Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Manuel Castells, Identity and the Network Society

Another of the authors that Terry Muck mentioned recently is Manuel Castells. He Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Berkeley. He has written a number of things, including the three-volume trilogy series on the information age specifically mentioned by Muck:

Castells's primary focus is on the interface between technology and the social milieu, which Castells refers to as "the relationship between the net and the self." His trilogy goes into great length to describe and analyze "the interaction between the network society and the power of identity and social movements." These concepts have great relevance for theology, missiology, and religious studies, and should be considered by Christians whether the perspective and concern is global or local, particularly in light of the significance of globalization and the recent reminder that "distinguishing between home and mission field no longer makes sense" (Christopher J. Wright, "An Upside-Down World," Christianity Today, January 2007).

A preview of Castells's thinking can be found in an interview as part of the Conversations with History series found here.

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