The Theory Of Communication Power

2139 WordsApr 22, 20159 Pages
To fully understand Castells theory of ‘Communication Power’, it is first necessary to explore the origins in which it was conceived. After a brief, yet critical summary of his 2009 concept and some important definitions, connections will be made to his information trilogy to provide a cultural and historical context of change in communications technology. Whilst keeping a focus on the subject of power relations, these developments in communication theory will be further explored, working through the main concepts laid out in his book. Castells eclectic and holistic approach is considered fundamental in the subjects field, nonetheless, arguments for and against Castells viewpoint of power by other theorists will be made throughout to help…show more content…
In summary, Castells demonstrates how power is a ‘relationship’ (Van Dijk, 2010: 571) rather than an attribute, defining it as ‘the rational capacity that enables a social actor to influence asymmetrically the decisions of other social actors in ways that favour the empowered actor’s will’ (Castells, 2009: 10). According to Castells, ‘these power relationships are the foundation of social organisation in all societies’ (Castells, 2012b). Through these relationships, he develops a specific interest in politics and builds on his concept of a network society. This society consists of two fundamental features; the first is informationalism, which is the collective formation of information produced in the economy by institutions, media and public forums, etc. This is then organised by a second component of globalisation, in which new global networks are formed, helping to spread and organise the vast amounts of information produced, creating a platform which enables the construction of a new global and connected economy. Castells believes that the formation of the network society began with a revolution at the start of the 1970s, spawning the information age through technological advancement. At this time, new inventions showcased a new principle of networking and promised significant benefits in comparison to the industry standard at the time. Whilst
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