Castells, Manuel(1942-) Spanish-born sociologist, who first rose to prominence in the 1970s as a Marxian urban sociologist, especially researching and theorizing the role of URBAN SOCIAL MOVEMENTS. Increasingly operating, both in his teaching and his research, on a global stage, subsequently Castells has written more in a post-Marxist mode, focusing on the transformation of the global. The Informational City (1989) marked a transition in his work, in that he argued that developments in INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY were transforming patterns of regional development. His magnum opus, the three volumes of The Information Age: Economy Society and Culture (1996-8) have been widely hailed as a tour de force. The work surveys the information-driven, post cold war global economy (see also NETWORK SOCIETY), analysing both its dynamism (especially of new cultural regions such as the Asian Pacific) and its new patterns of inequality.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000