Wireless networks are the fastest growing communications technology in history. Are mobile phones expressions of identity, fashionable gadgets, tools for life—or all of the above? Mobile Communication and Society looks at how the possibility of multimodal communication from anywhere to anywhere at any time affects everyday life at home, at work, and at school, and raises broader concerns about politics and culture both global and local.
Drawing on data gathered from around the world, the authors explore who has access to wireless technology, and why, and analyze the patterns of social differentiation seen in unequal access.They explore the social effects of wireless communication—what it means for family life, for example, when everyone is constantly in touch, or for the idea of an office when workers can work anywhere. Is the technological ability to multitask further compressing time in our already hurried existence?
The authors consider the rise of a mobile youth culture based on peer-to-peer networks, with its own language of texting, and its own values. They examine the phenomenon of flash mobs, and the possible political implications. And they look at the relationship between communication and development and the possibility that developing countries could "leapfrog" directly to wireless and satellite technology. This sweeping book—moving easily in its analysis from the United States to China, from Europe to Latin America and Africa—answers the key questions about our transformation into a mobile network society.
Originally published in 1980.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
In this new edition of his timely and important book, ManuelCastells examines the social, cultural and political roots of thesenew social movements, studies their innovative forms ofself-organization, assesses the precise role of technology in thedynamics of the movements, suggests the reasons for the supportthey have found in large segments of society, and probes theircapacity to induce political change by influencing people’sminds. Two new chapters bring the analysis up-to-date and draw outthe implications of these social movements and protests forunderstanding the new forms of social change and politicaldemocracy in the global network society.
This book examines the blossoming of innovative new experiments in organizing work and life that emerged in the wake of the financial crisis: cooperatives, barter networks, ethical banking, community currencies, shared time banks, solidarity networks, sharing of goods, non-monetary transactions, etc., experiments that paved the way for the emergence of a sharing economy in all domains of activity oriented toward the satisfaction of human needs. Other innovations included the creation of cryptographic virtual currencies, epitomized by bitcoin, which blended a libertarian, entrepreneurial spirit with information technology to provide an alternative to standard forms of currency. On the basis of a cross-cultural analysis of alternative economic practices, this book develops an important theoretical argument: that the economy, as a human practice, is shaped by culture, and that the diversity of cultures, as revealed in a time of crisis, implies the possibility of different economies depending on the values and power relations that define economic institutions.
This book will be of great interest to students and scholars in sociology, economics and the social sciences generally, and to anyone who wishes to understand how our societies and economies are changing today.
The idea of the “digital divide,” the great social division between information haves and have-nots, has dominated policy debates and scholarly analysis since the 1990s. In Working-Class Network Society, Jack Linchuan Qiu describes a more complex social and technological reality in a newly mobile, urbanizing China. Qiu argues that as inexpensive Internet and mobile phone services become available and are closely integrated with the everyday work and life of low-income communities, they provide a critical seedbed for the emergence of a new working class of “network labor” crucial to China's economic boom. Between the haves and have-nots, writes Qiu, are the information “have-less”: migrants, laid-off workers, micro-entrepreneurs, retirees, youth, and others, increasingly connected by cybercafés, prepaid service, and used mobile phones. A process of class formation has begun that has important implications for working-class network society in China and beyond. Qiu brings class back into the scholarly discussion, not as a secondary factor but as an essential dimension in our understanding of communication technology as it is shaped in the vast, industrializing society of China. Basing his analysis on his more than five years of empirical research conducted in twenty cities, Qiu examines technology and class, networked connectivity and public policy, in the context of massive urban reforms that affect the new working class disproportionately. The transformation of Chinese society, writes Qiu, is emblematic of the new technosocial reality emerging in much of the Global South.
In Technoculture, Lelia Green focuses on the technologies of communication, from things we don't even think of as technology, like the alphabet or electricity, to the rapidly-developing world of cyberspace. She argues that technology is never neutral, rather, it is closely linked to culture, society and government policy.
Green looks at what drives technological change, and demonstrates that the adoption of new technologies is never inevitable. She also explores how a variety of technology cultures coexist and interact: industrial culture, media culture, information culture, and now 'technoculture'. Some communities reap the benefits of technocultures, while others are bypassed or even damaged.
Technoculture offers a broad and accessible introduction to the complex issues surrounding technology, communications, culture and society for students and anyone else interested in making sense of one of the key issues of the twenty-first century.
Much attention has been paid in recent years to the emergence of “Internet activism,” but scholars and pundits disagree about whether online political activity is different in kind from more traditional forms of activism. Does the global reach and blazing speed of the Internet affect the essential character or dynamics of online political protest? In Digitally Enabled Social Change, Jennifer Earl and Katrina Kimport examine key characteristics of web activism and investigate their impacts on organizing and participation.
Earl and Kimport argue that the web offers two key affordances relevant to activism: sharply reduced costs for creating, organizing, and participating in protest; and the decreased need for activists to be physically together in order to act together. Drawing on evidence from samples of online petitions, boycotts, and letter-writing and e-mailing campaigns, Earl and Kimport show that the more these affordances are leveraged, the more transformative the changes to organizing and participating in protest.
This timely new book addresses the anti-austerity social movements of which these protests form part, mobilizing in the context of a crisis of neoliberalism. Donatella della Porta shows that, in order to understand their main facets in terms of social basis, strategy, and identity and organizational structures, we should look at the specific characteristics of the socioeconomic, cultural and political context in which they developed.
The result is an important and insightful contribution to understanding a key issue of our times, which will be of interest to students and scholars of political and economic sociology, political science and social movement studies, as well as political activists.
