Portugal in Transition to the Network Society. A Generational Divide through the Lenses of the Internet


  • Gustavo Cardoso University Institute of Lisbon - ISCTE




Informational Society, Social Change, Internet, Transition to the Network Society, Portugal


This paper analyses the Portuguese society in its transition to the network society. Through the use of the Internet and its main drives (education and age) we discuss the inevitability, or not, of a generational gap in the Portuguese society, visible through strong differentiations in the social structure and practice. It is here suggested that the transition for the network society in Portugal may, eventually, be measured according to five individualised dimensions and the role played by Internet use in them: individual improvement, individual empowerment, individual consumption, network selectiveness and identity construction. These five dimensions are here discussed through empirical analysis of data gathered in a country wide survey representative of the Portuguese population involving 2450 individuals’ in 2003.

Author Biography

Gustavo Cardoso, University Institute of Lisbon - ISCTE

Ph.D., professor at ISCTE in Lisbon. Researcher at CIES-ISCTE. Member of the European Research Council (ERC) evaluation panel "Sh3 Institutions, Behaviour, Values and Beliefs" and member of the COST-European Science Foundation Domain Committee "Individual, Societies, Cultures and Health". He also develops research together with the Catholic University of Milan and the Osservatorio Sulla Comunicazione (Osscom), the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3-UOC) in Barcelona and the research network World Internet Project carried out at USC - Annenberg School of Communication.




How to Cite

Cardoso, G. (2008). Portugal in Transition to the Network Society. A Generational Divide through the Lenses of the Internet. Observatorio (OBS*), 2(3). https://doi.org/10.15847/obsOBS232008227