Reflections and Refractions on the Flow of Information

  • Anthony Smith
Part of the Sociology of “Developing Societies” book series (SDS)


The influence of Western media over the consciousness and culture of developing societies has become an important new issue in the years of East-West detente. So long as the world appeared to be divided into two quite separate and opposed ideologies, “North-South” questions lay submerged by “East-West” Cold War issues and their aftermath. With the arrival of a number of Third World countries at a position of economic power in the 1970s, and with the partial blurring of the great intellectual rifts of the Cold War, there has grown up an important geopolitical controversy over information, that is to say, over how the flow of information created by and required by modern industries is controlled, as it passes between the relatively prosperous “northern” societies and the formerly colonized “southern” societies.


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  1. 2.
    W. Brandt et al., North-South—A Programme for Survival (London: Pan, 1980).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    See Robert E. Jackson, “Satellite Business Systems and the Concept of the Dispersed Enterprise: An End to Sovereignty,” Media, Culture and Society 3 (July 1979);Google Scholar
  3. also Herbert I. Schiller, “Computer Systems: Power for Whom and for What?” Journal of Communication 28, no. 4 (Autumn 1978).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Smith

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