Networks in context: the concept of network in Manuel Castells’ theory of the network society

  • Ari-Veikko ANTTIROIKO University of Tampere

Abstract

This article discusses the conceptualization of network in Manuel Castells’ theory of network society.
Networks appeared in Castells’ works in the late 1980s, when he became interested in the configuration of the
relationships between technology, economy, and society. The culmination of this phase was his opus magnum,
The Information Age trilogy, which introduced network as a key concept of his macro theory, even though he
remained laconic about the concept itself. This is paradoxical, for Castells became possibly the most prominent
figure globally in adopting network terminology in macro sociological theory, but at the same time made hardly
any empirical, theoretical or methodological contribution to social network analysis or network theory in general.
This implies that ‘network’ in Castells’ social theory is based on institutional network analysis. Moreover, it is not
an analytical concept but rather a powerful metaphor that served to capture his idea of the new social
morphology of informational capitalism.

Author Biography

Ari-Veikko ANTTIROIKO, University of Tampere
School of Management

References

[1] Allan, S. (2007). Citizen Journalism and the Rise of “Mass Self-Communication”: Reporting the London Bombings. Global Media Journal – Australian 1(1): 1-20, http://www.hca.uws.edu.au/ gmjau/archive/iss1_2007/stuart_allan.html(accessed July 9, 2011).
[2] Arsenault, A., Castells, M. (2008a). Switching Power: Rupert Murdoch and the Global Business of Media Politics. A Sociological Analysis. International Sociology 23(4): 488-513.
[3] Arsenault, A., Castells, M. (2008b). The Structure and Dynamics of Global Multi-Media Business Networks. International Journal of Communication, 2: 707-748.
[4] Barabási, A.-L. (2002). Linked. The New Science of Networks. Perseus Publishing.
[5] Barassi, V. (2013). Review – Networks of Outrage and Hope. E-International Relations, http://www.e-ir.info/2013/02/27/review-networks-of-outrage-and-hope/(accessed 16 August 2014).
[6] Barney, D. (2004). The network society. Polity Press.
[7] Barry, A. (2001). Political machines: governing a technological society. Athlone Press.
[8] Beck, U., Giddens, A., Lash, S. (1994). Reflexive Modernization. Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order. Polity Press.
[9] Bell, D. (1973). The Coming of Post-Industrial Society. A Venture in Social Forecasting. Basic Books.
[10] Borgatti, S.P., Mehra, A., Brass, D., Labianca, G. (2009). Network Analysis in the Social Sciences. Science, 323(5916): 892-895.
[11] Boyraz, C. (2008). The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Volume I-II-III by Castells, Book review, International Journal of Social Inquiry 1(2), http://www.socialinquiry.org/ articles.asp?id=31(accessed September 20, 2015).
[12] Bridge, G., Watson, S. (2003). City Economies. In: Bridge, G. and Watson, S. (eds) A Companion to the City. Blackwell.
[13] Cabot, J.E. (2003). The information age; Manuel Castells; the rise of the network society. Research Policy 32: 1141-1162.
[14] Capra, F. (2003). The Hidden Connections. A Science for Sustainable Living. HarperCollins. Flamingo.
[15] Cardoso, G. (2007). The Media in the Network Society: Browsing, News, Filters and Citizenship. CIES - Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology.
[16] Carnoy, M., Castells, M. (2001). Globalization, the knowledge society, and the Network State: Poulantzas at the millennium. Global Networks, 1(1): 1-18.
[17] Castells, M. (1977). The Urban Question. A Marxist Approach. From original work La question urbaine translated by Alan Sheridan. Edward Arnold.
[18] Castells, M. (1978). City, Class and Power. Macmillan.
[19] Castells, M. (1983). The City and the Grassroots: A Cross-cultural Theory of Urban Social Movements. University of California Press.
[20] Castells, M. (1985). High Technology, Economic Restructuring, and the Urban-Regional Process in the United States. In: Castells M (ed) High Technology, Space, and Society. Sage.
