Abstract - The Information Society 18(5)

Social Contradictions of Informational Capitalism: The Case of Finnish Wage Earners and Their Labour Market Situation

Raimo Blom, Harri Melin & Pasi Pyoria

Along with the diffusion of ICTs, work processes are becoming ever more knowledge-intensive. In keeping with this trend, the number of informational (or knowledge) workers in Finland has more than tripled from 12 percent in 1988 to 39 percent in 2000. What makes the Finnish case unique and interesting is the exceptional speed with which the information sector of the economy has grown. A few years after facing the most severe economic recession in its history in the early 1990s, Finland is now considered to have an advanced information economy. However, our empirical analysis-based on survey data from 1988, 1994, and 2000-yields a somewhat more critical picture of the Finnish information society than what usually comes across in the mainstream media. The opportunities for social equality offered by the growth of informational work are far more limited than was the case with the transition from agricultural to industrial production.

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