Landscape of transformations: Perspectives, perils and possibility from within the new "informational" economy
Coleman, Nelini-Denise Youngblood
Marcus, George E.
Doctor of Philosophy
This research is based on fieldwork at a start-up Internet company. The research captures understandings of an emerging ethos of information and the valorization of information technology in the New Economy. The research also captures the notion of the New Economy itself and concludes that it is to be understood as a late-Industrial development within the capitalist circulation sphere. The research explores the organizational dynamics and the corporate culture within the fieldwork environment. In these regards, modalities of disciplinary power, resistance and negotiation within the workplace are identified. In addition, the culture of the "start-up" company is regarded as a foil that contravenes against conventional business practices. The emergence of a new class of professional knowledge workers is also identified. The research concludes that this new class of knowledge workers embraces a constellation of meanings of work that reflect particularized values and ideals. The mediation of technology in everyday life and work, the reconfiguration of power relations in "information society" and the varied interpretations of the Internet medium are also described. The central themes of the research include the promise and possibility offered by the development and innovation of information technology along a changing cultural and economic landscape, as well as the perils associated with such change. At the core of the research reside moods and sensibilities of anxiety and uncertainty along this terrain of transformation. Questions of contradiction, simultaneity and ambiguity are also factored into the understandings and interpretations of the changing landscape of the New "Informational" Economy.
Cultural anthropology; Women's studies; Industrial sociology; Labor relations