An exploration of the communication superhighway, offering tools of analysis to continue the quest
The communication superhighway, or the information superhighway as it is often more limitingly called, does not exist. It is an idea, the conceptualisation of which will largely shape its final realisation and use. As the crowning glory of the post-industrial age, its potential is as great as it is indeterminate. From email to cable TV, remote diagnostics to telesurgery, from videoconferencing to online education, its social and economic impact will be as fundamental as its technological.
The Communication Superhighway is the first Australian text to analyse the social and economic dimensions of the superhighway. It takes a multidiscplinary approach to the social construction vs technological determinism debate, and offers an understanding of the change and education processes needed for the new but essential forms of communication which are evolving.
Part 1 of The Communication Superhighway is explanatory, demystifying the emerging technologies and the social context of that technological revolution. Part 2 is exploratory, examining the impact, present and future, of the communication superhighway on its two major institutional targets>organisations and the consumer economy. The superhighway has already changed the way we do business, and its potential to alter consumption patterns and processes has not yet been stretched. Part 3 draws out the conceptual tools and principles needed for the continuing analysis of the unfolding digital age.
Greg Hearn is Associate Professor, School of Communication at Queensland University of Technology. Tom Mandeville is a Senior Lecturer in economics at the University of Queensland and, with David Anthony, is a researcher at the Communication Centre, QUT.
GREG HEARN is Associate Professor in the School of Communication, Queensland University of Technology. TOM MANDEVILLE is a senior lecturer in economics at the University of Queensland and with DAVID ANTHONY is also a researcher at the Communication Centre at the Queensland University of Queensland, a centre of research and teaching in communication studies.