In sociology, the post-industrial society is the stage of society's development when the service sector generates more wealth than the manufacturing sector of the economy.
The term was originated by Alain Touraine and is closely related to similar sociological theoretical constructs such as post-Fordism, information society, knowledge economy, post-industrial economy, late modernity, and network society. They all can be used in economics or social science disciplines as a general theoretical backdrop in research design.
As the term has been used, a few common themes, including the ones below have begun to emerge.
The term has grown and changed as it became mainstream. The term is now used by admen such as Seth Godin,Godin, Seth . Linchpin (2010) public policy PhD' /ref> and sociologists such as Neil Fligstein and Ofer Sharone.Work in the Postindustrial Economy of California. (2002) On the web http://www.russellsage.org/publications/workingpapers/workpostindcalif/document Former U.S. President Bill Clinton even used the term to describe Chinese growth in a round-table discussion in Shanghai in 1998.1999 Forward to "The Coming of the Post-Industrial Society" by Daniel Bell
As tertiary and quaternary sector positions are essentially knowledge-oriented, this will result in a restructuring of education, at least in its nuances. The “new power… of the expert” consequently gives rise to the growing role of universities and research institutes in post-industrial societies. Post-industrial societies themselves become oriented around these places of knowledge production and production of experts as their new foci. Consequently, the greatest beneficiaries in the post-industrial society are young urban professionals. As a new, educated, and politicized generation more impassioned by liberalism, social justice, and environmentalism the shift of power into their hands, as a result of their knowledge endowments, is often cited as a good thing.Wright, James D. “The Political Consciousness of Post-Industrialism.” Contemporary Sociology. 7. 3 (1978): 270-273.Banks, Alan and Jim Foster. “The Mystifications of Post-Industrialism.” Appalachian Journal . 10. 4 (1983): 372-378.
The increasing importance of knowledge in post-industrial societies results in a general increase in expertise through the economy and throughout society. In this manner, it eliminates what Alan Banks and Jim Foster identify as “undesirable work as well as the grosser forms of poverty and inequality.” This effect is supplemented by the aforementioned movement of power into the hands of young educated people concerned with social justice.
Economists at Berkeley have studied the value of knowledge as a form of human capital, adding value to material capital, such as factory or a truck. Speaking along the same lines of their argument, the addition or 'production' of knowledge, could become the basis of what would undoubtably be considered 'post-industrial' policies meant to deliver economic growth.Czarnitzki, Dirk; Hall Bronwyn H. (Berkeley); Oriani Raffaele; The Market Valuation of Knowledge Assets in US and European Firms. On the web at http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~bhhall/papers/CHO05_mktval.pdf
The post-industrial society is repeatedly stressed to be one where knowledge is power and technology is the instrument. Naturally, where one is creatively inclined, they are advantaged by such a society. The doctrine of “speed, mobility and malleability” is well suited to a dynamic creative industry and as industries of good production decrease in precedence, the way is paved for artists, musicians, and other such types, whose skills are better utilized by the tertiary and quaternary sector. Urban geographer Trevor Barnes, in his work outlining the Vancouver experience in post-war development, evokes the post-industrial condition, citing the emergence and consolidation of a significant video games industry as a constituent of the elite service sector.Barnes, T et al. “Vancouver: Restructuring narratives in the transnational metropolis.” Canadian urban regions: trajectories of growth and change. Eds. L Bourne et al. (2011): 291-327.
This increased faculty of the post-industrialist society with respects to the creative industry is itself reflected by the economic history of post-industrial societies. As economic activities shift from primarily primary and secondary sector-based to tertiary, and later quaternary, sector-based, cities in which this shift occurs become more open to exchanges of information.Golden, Miriam & Michael Wallerstein. “Domestic and International Causes for the Rise of Pay Inequality: Post-Industrialism, Globalization and Labor Market Institutions.” The Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, UCLA (2006). This is necessitated by the demands of a tertiary and quaternary sector: in order to better service an industry focused on finance, education, communication, management, training, engineering, and aesthetic design, the city must become points of exchange capable of providing the most updated information from across the globe. Conversely, as cities become a convergence of international ideas, the tertiary and quaternary sector can be expected to grow.
A virtual cult of 'creatives' have sprung up embodying and often describing and defending the post-industrial ethos. They argue that businesses that create intangibles have taken a more prominent role in the wake of manufacturing's decline.
Actor and then-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 a guest column he wrote for The Times.http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6251188.ece Kevin Spacey makes an economic case for the arts
In line with the view that nothing fundamental has changed in the transition from industrial societies to post-industrial societies is the insistence of lingering problems from past development periods. Neo-Malthusian in essence, this outlook focuses on post-industrial society’s continuing struggle with issues of resource scarcity, overpopulation, and environmental degradation, all of which are remnants from its industrial history.Gibson, Donald E. “Post-Industrialism: Prosperity or Decline?” Sociological Focus. 26. 2 (1993): 147-163. This is exacerbated by a “corporate liberalism” that seeks to continue economic growth through “the creation and satisfaction of false needs,” or as Christopher Lasch more derisively refers to it, “subsidized waste.”
Urban development in the context of post-industrialism is also a point of contention. In opposition to the view that the new leaders of post-industrial society are increasingly environmentally aware, this critique asserts that it rather leads to environmental degradation, this being rooted in the patterns of development. Urban sprawl, characterised behaviourally by cities “expanding at the periphery in even lower densities” and physically by “office park, Shopping mall, strips, condo clusters, corporate campuses and gated communities,” is singled out as the main issue. Resulting from a post-industrialist culture of “mobile capital, the service economy, post-Fordist disposable consumerism and banking deregulation,” urban sprawl has caused post-industrialism to become environmentally and socially regressive. Of the former, environmental degradation results from encroachment as cities meet demands on low-density habitation; the wider spread of population consumes more of the environment while necessitating more energy consumption in order to facilitate travel within the ever-growing city, incurring greater pollution. This process evokes the neo-Malthusian concerns of overpopulation and resource scarcity that inevitably lead to environmental deterioration. Of the latter, “post-industrialism’s doctrine of … mobility and malleability” encourage a disconnect between communities where social belonging falls into the category of things considered by the “post-Fordist disposable consumerist” attitude as interchangeable, expendable, and replaceable.
Post-industrialism as a concept is highly western culture-centric. Theoretically and effectively, it is only possible in the Global West, which its proponents assume to be solely capable of fully realizing industrialization and then post-industrialization. Herman Kahn optimistically predicted the “economic growth, expanded production and growing efficiency” of post-industrial societies and the resultant “material abundance and… high quality of life” to extend to “almost all people in Western societies” and only “some in Eastern societies.” This prediction is treated elsewhere by contentions that the post-industrial society merely perpetuates capitalism.
Recalling the critical assertion that all modern societies are technocracies, T. Roszak completes the analysis by stating that “all societies are moving in the direction of technocracies.” From this, the foremost “suave technocracies” reside in the West, whereas all others are successively graded in descending order: “vulgar technocracies,” “teratoid technocracies,” and finally “comic opera technocracies.” This view importantly presumes one transition and furthermore one path of transition for societies to undergo, i.e. the one that Western societies are slated to complete. Much like the demographic transition model, this prediction does not entertain the idea of an Eastern or other alternative model of transitional development.
One of the word's early users, Ivan Illich, prefigured this criticism and invented the term Conviviality, or the Convivial Society, to stand as a positive description of his version of a post-industrial society.
Some observers, including Soja (building on the theories of the French philosopher of urbanism Henri Lefebvre), suggest that although industry may be based outside of a "post-industrial" nation, that nation cannot ignore industry's necessary sociological importance.