[21] Castells, M. (1989). The Informational City. Information Technology, Economic Restructuring, and the Urban-Regional Process. Blackwell.
[22] Castells, M. (1996). The Rise of the Network Society. The Information Age. Economy, Society and Culture, Volume I. Blackwell.
[23] Castells, M. (1997a). The Power of Identity. The Information Age. Economy, Society and Culture, Vol. II. Blackwell.
[24] Castells, M. (1997b). An Introduction to the Information Age. City 2(7): 6-16.
[25] Castells, M. (1998). End of Millennium. The Information Age. Economy, Society and Culture, Vol. III. Blackwell.
[26] Castells, M. (2000a). Materials for an exploratory theory of the network society. British Journal of Sociology, 51(1): 5–24.
[27] Castells, M. (2000b). Toward a Sociology of the Network Society. Contemporary Sociology, 29(5): 693–699.
[28] Castells, M. (2001). The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business and Society. Oxford University Press.
[29] Castells, M. (2002). Local and Global: Cities in the Network Society. TijdschriftvoorEconomische en SocialeGeografie, 93(5): 548–558.
[30] Castells, M. (2004a). Informationalism, networks, and the network society: a theoretical blueprint. In: Castells, M. (ed) The Network Society: a cross-cultural perspective. Edward Elgar, pp. 3-7, 36-45.
[31] Castells, M. (2004b). Afterword: Why networks matter? In: McCarthy, H., Miller, P. and Skidmore, P. (eds) Network Logic. Who governs in an interconnected world? Demos Collection, issue 20. Demos, http://www.demos.co.uk/files/File/networklogic17castells.pdf(accessed September 25, 2015).
[32] Castells, M. (2007). Communication, Power and Counter-power in the Network Society. International Journal of Communication 1: 238-266.
[33] Castells, M. (2009). Communication Power. Oxford University Press.
[34] Castells, M. (2010). Introduction in International Seminar on Network Theory: Network Multidimensionality in the Digital Age. The Annenberg Networks Network (ANN), University of Southern California. YouTube video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDh7eGJwhwg(accessed March 22, 2011).
[35] Castells, M. (2012). Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age. Polity Press.
[36] Castells, M., Cardoso, G. (eds) (2005). The Network Society: From Knowledge to Policy. Washington, DC: Center forTransatlantic Relations, The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University, http://www.umass.edu/digital center/research/pdfs/JF_NetworkSociety.pdf (accessed July 10, 2011).
[37] Castells, M., Fernandez-Ardevol, M., Qiu, J.L., Sey, A. (2004). The Mobile Communication Society. A cross-cultural analysis of available evidence on the social users of wireless communication technology. A research report prepared for the International Workshop on Wireless Communication Policies and Prospects: A Global Perspective, held at the Annenberg School for Communication, USC, Oct 8-9, 2004, http://www.scribd.com/doc/6639987/Social-Uses-of-Wireless-Communications-the-Mobile-Information-Society-By-Manuel-Castells accessed July 7, 2011.
[38] Castells, M., Godard, F. (1974). Monopolville. nalyse des rapports entre l entreprise, l tat et l urbain a partir d'une enque te sur la croissance industrielle et urbaine de la re gion de Dunkerque. (Avec la collaboration de Vivian Balanowski). Mouton.
[39] Castells, M., Ince, M. (2003). Conversations with Manuel Castells. Polity Press.
[40] Castells, M., Murphy, K. (1982). Cultural Identity and Urban Structure: The Spatial Organization of San Francisco’s Gay Community. In: Fainstein, N.I. and Fainstein, S.S. (eds) Urban Policy under Capitalism. Sage.
[41] Cochrane, A.D. (2003). The Social Construction of Urban Policy. In: Bridge, G. and Watson, S. (eds) A Companion to the City. Blackwell.
[42] Collins, S. (1999). Finding the Event Horizon along the Black Holes of Network Society. Review of Castells, Manuel, The Rise of Network Society, Castells, Manuel, The Power of Identity and Castells, Manuel, End of Millennium. H-USA, H-Net Reviews in the Humanities & Social Sciences, September, 1999, http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=3399(accessed 10 July 2011).
