Manuel Castells

26. August 2008 | Von Tino Kreßner | Kategorie: Portraits

Manuel Castells wird laut der Zeitschrift The Economist als „der erste große Philosoph des Cyberspace“ bezeichnet. 2002 beschreibt ihn das Internetmagazin TELEPOLIS als „Voltaire des Informationszeitalters“.

Der amerikanische Soziologe spanischer Herkunft beschäftigt sich bis zu seinem Besuch im Silicon Valley Anfang der 90er mit Stadtsoziologie (Urban Sociology und Social Movements). Beeindruckt von den Möglichkeiten des Internets schafft er mit seiner Trilogie über das Informationszeitalter den umfassendsten Versuch einer sozialen Theorie über unsere heutige Gesellschaft. Er beschreibt die sozialen Transformationen in einer globalisierten Welt, ausgelöst durch die neuen vernetzten Kommunikationstechnologien. Mit dieser soziologischen Gegenwartsanalyse beschreibt Castells die heutige Weltgesellschaft mit dem Internet als zentrales Kommunikationsmedium. Seine Theorien bezeichnen eine neue Gesellschaftsform, die sich mit den Begriffen Informationsgesellschaft, Wissensgesellschaft und Netzwerkgesellschaft beschreiben lässt.

Weiteres zum Informationszeitalter

Biografie von Dr. mult. h.c. Manuel Castells

Manuel Castells ist am 9.2.1942 in Hellin, Spanien geboren und in Valencia aufgewachsen. Er studierte von 1958-62 Recht und Volkswirtschaft an der Universtät Barcelona. Als studentischer Aktivist gegen die Franco-Diktatur floh er nach Paris, wo er an der Universität Paris-Sorbonne 1964 sein Master und 1965 sein Diplom ablegte. 1967 promovierte er als Doktor für Soziologie und erwarb ein Doktorat in Humanwissenschaften. Mit 24 Jahren wurde Castells zum jüngsten Professor berufen und unterrichtete Methoden sozialer Forschung in Sorbonne. Er forschte hier auf dem Gebiet der urbanen Soziologie. Von 1970 bis 1979 lehrte er Stadtsoziologie in Paris. 1972 publizierte er sein erstes Buch mit dem Titel „La Question Urbaine“, welches in zehn Sprachen übersetzt und weltweit ein Klassiker wurde. Castells gilt damit als einer der Begründer der New Urban Sociology.

1979 zieht es ihn nach Amerika und wird dort bis 2003 zum Professor für Stadt- und Regionalplanung und Soziologie an der University of California, Berkeley, berufen. In dieser Zeit fungiert er ebenso als Vorsitzender des Center for Western European Studies, ist Komiteemitglied des Institute for International Studies und College of Environmental Design. Zwischen 1983 und 1993 wird er zusätzlich zum Professor und Direktor am Insititut für Sociology of New Technologies an der Universidad Autonoma de Madrid berufen. Seit 2001 ist er Research Professor an der Open University of Catalonia (UOC), in Barcelona und seit 2003 Professor of Communication an University of Southern California (USC). An der Annenberg School of Communication hat er den Lehrstuhl für Kommunikationstechnologie und Soziologie inne. Als Gastprofessor war er an 15 weiteren europäischen, US- und lateinamerikanischen, kanadischen und asiatischen Universitäten tätig; er hielt Lesungen an über 300 akademischen Einrichtungen in rund 40 Ländern.

Daneben arbeitete Castells als Berater in unmittelbarer Politiknähe u.a. bei der European High Level Expert Group on the Information Society, Unesco, International Labour Office, United Nations Development Program, Center on Public Diplomacy, US Agency for International Development, European Commission sowie für die Regierung Mexiko, Chile, Frankreich, Equador, Brasilien, Spanien, Portugal, China und die Russische Föderation.

Er schrieb 19 Bücher, über 100 Fachartikel, war Co-Autor bei 22 weiteren Büchern, 42 mal Berater für Doktorarbeiten und Berater von 21 akademischen Magazinen. Sein bisher wohl bedeutendster Beitrag zur Soziologie ist die Trilogie zum Informationszeitalter, welches er zwischen 1996 und 1998 schrieb. In seinem jüngsten Buch beschäftigt er sich damit, wie die kabellose Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologie die Gesellschaft verändert.

2005 wird er von der European Commission zum Gründungsmitglied des Scientific Council of the European Research Council ernannt. 2006 ist er Gastprofessor für Internetstudien an der Oxford Universität.

Castells lebt in Barcelona und ist mit Emma Kiselyova verheiratet. Er hat zwei Kinder und drei Enkelkinder. Er spricht sechs Sprachen.

Bedeutende Werke

(Jahreszahl entspricht der Erstveröffentlichung)

  • Mobile Communication and Society: A Global Perspective. 2006
  • Die Internet-Galaxy. 2001
  • Das Informationszeitalter, Bd.3, Jahrtausendwende. 1998
  • Das Informationszeitalter, Bd.2, Die Macht der Identität. 1997
  • Das Informationszeitalter, Bd.1, Die Netzwerkgesellschaft. 1996
  • The Informational City. 1989
  • The City and the Grassroots, A Cross-Cultural Theory of Urban Social Movements. 1983
  • La Question Urbaine. 1972

Weiterführende Weblinks zu Manuel Castells

Homepage von Manuel Castells:
http://www.manuelcastells.info
Curriculum Vitae und Bibliografie:
http://www.manuelcastells.info/en/CastellsMCV_eng.pdf
Webseite bei der USC Annenberg
http://annenberg.usc.edu/Faculty/Communication/CastellsM.aspx
Interview mit Manuel Castells:

Manuel Castells bei Google Books:
http://books.google.de/books?q=Manuel+Castells


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