What is the information society? Definition

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What is the information society? Definition
What is the information society? Definition

Less than a century ago, a person received about 15 thousand informational messages a week. Now we receive about ten thousand messages every hour. And among all this information flow, it is very difficult to find the necessary message, but do nothing - this is just one of the negative characteristics of the modern information society.


So, what is the information society? This is a society in which the bulk of the workers are engaged in the production, storage or processing of information. At this stage of development, the information society has a number of distinctive characteristics:

  • Information, knowledge and technology are of great importance in the life of society.
  • The number of people employed in the production of information products, communications or information technology is increasing every year.
  • The informatization of society is growing, while telephones, television, the Internet, and the media are used.
  • A global information space is being created thatensures effective interaction of individuals. People get access to world information resources. Within the created information space, each of its participants satisfies their needs for information products or services.
  • E-democracy, information economy, e-state and government are rapidly developing, digital markets of social and economic networks are emerging.
information technology in society
information technology in society


The first to define the information society were scientists from Japan. In the Land of the Rising Sun, this term began to be used in the 60s of the last century. Almost simultaneously with them, scientists from the United States began to use the term "information society". A great contribution to the development of this theory was made by such authors as M. Porat, I. Masuda, R. Karts and others. This theory received support from those researchers who studied the formation of a technogenic or technological society, as well as from those who studied changes in society, which is influenced by the increased role of knowledge.

Already at the end of the 20th century, the term "information society" firmly took its place in the lexicon of infosphere specialists, politicians, scientists, economists and teachers. Most often, it was associated with the development of information technology and other means that would help humanity make a new leap in evolutionary development.

man at the computer
man at the computer

Today there are two opinions about what isInformation Society:

  1. This is a society where the production and consumption of information is considered the main activity, and information is the most significant resource.
  2. This is a society that has replaced the post-industrial one, the main product here is information and knowledge, the information economy is actively developing.

It is also believed that the concept of the information society is nothing more than a version of the theory of post-industrial society. Therefore, it can be viewed as a sociological and futurological concept, where the main factor in social development is the production and use of scientific and technical information.

Come to a consensus

Given how much information technology has seeped into everyday life, these effects are often referred to as the information or computer revolution. In the teachings of the West, more and more attention is paid to this phenomenon, as evidenced by the vast number of relevant publications. However, it is worth noting that the concept of "information society" is put in the place where the theory of post-industrial society was in the 70s.

Some scientists believe that the post-industrial and information society are completely different stages of development, so a clear line should be drawn between them. Despite the fact that the concept of the information society was intended to replace the theory of the post-industrial society, its supporters are still developing important provisions of technocracy and futurology.

the role of the information society
the role of the information society

D. Bell, who formulated the theory of the post-industrial society, considers the concept of the information society a new stage in the development of the post-industrial one. Simply put, the scientist insists that the information society is the second level of post-industrial development, so you should not mix or replace these concepts.

James Martin. Information Society Criteria

Writer James Martin believes that the information society must meet several criteria:

  1. Technological. Information technologies are used in various spheres of human activity.
  2. Social. Information is an important stimulant for changing the quality of life. There is such a thing as "information consciousness", since knowledge is widely available.
  3. Economic. Information becomes the main resource in economic relations.
  4. Political. Freedom of information leading to political process.
  5. Cultural. Information is considered cultural value.

The development of the information society brings with it a number of changes. Thus, there are structural changes in the economy, especially when it comes to the distribution of labor. People are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of information and technology. Many are beginning to realize that for a full-fledged existence it is necessary to eliminate their own computer illiteracy, since information technologies are present in almost all spheres of life. The government supports the developmentinformation and technology, but along with them, malware and computer viruses evolve.

information society strategy
information society strategy

Martin believes that in the information society, the quality of life directly depends on information and how a person will exploit it. In such a society, all spheres of human life are influenced by achievements in the segment of knowledge and information.

Good and bad

Scientists believe that the development of information technology in society makes it possible to manage large complexes of organizations, the production of systems and coordinate the work of thousands of people. New scientific directions related to the problems of organizational sets continue to develop.

And yet the process of informatization of society has its drawbacks. Society is losing its stability. Small groups of people can have a direct impact on the information society agenda. For example, hackers can break into banking systems and transfer large amounts of money to their accounts. Or the media can cover the problems of terrorism, which have a destructive effect on the formation of public consciousness.

