Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Manuel Castells

Manuel Castells (b. 1942 in Catalonia) is a sociologist. Between 1967 and 1979 he taught at the University of Paris, first at the Nanterre Campus, then, since 1970, at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. In 1979 he was appointed Professor of Sociology and Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2001 he also became a research professor at the Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona. In 2003 he joined the USC Annenberg School for Communication as a professor of communication and the first Wallis Annenberg endowed Chair of Communication and Technology.

Castells lives in Los Angeles, California and is married to Emma Kiselyova.

Table of contents
1 Theory
2 Publications
3 On-line resources


Castells' initial focus was on the development of a new urban sociology, with particular emphasis on the role social movements played in the transformation of the urban landscape across the world. Later he increased the scope of his research even more, culminating in the Information Age (1996-1998) trilogy.

Castells analysis unfolds along three basic dimensions: production, power and experience. This stresses that the organization of the economy, of the state and its institutions, and of the ways people create meaning in their lifes through collective action are irreducible sources of social dynamics.

In the trilogy, he condenses this view to the statement "our societies are increasingly structured around the bipolar opposition of the Net and the Self" (1996, p. 3). The Net means the new, networked forms of organization whereas the Self relates to the multiple practices through which people try to reaffirm identity and meaning in a landscape of rapid change. Castellls also coined the term 4th World.


Manuel Castells is extraordinarily prolific. He has written more than 20 books. The most important are:

On-line resources