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The changes in the form of capitalist societies since the Second World War: a shift from industrial production to service industries and a ‘*knowledge economy’ in which the basis of power is theoretical knowledge rather than property, and in which higher education becomes more important. These are seen as characteristic features of postmodern, ‘postcapitalist’ society. The term was popularized in a book by Bell in 1973, where he also claimed that while manual jobs would decline, a powerful new professional and technical ‘knowledge class’ would emerge: a notion which has been widely contested. Ronald Inglehart (b.1934), an American political scientist, has argued that the rise of post-industrialism is generating postmaterialist values. Others have noted that, posited on the basis of technological advances, such arguments involve technological determinism. See alsoinformation economy; information society; informatization; knowledge economy; postmodernity.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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