Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Marc JW de Jong
Technological advances in the 19th and 20th centuries gave rise to industrialism and improved the overall quality of life in the United States and most of Europe. With the general rise in income came an increasing demand for services to sustain this higher standard of living: improved education, leisure activities, entertainment, health care, and information provision. However, many of these new services, unlike a majority of manual tasks in agriculture or industry, could not be mechanized. Because these tasks were more complicated to reproduce and often required more education, service industry workers became much sought after, more of a commodity than industrial or agrarian laborers and more expensive to employ. This shift from industrial, manual labor to a service-focused industry centered on the distribution and production of information is often referred to as “postindustrialization.” Sociologist Daniel Bell was one of the first to develop the idea of the postindustrial society. ...