Brian Trench


FROM TIME TO TIME, notions take hold in society in such a way that they become reference ideas across diverse social sectors, and terms associated with these reference ideas proliferate in public discourses and media of various kinds. This is notably true for the ‘knowledge economy’ and ‘knowledge society’; these terms have largely displaced other terms to describe the particular character of advanced economies and societies in the early 21st century. Other terms have struggled to co-exist: ‘information society’ seems passé; ‘services society’, ‘audit society’ and ‘risk society’ are marginal or niche terms; ‘innovation society’ has had intermittent periods of prominence. The main purpose of this paper is to examine how ‘knowledge society’ and related terms have been adopted and adapted in media discourses.