To be an Informational Technologies Specialist and to be a Southerner 1 2
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In the Northern "development" sense, there have been three main stages until now. First stage is the agrarian period. When the agrarian mode of production was mechanized and industrialized, the industrialization and modernization started. In other words, the industrial mode of production and its affects on agriculture initiated a "new" age. In a similar way, in our times, the recent transformation as the last stage is from industrialization and modernization to post-industrialization and post-modernization, like the previous transformation from the agrarian mode of production to the industrial one. In other words, industry is going to be post-industrialized, and modernity is going to be post-modernized. In fact, the post-industrial mode of production and experience links to the powerful combination with the industrial and the informational mode of development (Castells, 1989). Therefore, the last stage post-industrialization is nowadays living in the North.

With global economy, the post-industrial mode of production is emerging for the capital and the employer with transformations of agrarian and industrial modes of production in the age of globalization. However, it does not mean that modernity and industry cannot operate any more. On the contrary, modernization and industrialization have not come to be over, to be saturated, to an end, according to Hardt and Negri (2000:284). As a result, all forms of production continue "within the networks of the world market and under the domination of the informational production of services" (Hardt & Negri, 2000:287). While the current stage is fully living in the North, the South only would appear to live this stage, because of influence of cultural hegemonic processes in globalization. Moreover, the industrial mode of production has been declining in the North, but "has been effectively exported to" the South (Hardt & Negri, 2000:286). The centers of post-industrialism become clear. Therefore, it can be said that the contemporary mode of production especially settles down in the North, although the South is confused with all modes of productions, because of overcoming the problem of being the periphery and continuously trying to catch up the North. For example, Turkey has not yet completed modernization and industrialization, but she tries to survive in post-industrial age (Dura & Atik, 2002:168-9). "The geographical differences in the global economy are not signs of the co-presence of different stages of development but lines of the new global hierarchy of production" (Hardt & Negri, 2000:287). This supports the polarization of centralization and localization in globalization. Moreover, this supports the hierarchy between the dominant centers of global culture and the subordinates as their peripheries, which are local cultures. In brief, there is a polarization between the North and the South in the context of post-industrialization, post-modernization.

With post-industrialism, there is a growth of the service sector and a central role of applied scientific and technological knowledge, informatisation. The current mode of production is especially the production of service shaped with informatisation; that is the info-industrial model by Hardt and Negri (2000:285-6). Giddens (1996) insists that social space comes to require new qualities with generalized electronic communications, though only in the networked parts of the world. According to Chase-Dunn, one of the meanings of globalization, which is the globalization of communication, is connected with the new age of information technology (Chase-Dunn, 1999:191). In just the same way the beginning of modernization and industrialization, the innovation of science and technology is following each other. However, the main difference of the current stage separated from previous stages is information technologies. Moreover, key characteristics of the concept of the contemporary mode of production are automation, computers, and telecommunications. Indeed, the post-industrial age is that of information technologies. It is generally believed that information technology has created the global market, instead of separated national markets; it is the appropriate arena for economic rivalry (Chase-Dunn, 1999:189). It can also be argued that "time-space compression" (Harvey, 1989:284) by new information technologies is simply an extension and acceleration like a revolutionary technological development (Chase-Dunn, 1999:192).

As a result, similar to the hierarchy of accessibility and participation which always existed in capitalist systems; this is also valid, even a determining factor in the global capitalist system. Consequently, the most important aspect of globalization, or post-industrialization, is not only the increased polarization between classes but also a transformation of these classes (Friedman, 2000:652). As the clearest example, due to information technology, there is a wide range polarization in terms of accessibility and participation: the "digital divide" - the gap between the minority in the world that benefits from the information technologies; such as accessibility to computer and modem, participation into Internet; and the majority that does not even have running water or electricity. "Digital divide" can be defined with a three-level categorical determination. The first level is that whether you would access the infrastructure of information technologies or not. Consequently, industrial "development" is crucial, because of IT infrastructure. The second level is that if you access the infrastructure of information technologies, whether you are computer literate or not. Consequently, education is important, because of computer literacy. The last one is that if you are a computer literate, which level of the computer-user you would be. Consequently, the level of education is also crucial. As a result, this categorical determination shows a new definition of "class" is needed. For that, it can be said that there are roughly at least five "digital classes": the needy who cannot access, the well-to-do who can access but cannot participate, the literate who can participate, the specialist who are the service-producers, and the service-providers who have possession of the overall service-production in IT. As these digital classes can be seen at Table 1, they are separated each other with the four conceptual tools. 3

Conceptual Tools Ownership (Accessibility to IT) Participation (Ability to use IT) Control (Ability to produce IT) Possession (Control of production of IT)
Digital Classes 1 Needy - - - -
2 Well-to-do + - - -
3 Literate + + - -
4 Service - producer + + + -
5 Service - provider + + + +

