduction: Technology and Society (1)
1. The Information Technology Revolution: History, Geography, Actors
(Microelectronics, computers, telecommunications, genetic engineering)
2. The Internet Society: Social history of the Internet. The cultures
of the Internet. Virtual communities and sociability online. Social
movements, political conflicts, and the Internet. (4).
3. The New Economy: Technology and Productivity. E-business and the new
economy. Globalization: financial markets, international trade,
transnational production networks, internationalization of the labor
force. The new international division of labor: inclusion and exclusion
in the global networks of the new economy. (4)
4. The Digital Divide: (a) Technology, poverty, and minorities in the
U.S. (b) Inequality, poverty, and social exclusion in the Information
Age (c) The digital divide in a global perspective. (3)
5. The transformation of management, work, and employment: the network
enterprise, flexible work, and the individualization of capital labor
6. Gender relations in the Information Age. (2)
7. The Informational City: information technology and spatial
8. The New Media and the culture of real virtuality. (2)
9. Informational Politics and the Network State (2)
10. The new world disorder: war and peace in the Age of the Internet
(1) Conclusion: Technology and Social Responsibility (1)
11. Communication Power (1)
12. Global University, Wiki and Knowledge Generation (1)
REQUIRED MEDIA RESOURCES and READINGS
(Numbers refer to the topics in the program)
Castells, with Harry Kreisler (Interviewer). 2003. Identity and Change
in the Network Society, with Manuel Castells (Conversations with
History). Berkeley, CA: University of California Television (UCTV).
Identity and Change in the Network Society - Manuel Castells
2. a) Janet Abbate "Inventing the Internet,” Cambridge: MIT Press,
1999, pages 1-6, 44-81, and 181-220.
b) Eric S. Raymond "The cathedral & the bazaar. Musings on Linux
and open source by an accidental revolutionary," Sebastopol, Ca:
O'Reilly, 1999, pages 7 - 78.
c) Turkle, Sherry. 2015. Stop Googling. Let’s Talk. September 26. New York, NY: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/27/opinion/sunday/stop-googling-lets-talk.html.
3. a) Manuel Castells "Information technology and
global capitalism" in
Will Hutton and Anthony Giddens "On the edge. Living in global
capitalism," London: Jonathan Cape and New York: The New Press, 2000,
pages 52-74 b) David Held et alter "Global Transformations,” Stanford:
Stanford University Press, 1999, pages 189-282.
4. a) Manuel Castells "End of Millennium,” Oxford: Blackwell, 2nd
edition, 2000, chapter 2 "The rise of the fourth world,” pages 68-82
b) U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and
Information Administration "Failing through the net: toward digital
inclusion. A report on American's access to technology tools,”
Washington DC: October 2000 (the whole report minus the methodology
c) David Bolt and Ray Crawford "Digital Divide. Computers and Our
Children's Future,” New York: TV Books, pages 23-71
d) Manuel Castells "Information technology and global development,"
keynote address to the Economic and Social Council of the United
Nations, May 12, 2000 (text provided in class - available on-line from
the United Nations).
5. Martin Carnoy "Sustaining the new economy. Work,
community in the Information Age," Cambridge: Harvard University Press,
2000, pages 14- 104
6. a) Juliet Webster "Shaping Women's Work. Gender,
Information Technology,” Harlow: Longman, 1996, pages 33-1 10, and 176-
b) Martin Carnoy "Sustaining the new economy,” pages 105 -151. 7. a)
William J. Mitchell "E-topia," Cambridge: MIT Press, pp. 31-68
b) James O.Wheeler, Yuko Aoyama, and Barney Warf "City space,
industrial space and cyberspace" in Wheeler, Aoyama and Warf (eds.)
"Cities in the telecommunications age," New York: Routledge, 2000,
c) Andrew Gillespie and Ronald Richardson "Teleworking and the city:
Myths of workplace transcendence and travel reduction,” in Wheeler,
Aoyama and Warf (eds) "Cities in the telecommunications age,” 2000,
8. a) Bruce M. Owen "The Internet challenge to
Harvard University Press, 1999, pages 197-333.
b). William Dutton "Society on the line. Information politics in the
digital age,” New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, chapter 10:
"Wiring the global village: shaping access to audiences,” pages 257-277
9. Manuel Castells, "The power of identity,” Oxford:
chapter 5 "A powerless state?," pages 244-276 and 299-308, and chapter
6 "Informational politics and the crisis of democracy,” pages 309-353.
10. John Arquilia and David Ronfeldt "The emergence of
Toward and American Information Strategy,” Santa Monica, CA: Rand
Corporation, 1999 (whole book, 89 pages).
University and School - like Wikipedia with Greatest Universities'
OpenCourseWare - incorporated first as a nonprofit
effective April 2010, and is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt.
University & School is a community of learners and teachers who
value — and are themselves strengthened by — the rich diversity of its
participants. In order to cultivate a flourishing teaching, learning
and creating conversation in a diverse and complex world, WUaS welcomes
all languages, students, families, faculty, board members, and staff
with differences based on (but not limited to) race, color, ethnicity,
religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, family structure, and