Manuel Castells | UC Berkeley Sociology Department (2024)


(213) 821-2079

Research Interests

Sociology of information technology, urban sociology, sociology of social movements, comparative sociology (current emphases: Latin America, Europe)

Manuel Castells is Professor of Sociology and Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was appointed in 1979 in the Department of City and Regional Planning. In 1994-98 he served as Chair of UC Berkeley's Center for Western European Studies. Between 1967 and 1979 he taught sociology at the University of Paris, first at the Nanterre Campus, then, since 1970, at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. He has also been professor and director of the Institute for Sociology of New Technologies, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Research Profesor at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas in Barcelona, and a visiting professor at 15 universities in Europe, the United States, Canada, Asia, and Latin America. He has lectured at about 300 academic and professional institutions in 40 countries.

He was born in Spain in 1942. As a child he lived in Hellin, Albacete, Madrid, Cartagena, Valencia and Barcelona, where he completed his secondary education. He studied law and economics at the University of Barcelona in 1958-62. As a student activist against Franco's dictatorship he had to escape to Paris, where he benefitted from a political refugee fellowship, and graduated from the Sorbonne's Faculty of Law and Economics in 1964. He went on to obtain his PhD in Sociology from the University of Paris in 1967. He also holds a Doctorat d'Etat in Human Sciences from the Sorbonne, and a doctorate in sociology from the University of Madrid. His University of Paris PhD dissertation was based on a statistical analysis of location strategies of industrial firms in the Paris region.

Manuel Castells started his academic career in 1967 at the University of Paris, teaching methodology of social research, and researching on urban sociology. In 1972 he published his first book, La Question Urbaine, that was translated in 10 languages and became a classic around the world. He was one of the intellectual founders of what came to be known as the New Urban Sociology. His main publications in this field are The City and the Grassroots (University of California Press), a comparative study of urban social movements and community organizations based on his field work in France, Spain, Latin America, and California, that received the C.Wright Mills Award in 1983; and The Informational City (Blackwell, 1989) an analysis of the urban and regional changes brought about by information technology and economic restructuring in the United States. In 1998, Manuel Castells received the Robert and Helen Lynd Award from the American Sociological Association for his lifelong contribution in the field of community and urban sociology.

In 1983 Castells undertook the study of economic and social transformations associated with the information technology revolution. His privileged point of observation in the San Francisco Bay Area helped his research on this topic. But he deliberately engaged in a cross-cultural approach to the subject by researching as well in Europe, Latin America and Asia for the next 15 years. The results of this work were published in his trilogy The Information Age: Economy, Society,and Culture (Blackwell): 1st volume, The Rise of the Network Society (1996, revised edition 2000); 2nd volume, The Power of Identity (1997); 3rd volume, End of Millennium (1998, revised edition 2000). The trilogy is translated into Spanish, French, Swedish, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Croatian, Bulgarian, Turkish, and German. This book has been presented and debated by Castells in numerous academic institutions around the world, including UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Davis, City University of New York, Stanford, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, London, Barcelona, Sevilla, Amsterdam, Paris, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Buenos Aires, La Paz, Sao Paulo, and Hitotsubashi - Tokyo.

Professor Castells has published 20 books, and over 100 articles in academic journals,as well as co-authored or edited 15 additional books. Among his various distinctions and awards, he was appointed to the European Academy in 1994; and was a member of the European Commission's High Level Expert Group on the Information Society in 1995-97.In 1999-2000 he received the May 1st Award for Social Thought from the Catalan Workers General Union's Foundation, and the Cambrescat Award for Internet Studies from the Catalan Association of Chambers of Commerce.

He has been an adviser to Unesco, International Labour Office, United Nations Development Program, US Agency for International Development, European Commission, Government of Chile (Allende administration), Government of Mexico, Government of France, Government of Ecuador, State Council of the People's Republic of China, Government of the Russian Federation, Government of Brazil, Government of Portugal, and Government of Spain.

Castells teaches full time in Berkeley, sharing his time between City and Regional Planning and Sociology. His regular teaching offerings are: sociology of the information society (graduate seminar); information technology and society (undergraduate course); comparative analysis of urban and regional policies (graduate course); research seminar on regional development; doctoral seminar for City and Regional planning students. Over his university career he has been main adviser to 12 doctoral dissertations at the University of Paris, and 30 doctoral dissertations at the University of California, Berkeley.

His current (2000/2001) research focuses on the social and economic implications of Internet. His new book The Internet Galaxy. Reflections on Internet, Business, and Society will be published by Oxford University Press in 2001. He continues to work on urban issues as well. A Castells Reader on Cities and Social Theory edited by Ida Susser will be published by Blackwell in 2001. He is also currently interested in the debate on new development strategies appropriate for the Information Age. In 2000, he addressed the United Nations' Economic and Social Council on information technology and global development. He also toured South Africa, invited by the Center for Higher Education Transformation, engaging in debates and conversations on development policies with academics, high ranking government officials, labor, and business leaders.

Representative Publications

The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture (three volumes):(Oxford: Blackwell, 1996-1998; 2nd edition, 2000) (Also published, or in process of publication, in Spanish (Alianza, Madrid and Siglo XXI, Mexico), French (Fayard), Portuguese (Paz e Terra, Sao Paulo, and Gulbenkian, Lisbon), Chinese (CCTC, Beijing, and Tonsan,Taipei), Korean (Hansul), Swedish (Daidalus), Russian (Higher School of Economics Press), Japanese, Bulgarian, Croatian, Turkish, and German)Volume 1: The Rise of the Network Society, Blackwell Publishers (Oxford, and Malden, MA), 1996.

