Theory and Application
Edited by Debra Howcroft and Eileen M. Trauth
Chapter 13: Consuming Passions in the ‘Global Knowledge Economy’
Helen Richardson Introduction What a whirlwind the past couple of decades have been – blink and you may have missed it. Open your eyes now and wonder on the revolutionary transformation. Everything is new and different. We are in a new digital age, in new relationships and communities – virtual and in cyberspace. There’s a new economy – it’s global and knowledge-based. We have new ways of working in transformed organizations – management has been ﬂattened and work is team-based. We’ve gone e-mad in a fantasy digital global dream world. We’re on-line everywhere and anywhere signifying new ways of living, loving, being governed and educated. The family, the High Street, the workplace, the School and particularly the individual and self and identities have been turned on their heads. Moreover we must consume with a passion and in new and different ways. We must immerse ourselves in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and engage in the on-line feeding frenzy with a hunger that can never be sated. If you’re not in – you’re out. Miss it and miss out whether deprived of access or a digital ‘refusenik’. This is one side of the hyperbole – that everything is new and changing and in a revolutionary way. Equally mystifying is the other side that says nothing has changed, globalization does not exist and the ubiquitous ‘e’ has had little or no impact, nor will it. In this chapter, I consider this ‘revolution’ and in particular focus on cultures of consumption in relation to ICT use in our everyday...
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