From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
A post-industrial society is a society in which an economic transition has occurred from a manufacturing based economy to a service based economy, a diffusion of national and global capital, and mass privatization. The prerequisite to this economic shift is the processes of industrialization of liberalization. This economic transition spurs a restructuring in society as a whole.
Cultural aspect of post-industrial society
Daniel Bell emphasized the changes to post-industrial society are not merely socially structural and economic; the values and norms within the post-industrial society are changed as well. Rationality and efficiency become the paramount values within the post-industrial society. Eventually, according to Bell, these values cause a disconnect between social structures and culture. Most of today's unique modern problems can be generally attributed to the effects of the post-industrial society. A large number of people may find themselves with no clearly defined role. These problems are particularly pronounced where the free-market dominates. They can include economic inequality, the outsourcing of domestic jobs, etc.
The post-modern and post-marxist idea that the economic base (manufacturing and agriculture) and ideological superstructure (art, religion, philosophy, science, etc) are the same thing, akin to a monocoque bodied car (Such as a Hudson Hornet), is a common thread in post-industrial thinking. For example, emphasis on the arts as an important economic sector rather than just a means of exploring spiritual themes and political ideas, or a means of personal expression is a case in point. Actor and artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre, Kevin Spacey, 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 guest column he wrote for The Times. It can be argued that the creative sector has taken a more prominent role in the wake of manufacturing's decline and that, in some countries, it produces more exports than manufacturing alone.
Another more obvious example of this monocoque argument is the internet. While used for e-commerce and other economic activities, it can also be used to promulgate poetry, give practical advice over being jilted by your boyfriend and inform you of the latest football results as part of the ideological superstructure. They effectively become monocoqued by using the same apparatus and software.
However, this argument of base and superstructure being indistinguishable from each other can also be used retrospectively throughout history. It can be used to argue that pre-Christian fertility cults were economic as well as ideological constructs because their economies were depedent on the fertility they worshipped, especially as they were pre-industrial agrarian economies where food was often scarce.
- Alvin Toffler
- Late modernity
- Late capitalism
- Industrial society
- Information society
- Information revolution
- Knowledge economy
- Network society
- Sociocultural evolution
- Urban decay