Information Technology and Sustainability in the Information Society

Christian Fuchs


The sustainability concept has developed in a policy context. Its main relevance has been in policy forums such as the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. In the realm of information and communication technologies (ICTs), sustainability has played a policy role in the context of the World Summit on the Information Society. This article asks: How can we think of sustainability and ICTs in the context of a critical theory of society? How is the sustainability of ICTs related to capitalism and class? It provides a critique of the dominant reductionist and dualistic understandings of information technology sustainability in an information society context. The question that arises in this context is whether, from a critical theory perspective, the sustainability concept should be discarded. The view advanced in this article is that a critical social theory should provide an ideology critique of information technology sustainability; at the same time, it should not discard, but transform, the sustainability concept into a critical notion of un/sustainable information technology sustainability in the context of the information society.


sustainability, information and communication technology, ICT, ICTs, information, critical social theory, critical theory, information society

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