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How Has the Growth of the Internet Supported or Hindered Castells Concept of a Network Society?

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How has the Growth of the Internet Supported or Hindered Castells Concept of a Network Society?

Castells concept of a network society is an interpretation of a ‘new society’, one which has developed from the earlier information society. Within this interpretation, Castells states how society has shifted from ‘vertically organized, rational and structured activities to networking forms of activity’. These networking forms of activity provide greater flexibility and adaptability as networks have the ability to organize resources and activities whilst reacting to the environment, transforming themselves rather than clashing with other structures (Castells, 1996). Castells concept explores the social, political, economic and cultural impact of network technologies and the implications of networking activities.

According to Castells, the network society has evolved through a growth in networks, induced by new technologies including microelectronics, digitally processed information and communications technology. These technologies represent a new dimension in society providing a modern infrastructure supporting emerging networks. Whilst Castells explains a growth in social networks, he recognizes that they are not a new form of social organization but a ‘key feature in social morphology’. Therefore, rather than describing existing social networks, the network society highlights the impact of networks which manage information using modern electronic technologies.

The recent growth of technology and the internet has arguably had a major impact on the network society. The internet creates totally new and innovative ways for people to communicate, learn, share information and interact with the rest of society. Alongside social benefits, the internet provides many opportunities on a professional front for business, education and governments. With the internets...

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