Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Barry Goetz

Second Advisor

Dr. Douglas Davidson

Third Advisor

Dr. Louise Jiezerski

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Timothy Ready


Manuel Castells, Information Society, Information Capitalism, Historical Specificity, Sociology of Technology, Political Economics


The central focus of this dissertation is contemporary network theory as discussed by Manuel Castells with an emphasis on his theoretical discussion on economic theory. This research centers on critically evaluating the works of Manuel Castells and discuss how his ideas on the theory of networks and the “network society” in relation to changes in the economic structure and information capitalism have made significant contributions to not only information society theory but also economic and sociological theory. This research was done as a two-part process in which there is a comparative analysis of the unique and underlying contributions contained within Castells’ work in relation to other information society theorists and a content analysis of economic journal literature locating the theoretical praxis and usage of Castells’ theoretical perspective in the field of economics. This combined approach illustrates and highlights the most important and crucial aspects of Castells’ theoretical approach and its actual theoretical praxis within the field of economics. The results of this combined approach shows that the academic work of Manuel Castells not only is utilized and actively used within the economic journal literature but may actually come to represent the possibility of a new theoretical movement in economics and sociology.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access