[43] Craven, P., Wellman, B. (1973). The Network City. Sociological Inquiry, 43: 57-88.
[44] Damasio, A. (1994). Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain. Avon Books.
[45] Delfanti, A. (2009). Too much power to the networks. Review. Journal of Science Communication 8(4): 1-2, http://jcom.sissa.it/archive/08/04/Jcom0804%282009%29R01/Jcom0804%282009% 29R01.pdf (accessed May 30, 2011).
[46] De Moura Costa, H.S. (2007). Some theoretical formulations on the production of popular residential land developments in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. etc…, espaço, tempo e crítica, Revista Eletrônica de Ciências Sociais Aplicadas e outrascoisas, Volume I, 2(3): 1: 21-37, http://www.uff.br/etc/UPLOADs/etc%202007_2_3.pdf(accessed September 25, 2015).
[47] Dunleavy, P. (1977). Protest and quiescence in urban politics. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 1(1-4): 193–218.
[48] Dunleavy, P. (1980). Urban Political Analysis: the Politics of Collective Consumption. Macmillan.
[49] Elliott, B. (1980). Manuel Castells and the New Urban Sociology. The British Journal of Sociology 31(1): 151-158.
[50] Entman, R.M. (1993). Framing: Toward Clarification of a Fractured Paradigm. Journal of Communication, 43(4): 51-58.
[51] Eriksson, K. (2005). On the Ontology of Networks. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies 2(4): 305-323.
[52] Fischer, J. (1999). Manuel Castells' Brave New World. Reprinted from West, http://www.acturban. org/biennial/DOC_planners/castells_article9904.pdf (accessed July 5, 2011).
[53] Freeman, L.C. (2004). The development of social network analysis: a study in the sociology of science. Empirical Press.
[54] Fuchs, C. (2008). International Sociological Association (ISA) World Forum: Day 2: Alain Touraine, Manuel Castells, Craig Calhoun. Information – Society – Technology & Media. Posted September 7, 2008, http://fuchs.uti.at/195/ (accessed August 2, 2011)
[55] Fuchs, C. (2009). Some Reflections on Manuel Castells’ Book ‘Communication Power’. TripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique, 7(1): 94-108.
[56] Fuchs, C. (2012). Some Reflections on Manuel Castells’ Book Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age. Triple C: Communication, Capitalism & Critique, 10(2): 775-797.
[57] Fuller, S. (2004). Manuel Castells’ Trilogy, the Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture. Book Review. A Journal of Cybernetic Revolution, Sustainable Socialism, and Radical Democracy, Issue 8, Winter, http://www.net4dem.org/cyrev/archive/issue8/articles/ Castells Review/CastellsReview1.htm (accessed May 30, 2011).
[58] Giddens, A. (1992). The Consequences of Modernity. Polity Press.
[59] Giddens, A. (1996). Out of place. A Review of Manuel Castells' Book 'The Rise of the Network. Society'. The Times Higher Education Supplement (London), 18.
[60] Granovetter, M.S. (1973). The Strength of Weak Ties. The American Journal of Sociology, 78(6): 1360–1380.
[61] Granovetter, M.S. (1983). The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited. Sociological Theory, 1: 201-233.
[62] Gurr, T.R., King, D. (1987). The State and the City. Macmillan.
[63] Harding, R. (2006). Manuel Castells’ Technocultural Epoch in the Information Age. Science Fiction Studies, 33(1): 18-29.
[64] Harris, M. (2010). Complexities and contradictions of networked places. City, 6(3): 407-409.
[65] Hassan, R. (2004). Media, Politics and the Network Society. Open University Press.
[66] Heiskala, R. (2003). Informational revolution, the net and cultural identity. A conceptual critique of Manuel Castells’ “The Information Age”. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 6(2): 233–245.
[67] Hiltz, S.R., Turoff, M. (1978). The Network Nation: Human Communication via Computer. Addison-Wesley.
[68] Holton, R.J. (2005). Network discourses: proliferation, critique and synthesis. Review Essay. Global Networks, 5(2): 209-215.