“The revolution will be Twittered!” declared journalist Andrew Sullivan after protests erupted in Iran. But as journalist and social commentator Evgeny Morozov argues in The Net Delusion, the Internet is a tool that both revolutionaries and authoritarian governments can use. For all of the talk in the West about the power of the Internet to democratize societies, regimes in Iran and China are as stable and repressive as ever. Social media sites have been used there to entrench dictators and threaten dissidents, making it harder—not easier—to promote democracy.
Marshalling a compelling set of case studies, The Net Delusion shows why the cyber-utopian stance that the Internet is inherently liberating is wrong, and how ambitious and seemingly noble initiatives like the promotion of “Internet freedom” are misguided and, on occasion, harmful.
Draws on research and empirical work across the social sciencesto address the key questions in this international field.
New edition expands on topics such as individual motivations,new media, public policies, and governance.
Has been redesigned in a more user-friendly format.
McChesney’s award-winning Rich Media, Poor Democracy skewered the assumption that a society drenched in commercial information is a democratic one. In Digital Disconnect McChesney returns to this provocative thesis in light of the advances of the digital age, incorporating capitalism into the heart of his analysis. He argues that the sharp decline in the enforcement of antitrust violations, the increase in patents on digital technology and proprietary systems, and other policies and massive indirect subsidies have made the Internet a place of numbing commercialism. A small handful of monopolies now dominate the political economy, from Google, which garners an astonishing 97 percent share of the mobile search market, to Microsoft, whose operating system is used by over 90 percent of the world’s computers. This capitalistic colonization of the Internet has spurred the collapse of credible journalism, and made the Internet an unparalleled apparatus for government and corporate surveillance, and a disturbingly anti-democratic force.
In Digital Disconnect Robert McChesney offers a groundbreaking analysis and critique of the Internet, urging us to reclaim the democratizing potential of the digital revolution while we still can.
Without hackers there would be no universal access to e-mail, no Internet, no World Wide Web, but the hacker ethic has spread far beyond the world of computers. It is a mind-set, a philosophy, based on the values of play, passion, sharing, and creativity, that has the potential to enhance every individual’s and company’s productivity and competitiveness. Now there is a greater need than ever for entrepreneurial versatility of the sort that has made hackers the most important innovators of our day. Pekka Himanen shows how we all can make use of this ongoing transformation in the way we approach our working lives.
For the first time in history, the tools for cooperating on a global scale are not solely in the hands of governments or institutions. The spread of the internet and mobile phones are changing how people come together and get things done—and sparking a revolution that, as Clay Shirky shows, is changing what we do, how we do it, and even who we are. Here, we encounter a whoman who loses her phone and recruits an army of volunteers to get it back from the person who stole it. A dissatisfied airline passenger who spawns a national movement by taking her case to the web. And a handful of kids in Belarus who create a political protest that the state is powerless to stop. Here Comes Everybody is a revelatory examination of how the wildfirelike spread of new forms of social interaction enabled by technology is changing the way humans form groups and exist within them. A revolution in social organization has commenced, and Clay Shirky is its brilliant chronicler.
"Drawing from anthropology, economic theory and keen observation, [Shirky] makes a strong case that new communication tools are making once-impossible forms of group action possible . . . [an] extraordinarily perceptive new book." -Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Mr. Shirky writes cleanly and convincingly about the intersection of technological innovation and social change." -New York Observer
Spreadable Media is a rare inside look at today’s ever-changing media landscape. The days of corporate control over media content and its distribution have been replaced by the age of what the digital media industries have called “user-generated content.” Spreadable Media maps these fundamental changes, and gives readers a comprehensive look into the rise of participatory culture, from internet memes to presidential tweets.
The authors challenge our notions of what goes “viral” and how by examining factors such as the nature of audience engagement and the environment of participation, and by contrasting the concepts of “stickiness”—aggregating attention in centralized places—with “spreadability”—dispersing content widely through both formal and informal networks. The former has often been the measure of media success in the online world, but the latter describes the actual ways content travels through social media. The book explores the internal tensions businesses face as they adapt to this new, spreadable, communication reality and argues for the need to shift from “hearing” to “listening” in corporate culture.
Now with a new afterword addressing changes in the media industry, audience participation, and political reporting, and drawing on modern examples from online activism campaigns, film, music, television, advertising, and social media—from both the U.S. and around the world—the authors illustrate the contours of our current media environment. For all of us who actively create and share content, Spreadable Media provides a clear understanding of how people are spreading ideas and the implications these activities have for business, politics, and everyday life, both on- and offline.
This book is dedicated to this task. Bauman selects five of thebasic concepts which have served to make sense of shared human life- emancipation, individuality, time/space, work and community - andtraces their successive incarnations and changes of meaning.
Liquid Modernity concludes the analysis undertaken inBauman's two previous books Globalization: The HumanConsequences and In Search of Politics. Together thesevolumes form a brilliant analysis of the changing conditions ofsocial and political life by one of the most original thinkerswriting today.
In Alone Together, MIT technology and society professor Sherry Turkle explores the power of our new tools and toys to dramatically alter our social lives. It’s a nuanced exploration of what we are looking for—and sacrificing—in a world of electronic companions and social networking tools, and an argument that, despite the hand-waving of today’s self-described prophets of the future, it will be the next generation who will chart the path between isolation and connectivity.
Habermas focuses on the liberal notion of the bourgeois public sphere as it emerged in Europe in the early modern period. He examines both the writings of political theorists, including Marx, Mill and de Tocqueville, and the specific institutions and social forms in which the public sphere was realized.
This brilliant and influential work has been widely recognized for many years as a classic of contemporary social and political thought, of interest to students and scholars throughout the social sciences and humanities.