Information Technology and Sustainability in the Information Society

TitleInformation Technology and Sustainability in the Information Society
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsChristian Fuchs
JournalInternational Journal of Communication

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.