n Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - Theories on the information society and development : recent theoretical contributions and their relevance for the developing world : theory : research article

Volume 29, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 0250-0167



The rise and effects of information and communcation technologies (ICTs) form the starting point of a few interesting theoretical accounts on the information economy and society. Even some more critical authors proceed in their argumentation from economic and social change in relation to major changes in the area of ICTs. This recent literature is often confusing, as the role of ICTs is perceived as all pervasive. As such, authors do not always distinguish between evolutions in specific sectors, at the economic level or at the level of social institutions and structures. This article has a twofold goal. First, it provides a systematised discussion of recent theoretical contributions on the information society. Second, it analyses these contributions in the light of its accounts of, and relevance to, the developing world. It starts from the assumption that all too often no specific attention is paid to the developing world or that - in the case of more policy-orientated accounts - the theory on the information society is seen to be universal in character.

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