Manuel Castells is a sociologist. From 1979 he lectured in Sociology and Regional Planning at the Department of City and Regional Planning of the University of California in Berkeley. He has also been the director of the Institute of the Sociology of New Technologies at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and a lecturer at the Higher Council of Scientific Research in Barcelona.
From the late 1970s to coincide with his Berkeley stage, Castells became one of the most influential Marxist sociologists. He led the debate in favor of spatiality initiated by Foucault and Lefebvre, and orientated it towards what are today the two great nodes of contemporary urban criticism: Globalization and mass consumption. The new objective assumed by the social criticism of the 1970s was the dismantling of the mystified spatial reality of cities. To do so it was necessary to rethink from a spatiality viewpoint the then emerging strategies of late capitalist production and dissemination, and this had to be done on a double scale: Both international and specifically urban.