Post-industrial society
Overview
 
If a nation becomes "post-industrial" it passes through, or dodges, a phase of society predominated by a manufacturing-based economy and moves on to a structure of society based on the provision of information
Information society
The aim of the information society is to gain competitive advantage internationally through using IT in a creative and productive way. An information society is a society in which the creation, distribution, diffusion, use, integration and manipulation of information is a significant economic,...

, innovation, finance, and services.
As the term has been used, a few common themes (not limited to those below) have begun to emerge.
  1. The economy undergoes a transition from the production of goods to the provision of services.
  2. Knowledge becomes a valued form of capital (e.g., the knowledge produced through the Human Genome Project
    Human Genome Project
    The Human Genome Project is an international scientific research project with a primary goal of determining the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up DNA, and of identifying and mapping the approximately 20,000–25,000 genes of the human genome from both a physical and functional...

    ).
  3. Producing ideas is the main way to grow the economy.
  4. Through processes of globalization and automation, the value and importance to the economy of blue-collar
    Blue-collar worker
    A blue-collar worker is a member of the working class who performs manual labor. Blue-collar work may involve skilled or unskilled, manufacturing, mining, construction, mechanical, maintenance, technical installation and many other types of physical work...

    , unionized work, including manual labor (e.g., assembly-line work) decline, and those of professional workers (e.g.
Encyclopedia
If a nation becomes "post-industrial" it passes through, or dodges, a phase of society predominated by a manufacturing-based economy and moves on to a structure of society based on the provision of information
Information society
The aim of the information society is to gain competitive advantage internationally through using IT in a creative and productive way. An information society is a society in which the creation, distribution, diffusion, use, integration and manipulation of information is a significant economic,...

, innovation, finance, and services.

Characteristics

As the term has been used, a few common themes (not limited to those below) have begun to emerge.
  1. The economy undergoes a transition from the production of goods to the provision of services.
  2. Knowledge becomes a valued form of capital (e.g., the knowledge produced through the Human Genome Project
    Human Genome Project
    The Human Genome Project is an international scientific research project with a primary goal of determining the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up DNA, and of identifying and mapping the approximately 20,000–25,000 genes of the human genome from both a physical and functional...

    ).
  3. Producing ideas is the main way to grow the economy.
  4. Through processes of globalization and automation, the value and importance to the economy of blue-collar
    Blue-collar worker
    A blue-collar worker is a member of the working class who performs manual labor. Blue-collar work may involve skilled or unskilled, manufacturing, mining, construction, mechanical, maintenance, technical installation and many other types of physical work...

    , unionized work, including manual labor (e.g., assembly-line work) decline, and those of professional workers (e.g. scientists, creative-industry professionals, and IT professionals) grow in value and prevalence.
  5. Behavioral and information sciences and technologies are developed and implemented. (e.g. behavioral economics, information architecture
    Information Architecture
    Information architecture is the art of expressing a model or concept of information used in activities that require explicit details of complex systems. Among these activities are library systems, Content Management Systems, web development, user interactions, database development, programming,...

    , cybernetics
    Cybernetics
    Cybernetics is the interdisciplinary study of the structure of regulatory systems. Cybernetics is closely related to information theory, control theory and systems theory, at least in its first-order form...

    , Game theory
    Game theory
    Game theory is a mathematical method for analyzing calculated circumstances, such as in games, where a person’s success is based upon the choices of others...

     and Information theory
    Information theory
    Information theory is a branch of applied mathematics and electrical engineering involving the quantification of information. Information theory was developed by Claude E. Shannon to find fundamental limits on signal processing operations such as compressing data and on reliably storing and...

    .)

