How are we to understand the causes of the telecommunications revolution? How can we begin to predict its consequences? The last three decades have witnessed a dramatic acceleration in the use, demand, and need for telecommunications, data communication, and mass communication transmitted and integrated into networks. Through a synthesis of contemporary theories about modernization, this book offers a broad-ranging introduction to the 'network' society in all its aspects. The Network Society: Analyzes the new media in all their technical, economic, political, sociological, cultural and psychological aspects. Examines the new media in terms of their impact on both public policy and private life. Compares legal and policy initiatives in North America, Europe, Eastern Asia, and the Third World. Enables the reader to critical assess the 'hype' which surrounds the Internet and other new media. In comparison to the boundless speculation accompanying the new media, this book offers a well-balanced but critical overview of the telecommunications revolution. In providing an interdisciplinary yet highly accessible introduction to the field, it will be essential reading for all students of media and communication studies.