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Social Theory after the Internet

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ISBN: 9781787351226 Year: Pages: 210 DOI: 10.14324/111.9781787351226 Language: English
Publisher: UCL Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched - 100895
Subject: Sociology --- Media and communication --- Social Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2018-01-09 11:02:05
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The internet has fundamentally transformed society in the past 25 years, yet existing theories of mass or interpersonal communication do not work well in understanding a digital world. Nor has this understanding been helped by disciplinary specialization and a continual focus on the latest innovations. Ralph Schroeder takes a longer-term view, synthesizing perspectives and findings from various social science disciplines in four countries: the United States, Sweden, India and China. His comparison highlights, among other observations, that smartphones are in many respects more important than PC-based internet uses. Social Theory after the Internet focuses on everyday uses and effects of the internet, including information seeking and big data, and explains how the internet has gone beyond traditional media in, for example, enabling Donald Trump and Narendra Modi to come to power. Schroeder puts forward a sophisticated theory of the role of the internet, and how both technological and social forces shape its significance. He provides a sweeping and penetrating study, theoretically ambitious and at the same time always empirically grounded.The book will be of great interest to students and scholars of digital media and society, the internet and politics, and the social implications of big data.

The Web as History

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ISBN: 9781911307563 Year: Pages: 296 DOI: 10.14324/111.9781911307563 Language: English
Publisher: UCL Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched - 100291
Subject: Computer Science --- Media and communication --- History --- Information theory
Added to DOAB on : 2017-03-14 11:01:24
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The World Wide Web has now been in use for more than 20 years. From early browsers to today’s principal source of information, entertainment and much else, the Web is an integral part of our daily lives, to the extent that some people believe ‘if it’s not online, it doesn’t exist.’ While this statement is not entirely true, it is becoming increasingly accurate, and reflects the Web’s role as an indispensable treasure trove. It is curious, therefore, that historians and social scientists have thus far made little use of the Web to investigate historical patterns of culture and society, despite making good use of letters, novels, newspapers, radio and television programmes, and other pre-digital artefacts. This volume argues that now is the time to ask what we have learnt from the Web so far. The 12 chapters explore this topic from a number of interdisciplinary angles – through histories of national web spaces and case studies of different government and media domains – as well as an introduction that provides an overview of this exciting new area of research.

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