Origins

Daniel Bell
Daniel Bell
Daniel Bell was an American sociologist, writer, editor, and professor emeritus at Harvard University, best known for his seminal contributions to the study of post-industrialism...

 popularized the term through his 1973 work The Coming of Post-Industrial Society. Although some note that Bell has coined the term, according to other sources, before Bell, the term was also used routinely by the Latin American social philosopher Ivan Illich
Ivan Illich
Ivan Illich was an Austrian philosopher, Roman Catholic priest, and "maverick social critic" of the institutions of contemporary western culture and their effects on the provenance and practice of education, medicine, work, energy use, transportation, and economic development.- Personal life...

 in his book Tools for Conviviality. It also appears occasionally in Leftist texts throughout the mid-to-late 1960s.

Recently, the term has grown and changed as it became mainstream. The term is now used by admen such as Seth Godin
Seth Godin
Seth Godin is an American entrepreneur, author and public speaker. Godin popularized the topic of permission marketing.-Background:...

, public policy PhD's such as Keith Boeckelman, and sociologists such as Neil Fligstein and Ofer Sharone. Clinton even used the term to describe Chinese growth in a round-table discussion in Shanghai in 1998.

Creativity culture

A virtual cult of 'creatives' have sprung up embodying and often describing and defending the post-industrial ethos. They argue that businesses that create intangibles have taken a more prominent role in the wake of manufacturing's decline and that in some countries, the production of creative intangibles produces more exports than manufacturing alone.

Actor and artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre, Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey, CBE is an American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and crooner. He grew up in California, and began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s, before being cast in supporting roles in film and television...

, has argued the economic case for the arts in terms of providing jobs and being of greater importance in exports than manufacturing (as well as an educational role) in a guest column he wrote for The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

.

Valuation of knowledge

Paul Romer
Paul Romer
Paul Michael Romer is an American economist, entrepreneur, and activist. He is currently the Henry Kaufman Visiting Professor at New York University Stern School of Business and will be joining NYU as a full time professor beginning in 2011...

, a professor of economics at Stanford, revolutionized the appreciation of knowledge as a valuable asset. As he says it is not just the "ingredients" (supply) that makes good food, it is the "recipe" (knowledge) that counts too. Better recipe, better food means better knowledge, more economic growth.

More recently, economists at Berkeley studied the value of knowledge as a form of capital, like a factory or a truck. Speaking along the same lines of their argument, the addition or 'production' of knowledge, could become the basis of what would undoubtably be considered 'post-industrial' policies meant to deliver economic growth.

In 2010, the OECD (the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development) encouraged the governments of advanced economies to embrace policies to increase innovation and knowledge in products and services as an economical path to continued prosperity.

Neologism

When historians and sociologists considered the revolution which followed the agricultural society they did not call it a "post-agricultural society". "Post-industrial society" signifies only a departure, not a positive description.

One of the word's early users Ivan Illich
Ivan Illich
Ivan Illich was an Austrian philosopher, Roman Catholic priest, and "maverick social critic" of the institutions of contemporary western culture and their effects on the provenance and practice of education, medicine, work, energy use, transportation, and economic development.- Personal life...

 prefigured this criticism and invented the word conviviality or the phrase convivial society, to stand as a positive description of his version of a post-industrial society.

Social critique

A group of geographers (such as Allen Scott and Edward Soja
Edward Soja
Edward William Soja is a postmodern political geographer and urban planner on the faculty at UCLA, where he is Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning, and the London School of Economics. He has a Ph.D. from Syracuse University...

) argue that industry remains at the center of the whole process of capitalist accumulation, with services not only becoming increasingly industrialized and automated but also remaining highly dependent on industrial growth.

Some observers, including Soja (building on the theories of the French philosopher of urbanism Henri Lefebvre
Henri Lefebvre
Henri Lefebvre was a French sociologist, Marxist intellectual, and philosopher, best known for his work on dialectics, Marxism, everyday life, cities, and space.-Biography:...

), suggest that although industry may be based outside of a 'post-industrial' nation, that nation cannot ignore its necessary sociological importance.