[69] Howard, P.N. (2011). Castells and the Media. Polity Press.
[70] Hydén, H. (2001). Manuel Castells och förebådandet av en ny rättskultur. Retfaerd 24(94): 3-19, http://retfaerd.org/retfaerd-nr-94-20013/haakan-hyden-manuel-castells-ochforebaadandet-av-en-ny-rattskultur/ (accessed September 25, 2015)
[71] Iyer, S.D. (1999). Book Review: The Rise of the Network Society. Solstice: An Electronic Journal of Geography and Mathematics X(1), http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/60263 (accessed July 10, 2011)
[72] Kasvio, A. (2005). What Information Society? In: Kasvio A and Anttiroiko A-V (eds) e-City: Analysing Efforts to Generate Local Dynamism in the City of Tampere. Tampere University Press, pp. 619-643.
[73] Katznelson, I. (1981). CityTrenches: Urban Politics and the Patterning of Class in the United States. Pantheon Books.
[74] Katznelson, I. (1992). Marxism and the City. The Clarendon Press.
[75] Kelly, K. (1994). Out of Control: The Rise of Neo-Biological Civilization. Addison-Wesley.
[76] Kling, J.M., Posner, P. (1991). Class and Community: Theories of Activism in an Era of Urban Transformation. In: Smith, M.P. (ed) Breaking chains: social movements and collective action. Comparative Urban and Community Research, Vol. 3. Transaction Publishers.
[77] Kling, R. (2002). The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business, and Society. Book Reviews. Academe Online, July-August 2002, http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/academe/ 2002/JA/BR/Klin.htm (accessed July 20, 2011)
[78] Kumar, K. 2005. From Post-Industrial to Post-Modern Society: New Theories of the Contemporary World. Second Edition. Blackwell.
[79] Lakoff, G. 2008. The Political Mind: Why You Can't Understand 21st-Century American Politics with an 18th-Century Brain. Viking Penguin.
[80] Lash, S., Urry, J. 1994. Economies of Signs and Space. Sage.
[81] Lehmann, N., Qvortrup, L. and Walther, B.K. (eds) 2007. The Concept of the Network Society: Post-Ontological Reflections. Samfundslitteratur.
[82] Lojkine, J. 1976. Contributions to a Marxist theory of urbanization. In: Pickvance, C. (ed) Urban sociology: Critical essays. Tavistock, pp. 119-146.
[83] Lowe, S. 1986. Urban Social Movements. The City after Castells. Macmillan.
[84] Marcuse, H. 1964. One-Dimensional Man:Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society. Beacon.
[85] Martin, J. 1977. The Wired Society: A Challenge for Tomorrow. Prentice-Hall.
[86] May, C. 2006. The Network Society. Key Concepts Series. By Darin Barney. Reviews. Canadian Journal of Communication 31(3): 769-770, http://www.cjc-online.ca/index.php/journal/ article/view/1659/1801(accessed June 6, 2011).
[87] Mayer, M. (2006). Manuel Castells’ the City and the Grassroots. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 30: 202–206.
[88] McCarthy. H., Miller, P., Skidmore, P. (2004). Network Logic. Who governs in an interconnected world? Demos.
[89] Merrifield, A. (2002). Metromarxism. A Marxist Tale of the City. Routledge.
[90] Mills, C.W. (1959). The Sociological Imagination. Oxford University Press.
[91] Mollenkopf, J.H., Castells, M. (eds) (1991). Dual City. Restructuring New York. Russell Sage Foundation.
[92] Naisbitt, J. (1984). Megatrends. Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives. Futura.
[93] Owen-Smith, J., Powell, W.W. (2008). Networks and Institutions. In: The Sage Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism. Sage, pp. 596-623.
[94] Pescosolido, B.A. (2012). The Sociology of Social Networks. In: Bryant, C.D. and Peck, D.L. (eds) The Handbook of 21st Century Sociology. Sage, pp. 208-217.
[95] Pickvance, C.G. (1975). Review Essay: Toward a Reconstruction of Urban Sociology. American Journal of Sociology 80(4): 1003-1008.
[96] Portes, A., Castells, M., Benton, L.A. (eds) (1989). The Informal Economy: Studies in Advanced and Less Developed Countries. The Johns Hopkins University Press.
[97] Rantanen, T. (2005). The message is the medium. An interview with Manuel Castells. Global Media Communication, 1(2): 135-147.
