+ info: OUP USA
Digital media are normal. But this was not always true. For a long time, lay discourse, academic exhortations, pop culture narratives, and advocacy groups constructed new Information and communications technologies (ICTs) as exceptional. Whether they were believed to be revolutionary, dangerous, rife with opportunity, or other-worldly, these tools and technologies were framed as extraordinary. But digital media are now mundane, thoroughly embedded – and often unquestioned – in everyday life. Digital ICTs are enmeshed in health and wellness, work and organizations, elections, capital flows, intimate relationships, social movements, and even our own identities. And although the study of these technologies has always been interdisciplinary – at the crossroads of computer science, cultural studies, science and technology studies, and communications – never has a sociological perspective been more valuable. Sociology has always excelled at helping us re-see the normal.
The Oxford Handbook of Digital Media Sociology is a perfect point of entry for those curious about the state of sociological research on digital media. Each chapter reviews the sociological research that has been done thus far and points towards unanswered questions. The 34 chapters in the Handbook are arranged in six sections which look at digital media as they relate to: theory, social institutions, everyday life, community and identity, social inequalities, and politics & power. More than ever, the contributors to this volume help make it a centralizing resource, pulling together the various strands of sociological research focused on digital media. In addition to providing a distinctly sociological center for those scholars looking to find their way in the subfield, the volume offers top sociological research that provides an overview of digital media to explain our quickly changing world to a broader public. Readers will find it accessible enough for use in class, and thorough enough for seasoned professionals interested in a concise update in their areas of interest.