See also

  • Alvin Toffler
    Alvin Toffler
    Alvin Toffler is an American writer and futurist, known for his works discussing the digital revolution, communication revolution, corporate revolution and technological singularity....

  • Alain Touraine
    Alain Touraine
    Alain Touraine is a French sociologist born in Hermanville-sur-Mer. He is research director at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, where he founded the Centre d'étude des mouvements sociaux . He is best known for being the originator of the term "post-industrial society"...

  • Deindustrialization
    Deindustrialization
    Deindustrialization is a process of social and economic change caused by the removal or reduction of industrial capacity or activity in a country or region, especially heavy industry or manufacturing industry. It is an opposite of industrialization.- Multiple interpretations :There are multiple...

  • Heinz von Foerster
    Heinz von Foerster
    Heinz von Foerster was an Austrian American scientist combining physics and philosophy. Together with Warren McCulloch, Norbert Wiener, John von Neumann, Lawrence J. Fogel, and others, Heinz von Foerster was an architect of cybernetics.-Biography:Von Foerster was born in 1911 in Vienna, Austria,...

  • Late modernity
    Late modernity
    Late modernity is a term that has been used to describe the condition or state of some highly developed present day societies...

  • Late capitalism
    Late capitalism
    "Late capitalism" is a term used by neo-Marxists to refer to capitalism from about 1945 onwards, with the implication that it is a historically limited stage rather than an eternal feature of all future human society. Postwar German sociologists needed a term to describe contemporary society...

  • Industrial society
    Industrial society
    In sociology, industrial society refers to a society driven by the use of technology to enable mass production, supporting a large population with a high capacity for division of labour. Such a structure developed in the west in the period of time following the Industrial Revolution, and replaced...

  • Information society
    Information society
    The aim of the information society is to gain competitive advantage internationally through using IT in a creative and productive way. An information society is a society in which the creation, distribution, diffusion, use, integration and manipulation of information is a significant economic,...

  • Information revolution
  • Knowledge economy
    Knowledge economy
    The knowledge economy is a term that refers either to an economy of knowledge focused on the production and management of knowledge in the frame of economic constraints, or to a knowledge-based economy. In the second meaning, more frequently used, it refers to the use of knowledge technologies to...

  • Network society
    Network society
    The term Network Society describes several different phenomena related to the social, political, economic and cultural changes caused by the spread of networked, digital information and communications technologies. A number of academics are credited with coining the term since the 1990's and...

  • Post-capitalism
    Post-capitalism
    Post-capitalism refers to any hypothetical future economic system that is to supersede capitalism as the dominant form of economic organization.-Post-capitalist systems:There have been a number of proposals for a new economic system to replace capitalism...

  • Post-industrial economy
    Post-industrial economy
    A post-industrial economy refers to a period of growth within an industrialized economy or nation in which the relative importance of manufacturing lessens and that of services, information, and research grows.Such economies are often marked by:...

  • Post-Marxism
    Post-Marxism
    Post-Marxism has two related, but different uses: the socio-economic circumstances of Eastern Europe, especially in the ex-soviet republics after the Soviet Union's end; and the extrapolations of the philosophers and social theorists basing their postulations upon Karl Marx's writings and Marxism...

  • Sleepers, Wake!
    Sleepers, Wake!
    Sleepers, Wake! Technology and the Future of Work is a well-known book by Barry Jones, originally published in 1982 and reprinted many times. It is currently in a revised and updated fourth edition....

  • Sociocultural evolution
    Sociocultural evolution
    Sociocultural evolution is an umbrella term for theories of cultural evolution and social evolution, describing how cultures and societies have changed over time...

  • Urban decay
    Urban decay
    Urban decay is the process whereby a previously functioning city, or part of a city, falls into disrepair and decrepitude...



External links

  • Post Industrial Society Essay Bell’s ‘post-industrial society’, criticisms of his analysis of the role of information and knowledge in relation to contemporary social change and the extent of these changes. (2005)
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