Information revolutions

The authors of the concept of "information society" argue that before it is finally formed, several stages of development of the information society must go through:

  1. Spreading the language.
  2. The advent of writing.
  3. Mass book printing.
  4. Applications of various kinds of electrical communication.
  5. Use of computertechnologies.

A. Rakitov emphasizes that the role of the information society in the near future will be to influence civilizational and cultural processes. Knowledge will be the most significant stake in the global competition for power.


A society can be considered informational in several ways:

  • Individuals can use the information resources of society from anywhere in the country. That is, from anywhere they can access the information they need to live.
  • Information technology is available to everyone.
  • There are infrastructures in society that provide the necessary information resources.
  • In all industries there is a process of accelerating and automating work.
  • Social structures are changing, and as a result, information activities and services are expanding.
what is the information society
what is the information society

The information society differs from the industrial society by the rapid growth of new jobs. The information industry dominates the economic development segment.

Two questions

The dynamism of technological modernization poses two main questions for society:

  • Are people adapting to change?
  • Will new technologies be able to create a differentiation of society?

During the transition of society to the information society, people may face a significant problem. They will be divided into those who can use new knowledge andtechnology, and those who do not have such skills. As a result, information technology will remain in the hands of a small social group, which will lead to the inevitable stratification of society and the struggle for power.

But despite this danger, new technologies can empower citizens by giving them instant access to the information they need. They will give the opportunity to create, and not just consume new knowledge and allow you to maintain the anonymity of personal messages. Although, on the other hand, the penetration of information technology into private life carries a threat to the inviolability of personal data. No matter how you look at the information society, the main trends in its development will always cause both a sea of delight and a storm of indignation. As, however, in any other field.

The Information Society: Development Strategy

When it was recognized that society had entered a new stage of development, appropriate steps were required. The authorities of many countries have begun to develop a plan for the development of the information society. For example, in Russia, researchers distinguish several stages of development:

  1. First, the foundations were formed in the field of informatization (1991-1994).
  2. Later there was a change in priorities from informatization to the creation of information policy (1994-1998)
  3. The third stage is to formulate a policy in the field of creating an information society (year 2002 - our time).
information resources of society
information resources of society

The state is also interested in the development of this process. In 2008The government of the Russian Federation has adopted a strategy for the development of the information society, which is valid until 2020. The government has set itself the following tasks:

  • Creation of information and telecommunications infrastructure to provide quality information access services on its basis.
  • To improve the quality of education, he alth care and social protection through the development of technology.
  • Improving the system of state guarantees of human rights in the information sphere.
  • Using information and communication technology to improve the economy.
  • Improve the efficiency of public administration.
  • To develop science, technology and technology to prepare qualified personnel in the field of information technology.
  • Preserve culture, strengthen moral and patriotic principles in the public mind, develop a system of cultural and humanitarian education.
  • Oppose the use of information technology achievements as a threat to the national interests of the country.

To solve such problems, the state apparatus is developing special measures to develop a new society. Determine the benchmark indicators of the dynamics of social development, improve the policy in the field of the use of information technology. They create favorable conditions for the development of science, technology and equal access of citizens to information.


So, what is the information society? This is the theoretical model that is used todescribe a new stage of social development that began with the beginning of the information and computer revolution. The technological basis in this society is not industrial, but information and telecommunication technologies.

This is a society where information is the main economic resource, and in terms of the pace of development, this sector comes out on top in terms of the number of employees, the share of GDP and capital investment. There is a developed infrastructure that ensures the creation of information resources. It primarily includes education and science. In such a society, intellectual property is the main form of ownership.

information society development
information society development

Information is turning into a consumer product. Everyone living in society has access to any kind of information, this is guaranteed not only by law, but also by technical capabilities. In addition, there are new criteria for assessing the level of development of society. For example, an important criterion is the number of computers, Internet connections, mobile and home phones. With the help of the merging of telecommunications, computer-electronic and audiovisual technology, a single integrated information system is being created in society.

Today, the information society can be regarded as a kind of global phenomenon, which includes: the global information economy, space, infrastructure and legal system. Here, business activity becomes an information and communication environment, the virtual economy and the financial system are spreading all over the world.wider. The information society gives many opportunities, but it did not come out of nowhere - it is the result of centuries of activity of all mankind.