Introduction: Ethnic Conflict and Post-Industrialism
The central theme of this volume of essays is the nature of immigration and ethnic conflict in post-industrial societies that have experienced large-scale movements of population since the Second World War, creating ethnically diverse ‘multicultural’ societies. The concept of a post-industrial society has been widely used, for more than twenty years, to describe the rapidly changing characteristics of contemporary economic and social systems influenced by modern computerised technologies including automation, robotics, rapid transportation and satellite communications. Key features include the importance of scientific knowledge, an emerging technocratic elite, a system of management based on information systems, and the growth of the tertiary sectors of industry, at the expense of agriculture and manufacturing. Early forecasts, based on far too optimistic scenarios, also anticipated a period of material affluence, a decline in the importance of work as a major activity and its replacement by the constructive use of leisure and entertainment (Touraine, 1971; Bell, 1973; Toffler, 1971; 1981). The technocratic society was seen as transcending political boundaries and was likely to lead to a convergence of the economic and political systems of capitalist and communist countries as well as spreading to the Third World (Kerr; 1960; 1983).
KeywordsMigration Dust Economic Crisis Europe Transportation
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