This is a novel account of social change that supplants conventional understandings of 'society' and presents a sociology that takes as its main unit of analysis flows through time and across space. Developing a comparative analysis of the UK and US, the new Germany and Japan, Lash and Urry show how restructuration after organized capitalism has its basis in increasingly reflexive social actors and organizations. The consequence is not only the much-vaunted 'postmodern condition' but also a growth in reflexivity. In exploring this new reflexive world, the authors argue that today's economies are increasingly ones of signs - information, symbols, images, desire - and of space, where both signs and social subjects - refugees, financiers, tourists and fl[ci]aneurs - are mobile over ever greater distances at ever greater speeds.
Introduction After Organized Capitalism PART ONE: ECONOMIES OF OBJECTS AND SUBJECTS Mobile Objects Reflexive Subjects PART TWO: ECONOMIES OF SIGNS AND THE OTHER Reflexive Accumulation Information Structures and Production Systems Accumulating Signs The Cultural Industries Ungovernable Spaces The Underclass and Impacted Ghettoes Mobile Subjects Migration in Comparative Perspective PART THREE: ECONOMIES OF SPACE AND TIME Post-Industrial Spaces Time and Memory PART FOUR: GLOBALIZATION AND MODERNITY Mobility, Modernity and Place Globalization and Localization Conclusion