The purpose of this paper is to present a brief history of the information society and a research framework addressing the challenges of ensuring that information and communication technologies (ICTs) are applied in ways that are enabling and responsive to the varied contexts in which people live their lives.
Examination of why insights arising from research that is critical of the mainstream vision of the information society are rarely influential in debates on ICT policies, of the outstanding research questions around the promotion of investment in ICTs in support of sustainable development goals, and of the components of an alternative research framework that could be pursued by those concerned with social and technological innovation.
The analysis of policy discussion in this area indicates that there may now be an opportunity to re‐enter some of these debates, particularly those in which it is clear that there are many important issues that are reappearing on the ICT policy agenda. Some of the most difficult issues are highlighted including the need to give greater attention to measures supporting more differentiated information or knowledge societies.
The paper demonstrates that there are signs of learning and an awareness of unequal power relationships among stakeholders in ICT policy debates that may contribute to a shift in priorities towards a more context sensitive research framework that would be of value to those who are preoccupied by efforts to improve the material conditions of people's lives.
Mansell, R. (2010), "The information society and ICT policy: A critique of the mainstream vision and an alternative research framework", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 22-41. https://doi.org/10.1108/14779961011024792Download as .RIS
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