Volume 2: The Power of Identity, Blackwell Publishers (Oxford, and Malden, MA), 1997.

Volume 3: End of Millennium, Blackwell Publishers (Oxford, and Malden, MA), 1998.

Click here for selected reviews of The Information Age trilogy.

Manuel Castells | UC Berkeley Sociology Department (2024)


What was Manuel Castells theory? ›

According to social theorist Manuel Castells [1996] the information society is the result of a transformation of the capitalist economy through information technology, which has made capitalism more flexible, more global and more self-sustained.

Is Manuel Castells a Marxist? ›

Castells has said that he prefers to think of theory as a tool, and Marxism is simply a tool that he uses less now. He has not renounced Marx, but has chosen different tools to analyze the social world with.

Is UC Berkeley good for sociology? ›

Berkeley's Sociology Department is known around the world for its excellence in research and teaching. Our faculty advance cutting edge research and teach in most sociological specialities. Our PhDs are leaders in universities and research centers across the US and in many other countries.

What is the acceptance rate for UC Berkeley sociology? ›

For the last 2 years, we received approximately 375 applications, admitted 24, and 12-15 accepted the offer.

What is the main concept of the network society by Manuel Castells? ›

The space of flows plays a central role in Castells' vision of the network society. It is a network of communications, defined by hubs where these networks crisscross. Élites in cities are not attached to a particular locality but to the space of flows.

What is the informational revolution according to Manuel Castells? ›

Manuel Castells describes the shift from an industrial society to an informational society, which started in the 1970s. This Network Society is structured around networks instead of individual actors, and works through a constant flow of information through technology.

Is Castells a postmodernist? ›

Castells agrees with the “postmodern” view that the working class is no longer the privileged agent of history, reaching this conclusion through a reading of technological transformation and global capitalism that is descriptive rather than critical. The Origins of Informationalism.

What is Castells's perspective on urban development? ›

Castells puts for ward the hypothesis that the term "urban" refers to the ideological apprehension of the collective reproduction of labor power in capitalist societies. He under takes several empirical and theoretical studies that are not very useful because they rely on an eclectic, formalistic empiricism.

Who are the famous Marxist sociology? ›

List of contributors to Marxist theory
NamePlace of birthLife
Herbert MarcuseBerlin, German Empire1898–1979
José Carlos MariáteguiMoquegua, Peru1894–1930
Andreas MalmMölndal, Sweden1977–
Karl MarxTrier, Kingdom of Prussia1818–1883
77 more rows

What is the hardest major to get into UC Berkeley? ›

Computer Science, Engineering, and Economics are the top three hardest majors to get into at Berkeley, followed by Biology and Political Science. The Computer Science program at Berkeley is one of the top-ranked CS programs in the world, so admission there is no small feat.

What rank is Berkeley sociology? ›

Sociology ranked No. 1, Psychology No. 1, History No. 1, Economics No.

Is sociology impacted at UC Berkeley? ›

Students must have a 2.0 cumulative G.P.A. and a 2.0 major G.P.A. to declare the major. This is a C average and is considered to be good academic standing in the College of Letters and Science. Is this an impacted major? Although the major is consistently growing, we are not impacted.

What major is easiest to get into UC Berkeley? ›

10 Easiest Majors to Transfer into UC Berkeley
1.Development Studies41%
2.Environmental Economics Policy49%
3.Society and Environment54%
4.Landscape Architecture39%
6 more rows
Jan 19, 2017

Which UC has the best sociology program? ›

Best Schools for Sociology in California
  • Stanford University. Stanford, CA. 86th Most Popular In CA. ...
  • University of California - Berkeley. Berkeley, CA. ...
  • University of California - Los Angeles. Los Angeles, CA. ...
  • University of Southern California. Los Angeles, CA. ...
  • University of California - Davis. Davis, CA.

What is the most accepted major at Berkeley? ›

Most Popular Majors
  • Computer Science. 848 Graduates.
  • Economics. 799 Graduates.
  • Cellular Biology. 767 Graduates.
  • Computer and Information Sciences. 669 Graduates.
  • Electrical Engineering. 528 Graduates.
  • Political Science and Government. 464 Graduates.
  • Business. 409 Graduates.
  • Research and Experimental Psychology. 344 Graduates.

What is Castells theory of network power? ›

Network Power: the power resulting from the standards required to coordinate social interaction in the networks. In this case, power is exercised not by exclusion from the networks but by the imposition of the rules of inclusion. 3. Networked Power: the power of social actors over other social actors in the network.

What is the network theory of communication? ›

As Michael Gines Munsayac explains in his paper “Organizational Communication Theories Under the Cybernetic Tradition,” network theory allows us to observe clusters of communication relationships created by the objects communicating within a network. These clusters link together to form organizational networks.

What is the four network theory of power? ›

As I have argued throughout my volumes, human societies form around four distinct power sources – ideological, economic, military and political – which have a relative degree of autonomy from each other (this is my IEMP model of power).

What is world culture theory? ›

World culture theory is a label for a particular interpretation of globalization that focuses on the way in which participants in the process become conscious of and give meaning to living in the world as a single place.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Gov. Deandrea McKenzie

Last Updated:

Views: 6730

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Gov. Deandrea McKenzie

Birthday: 2001-01-17

Address: Suite 769 2454 Marsha Coves, Debbieton, MS 95002

Phone: +813077629322

Job: Real-Estate Executive

Hobby: Archery, Metal detecting, Kitesurfing, Genealogy, Kitesurfing, Calligraphy, Roller skating

Introduction: My name is Gov. Deandrea McKenzie, I am a spotless, clean, glamorous, sparkling, adventurous, nice, brainy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.