Post-Industrial Society: Definition & Characteristics

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yolanda Williams

Yolanda has taught college Psychology and Ethics, and has a doctorate of philosophy in counselor education and supervision.

A post-industrial society comes after an industrialized society, where the service sector dominates the manufacturing sector. Study the definition of post-industrial societies as well as characteristics and effects. Updated: 09/15/2021

What Are Post-Industrial Societies?

A post-industrial society is a stage in a society's development during which the economy transitions from one that primarily provides goods to one that primarily provides services. In other words, the service sector, made up of people such as nurses, teachers, researchers, social workers, and lawyers, among others, accounts for more of the economic growth and wealth than the manufacturing sector, which is made up of people such as construction workers, textile mill workers, food manufacturers, and production workers. The economic transformation associated with a post-industrial society subsequently transforms society as a whole.

Information, services, and advanced technology are more important in post-industrial societies than manufacturing tangible goods. As the name suggests, a post-industrial society follows an industrialized society, which focused on mass producing goods with the aide of machinery. Post-industrialization can easily be seen in places like Europe and the United States, which were affected by the Industrial Revolution before other places around the world. The United States was the first country to have more than fifty percent of its workers employed in service sector jobs.

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Characteristics of Post-Industrial Societies

The term post-industrial was first popularized by American sociologist Daniel Bell when he wrote The Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting in 1973. In this book, Bell describes six changes that are associated with post-industrial societies.

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