Monday, December 21, 2009

Third wave (1980)

Alvin Toffler
It is an amazing metaphor for visualizing social change. It is like wave of sea, like within IT revolution in India from almost more than decade (prominently) still we can see some people of old generation just missed it like they don’t know what is internet… google… bit difficult to believe but it is exist!

Some part of book as it is:
First Wave was the establishment of agriculture, and the social, economic and technological forms which derived from that.

The Second Wave was the industrial
revolution, and was characterized by such features as dependence on primary energy sources, the division between producer and consumer, the appearance of mass markets for standardized goods, large-scale concentrated technology and industrial resources, the ever-increasing division of labor, and mass hierarchical institutions such as the large incorporated company, the factory, the postal system, trade unions, political parties and “democracy”, the unified national state and the mass media. In a Second Wave society, a typical individual would be born into a “traditional” nuclear family, spend twelve or fourteen years in a compulsory school, then perhaps three or four in university or training college, then go to work as the employee of a large company or the state doing a specialized and standardized job, have one marriage partner and two or three children, and enjoy job security until retirement. People bought standardized consumer products, read mass-circulation newspapers, drove standardized cars, watched nationally-broadcast television and voted for one of two or three large political parties.

The Third Wave first appeared in about 1955, and has been characterized by the appearance of decentralized
technologies, such as electronics and micro-computing, and the fragmentation of both mass institutions and Second Wave patterns of life. The division of labor becomes somewhat less rigid, goods are produced in short runs for specialized markets, new technology and industries operate on a smaller scale, and mass organizations disintegrate and become less hierarchical. Rising divorce and illegitimacy rates challenge the traditional family, traditional industries decline and are replaced by small-scale high-technology concerns, companies decentralize their structures and contract out
many of their functions to specialist outsiders, and through micro-computers, modems and fax machines, the home becomes the “electronic cottage” in which many functions previously confined to the office or factory can be carried out. Individuals have access to video, cable and satellite television and hundreds of publications, and in politics countless small pressure groups become more important than mass parties. Life becomes more individualized, more fragmented and less secure and predictable: the Third Wave brings new problems and challenges as well as opportunities.

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