Britain Toward a New Economy?

Essay by Pinky_dcUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, April 2004

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Since the early days of the Industrial Revolution, from 1760-1830 progress, innovation and growth in every field of human endeavour have served to transform industry, economics and society. The discovery of new and better ways of combining land, labour and capital to enable the production of goods, determining technological progress. Whether progress has been embodied or disembodied it has facilitated economic development from agricultural to industrial dominance. (Heathfield & Russell, 1992). Over the last decade however the third or tertiary stage of productivity, that is the service sector, has become the focus of economic growth in Britain, outstripping the manufacturing sector. New kinds of work have replaced old, new regions expanding, often at the expense of older industrial regions. "Growth implies change, a painful process for some"(Heathfield & Russell, 1992,p19), the pace of change accelerating beyond the capabilities of adjustment. This turn to Informationalism at the expense of industrialism, leading many to believe Britain has experienced a second industrial revolution.

In this essay I will identify the essential features of the new economy and evaluate employment patterns, changes in industrial structure and the role played by 'high technology' industries. I will discuss them empirically and theoretically with the help of tables and figures. I will analyse them and determine whether I believe Britain has experienced a second industrial revolution and achieved the transition to a 'new' or 'knowledge' based society. The last decade has seen unprecedented transformations in modern society. Technological changes beyond imagination only twenty or thirty years ago, fundamentally changing our way of life. The advent of digitalisation, mobile telephony, and networks, particularly the Internet, leading many authors to declare a new form of society ¡V the network society. According to Castells (2001,p5) the "economy of Internet industry". He argues that it...