Table 1: General Criteria for digital classes

The first digital class is "the needy", since they cannot access IT infrastructure, and cannot inevitably participate. The second digital class is "the well-to-do" who are not computer literate but they have a chance to access IT infrastructure. Literacy is generally used to mean the ability to read and write in one's vernacular. However, as the term literacy comes "from the Latin litteratus, or marked with letters", to be literate is to be learned in Latin instead of only the ability to read and write (Compaine, 1988:148). 4 Then, computer literacy is not a static concept but a dynamic lot of skills. Therefore, computer literacy means that having a capability for accessing to computer-based information that is how it is used in this thesis. The third digital class is the computer literate who are consumers, user of computer-based information. Being computer professional as the fourth class is used having a capability for creating a "new" computer-based information system in the thesis. The fourth digital class is the service-producers, information technologies specialists (ITS), who hope for a digital dividend. Therefore, they should have continuously power of maintaining their skills, talents and knowledge concerning IT; and of engaging in "lifelong learning", because of catching "new" innovations, accelerations of knowledge and technology (Crawford, 1991:24, 34-5). The fifth digital class is the service-providers who have control of means of production and control of labour power. In other words, the fifth one employs the fourth ones. For example, Bill Gates from the fifth digital class employs a lot of ITSs as the service-producers in Microsoft. Consequently, there is a polarization between "digital classes": "digital divide".

To sum up, there are two kinds of polarization in globalization. The former one is between the North and the South (traditional one). The latter one is the "digital divide" (post-industrial one). Hence, the Southern ITSs are a two-sided coin. It is obvious that one side of the coin is to be a Southerner, another side of the coin is to be an ITS. Therefore, a new phrase arises for them: "to be an ITS in the North". The South that lacks the capacity to attract and retain the professional talent needs to navigate through the information revolution since they will not be able to catch whatever 'digital dividend' is theoretically available. Therefore, Mr. Red 5 concludes:

"there are attractive centers dealing with IT. These centers produce technologies in our profession, so they have naturally constituted a field of attraction. As a matter of fact, working at these centers is considered as an indicator to achievement."

In other words, if the fourth class is in the periphery of centers of post-industrialization, they immaterially hope for a digital dividend but infrastructurally fear the "digital divide". Its consequence is the digital drain that is a kind of brain drain dealing with information technologies. Because of this conflict between immaterial hope and infrastructural fear on the fourth class in the South; there is nowadays a 'potential brain drain', especially a 'potential digital drain'. Therefore, the Southern ITS feels an obligation for articulation to globalization, since localization in the material world is vanished in the post-industrialization age. In addition, there is a potential "exterritoriality" of the fourth class in the South, they are spatially attracted from the North, and this is exactly imaginary 'reterritoriality of deterritorialization'. It can be said that the ITS in the South bears a feeling of upwardly mobility to the ITS in the North.


1 This essay is quoted from the unpublished master thesis (Ulaş Sunata, METU, Ankara, 2002).
2 In this essay, "the North" is being used in place of all other usages, such as "the West", "the highly developed countries", "the developed countries", "the First World" etc.. Moreover, "the South" is being used instead of "the East", "the undeveloped countries", "the developing countries", or "the Third World".
3 Wright's criteria "ownership", "control", and "possession" are re-defined for digital classes by the author (Wright, 1976:3-41). Also, "participation" that refers to the ability to use is added as a new criterion.
4 Anyhow, literacy is sometimes used for very specific skills: being musically literate, being mathematically literate, and so on.
5 Mr. Red is an interviewer in the MWAS (Migration to Work Abroad Survey). The author preferred to hide real names, because of preserving privacy, as all survey took this in consideration. Instead of real names of interviewers, a colour as an imaginary name is given to them.


1. Castells, Manuel. The Informational City: Information Technology, Economic Restructuring, and the Urban-Regional Process. Oxford: Basil Blackwell Ltd., 1989.
2. Chase-Dunn, Christopher. "Globalization: A World-Systems Perspective." Journal of World-Systems Research 5, 2 (1999) : 187-217.
3. Compaine, Benjamin M.. "Information Technology and Cultural Change: Toward a New Literacy." ed. Issues in New Information Technology. Benjamin M.
4. Compaine. New Jersey: Ablex Publishing Corporation, 1988.
5. Crawford, Richard. In the Era of Human Capital: the emergence of talent, intelligence, and knowledge as the worldwide economic force and what it means to managers and investors. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1991.
6. Dura, Cihan, ve Hayriye Atik. Bilgi Toplumu, Bilgi Ekonomisi ve Türkiye. İstanbul: Literatür Yayıncılık, 2002.
7. Friedman, Jonathan. "Globalization, Class and Culture in Global Systems." Journal of World-Systems Research 6 (2000) : 636-56.
8. Giddens, Anthony. Introduction to Sociology. New York: Norton, 1996.
9. Hardt, Michael, and Antonio Negri. The Empire. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000.
10. Harvey, David. The Condition of Postmodernity. Cambridge: Blackwell, 1989.
11. Wright, Erik Olin. "Class Boundaries in Advanced Capitalist Societies." New Left Review 99 (1976) : 3-41.


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