[98] Rex, J. (1977). Sociological Theory and the City - A Response to Some Recent Trends in Australasian Urban Sociology. Journal of Sociology, 13(3): 218-223.
[99] Schiller, D. (2000). Digital Capitalism: Networking the Global Market System. MIT Press.
[100] Schmiede, R. (2006). Knowledge, work and subject in informational capitalism. In: Berleur, J., Nurminen, M.I. and Impagliazzo, J. (eds) Social informatics – an information society for all? Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Human Choice and Computers. Springer.
[101] Smart, B. (2000). A Political Economy of New Times? Critical Reflections on the Network Society and the Ethos of Informational Capitalism. European Journal of Social Theory, 3(1): 51-65.
[102] Stalder, F. (1998). The Network Paradigm: Social Formations in the Age of Information. Review Essay. The Information Society, 14(4), http://www.indiana.edu/~tisj/readers/full-text/14-4%20Stalder.html (accessed June 7, 2011).
[103] Stalder, F. (2006). Manuel Castells and the Theory of the Network Society. Polity Press.
[104] Stehr, N. (1994). Knowledge Societies. Sage.
[105] Tampere, K. (2011). A Walk in the Public Relations Field: Theoretical discussions from a social media and network society perspective. Central European Journal of Communication 4(1): 49-61.
[106] Thompson, G.F. (2003). Between hierarchies and markets: the logic of network forms of organization. Oxford University Press.
[107] Toffler, A. (1970). Future Shock. Bantam Books.
[108] Toffler, A. (1980). The Third Wave. Bantam Books.
[109] Toffler, A. (1990). Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century. Bantam Books.
[110] Walton, J. (1993). Urban Sociology: The Contribution and Limits of Political Economy. Annual Review of Sociology 19: 301-320.
[111] Waterman, P. (1999). The Brave New World of Manuel Castells: What on Earth (or in the Ether) is Going On? Review Article.Development and Change 30(2): 357–380.
[112] Webster, F. (1995). Theories of the Information Society. Routledge.
[113] Wellman, B. (1979). The Community Question: The Intimate Networks of East Yorkers. American Journal of Sociology 84: 1201-1231.
[114] Whiteley, P. (1980). Review of Manuel Castells' City, Class and Power. Journal of Social Policy 9(1): 135-137.
[115] Wilenius, M. (1998). A New Globe in the Making: Manuel Castells on the Information Age. Review Essay. Acta Sociologica 41: 269-276.
[116] Wright, E.O. (1997). Class Counts: Comparative Studies in Class Analysis. Cambridge University Press.
[117] Wright, E.O. (2005). Approaches to Class Analysis. Cambridge University Press.
[118] Van Dijk, J. (1999). The Network Society: Social aspects of new media. Thousand Oaks. Sage.
[119] Van Dijk, J. (2001). The One-dimensional Network Society of Manuel Castells. A Review Essay. Chronicle World. 07-Jan-01, https://www.utwente.nl/bms/vandijk/research/network_society/ network_society_plaatje/d_castells_review_castells_net.pdf(accessed September 25, 2015).
[120] Van Dijk, J. (2010). Review of Communication Power, by Manuel Castells. Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research, 35(4): 485-500.
*** Institute of International Studies. (2001). Identity and Change in the Network Society. Conversation with Manuel Castells. Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley, interviewed by Harry Kreisler, http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people/Castells/castells-con0.html (accessed July 5, 2011).
Published
2016-10-20
How to Cite
ANTTIROIKO, Ari-Veikko. Networks in context: the concept of network in Manuel Castells’ theory of the network society. Theoretical and Practical Research in the Economic Fields, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 1, p. 67-80, oct. 2016. ISSN 2068-7710. Available at: <https://journals.aserspublishing.eu/tpref/article/view/256>. Date accessed: 23 jan. 2022.
Section
Theoretical and Practical Research in the Economic Fields

Keywords

Manuel Castells, network, network society, informationalism, The Information Age, political economy